For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification. [NRSV]
Apostle Paul drawing on God’s promise and covenant with Abraham to teach about faith
This is one of those passages that helps iron out wrinkles between the Old and New Testaments. Abraham, father of the Hebrews, makes covenant with God. Paul is bridging communities around the topic of faith. As we know people can be divided over our understandings concerning faith.
The deal was Abraham was to trust God to be God and keep God’s promises and God would make Abraham and Sarah the great-great-great grand parents a thousand times over.
First this passage reminds us of God’s timing. God works through generations of time and relationships.
Second God works through individuals, Abram and Sari
Third God works through grace and faith rather than right thinking or right acting.
The central message and lesson is about faith
I suggest that we live in a time that is empty of faith, we would rather have proof.
We live in a time where people are dividing and dying over be correct instead of living in relationship with God and one another.
The world hungers and thirst for The wholeness, strength, peace and loving power God has for us, but on our terms and in our time.
The absence of faith is seen in the covenant breaking
The criticisms of Billy Graham for his focus and perspective of theology, remyinds us that being faithful is seldom the popular thing.
Family friends and denominations splitting over words and ideas reveals an absence of faith and trust in God.
So what does it mean to trust God to be God?
Covenant living is God promising to love, provide, guide, empower, and comp,eye what is broken and missing from our best efforts.
Trusting God vs Trusting our Insurance policy
Trusting God vs Trustig our contracts
Trusting God vs Trsuting our value
Trusting God vs Trusting
Promises to love us
Promises to guide and lead us
Promises to journey with Us
Promises to save us from sin and self
The me I am is who I design or am I the me God sees in me?
By my choices I am becoming my actual self
By my failures, ignorance and self interest I become someone other than the Self God hopes I will become
By God’s love and grace God judges my brokenness and fills in the games and makes me into my whole self.
So ingrained in our freedom to choose that we at our highest self when we have no need for God, but only be being true them myself as decided by myself than my self is valued, whole and this good.
Millions of nasty brutish folk doing the good they desire neglecting those who are different, or less or greater or other
Secondarily is the tendency that if I’m Ok, your ok. That is if I workout my own salvation and identity that you are left to do your own thing and I have no opbligatio. Or responsibility to you or any other. I’ve got my hands full working on my own stuff that I have little to nOtho get left to give for the other.
From John Wesley’s sermon on ““almost Christian”
An Almost Christian
1. May Act justly and kindly and do good
May Speak the Truth
May Give as one is able to help
May Have the look and sound of godliness
May Behave well and follows all the rules
May Speaks well of others
2. May avoid Wine lies gluttony doing no willful wrong
May do all the good one can, friend or enemy
May take part in all the church has to offer, whenever the doors are open
May pray and ask for Prayer that others would think more highly of them
May be the role model of serious and respectful intentions
May ask that God “have mercy on me”
3. Daily prayers out warmly
One missing thing: Sincerity of Faith
How to tell the difference?
Wicked follow to avoid punishment or to be approved
Sinner follows to be save because he/she knows they are not hug without God
Wesley’s words we “altogether christsin vs almost Christisn”
All together is
1. to love God. Who I’m I without you of lord
2. love of neighbor. Corinth 13
3. To trust that we are saved and made whole being spiritually born of god. (This the our victory, fulfillment. [Wholeness]}
Even devils believe, vs faith
Sure trust that God saves us and without Christ we are nothing, this is faith
The test is given we with sincerely ask before God, ourselves and the church;
: ““am I all together Christian or an almost Christian?”
What is the truth, and what do you intend to do about it?