Scripture: Romans 4:13-25 (NRSV)
DEVOTIONAL: What is the promise that the author of today’s Scripture speaks about? It is righteousness. But what is righteousness? Webster’s Dictionary defines righteousness as being just, honorable, free from guilt/wrong. How can we obtain righteousness? Can we as mere humans, whose hearts are wicked, become righteous?
The Chinese pronounce righteousness as “Yi.” This symbol has two characters that together mean righteousness, but separately mean “lamb” and “me.” This is what righteousness is my friends. It is a right relationship with God by Jesus Christ, who is the lamb. We are made righteous in God’s sight by the price Jesus paid on the cross. This is not by any of our own efforts, quite the contrary, for in verse 16 it is made clear that this promise of righteousness is a free gift that is accepted by faith.
Faith is the key. Righteousness is by faith in Christ, not the Law, not academics, not “good living,” not eco-friendly protests, not acceptance by peers and not by works. We can conquer the world, save lives, feed the hungry, clothe the needy and heal the sick…but it would all be a worthless effort and impossible if we did not have faith in God.
Faith is the key, and it is the key to everything. Faith is one of the most powerful tools that God has given us. In 1 Corinthians 13 it says that three things will remain: faith, hope, and love. Faith is what kept Abraham strong and brought glory to God. Abraham’s faith was so strong in God, despite the circumstances that he was in. Abraham was a weak old man, his wife was barren, he had no children and God promised him that he would be the father of many nations. He did not even see this promise completely fulfilled, however his faith did not waver, it grew stronger and that brought glory to the heavenly Father. Because of Abraham’s faith God declared him righteous, not because of his works, his good deeds or his wealth, but it was because of his faith.
Faith is the key. Faith that God has made us righteous by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Will you accept this gift today? Will you bring glory to God by stepping out in faith like Abraham?
Father God, thank you for your Son’s sacrifice. Thank you for declaring us righteous through faith. I pray that you will help me to have faith in you today, and the rest of my days. I pray that I will have faith that you will fulfill all your promises you have spoken over me. In Jesus name. Amen.
Scripture: Romans 4:13-25 (NRSV)
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. 14If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation. 16For 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,
17as 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. 18Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become the father of many nations, according to what was said, So numerous shall your descendants be. 19He 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 Sarahs womb. 20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22Therefore his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness.
23Now the words, it was reckoned to him, were written not for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.