...not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
Thoughts for Today:Too many of us feel our salvation is conditioned upon something we do or don't do -- perhaps pray more or watch less television. Although both of those are good guidelines to observe, we will never be able to earn God's grace. It is only by faith -- but it's not faith plus anything -- not faith plus love, or faith plus doing good works, etc. It is simply by faith that we believe God's promises and as a result are saved.
For some this is a very difficult concept. Paul explains in our passage today that Abraham pleased God long before he knew anything about the laws or rituals which would become so precious to his descendants the Jews. Abraham didn't need the law to believe God anymore than you or I need to be in his bloodline to be an inheritor of the promises God made to him: "He [Abraham] is the father of us all." So it is not faith plus the law, or faith plus works, or faith plus the bloodline -- it is simply the same faith as Abraham in God -- nothing added or extra.
Questions to Ponder:Is there a little something extra you add to faith to justify or condition your salvation? How about being extra good? Maybe for you it's staying away from using foul language, drinking alcohol, or watching too much television. Although avoidance of sin is important, how do you feel once you've failed at the "extra" part? Unworthy? Unsuccessful? Maybe even feel as if you've lost your salvation? It can be pretty scary when we add anything extra or place conditions upon God's grace. What God wants of us is faith, belief and trust in Him and the work He has already done. That's enough for me -- what about you?