A Compelling Truth: A 30 Day Journey through Galatians with Rob Stanmore

DAY 12

So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Galatians 3:6-14 NIV

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision:
“Do not be afraid, Abram.
I am your shield,
your very great reward. ”
But Abram said, “Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus? ” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir. ” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars —if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15:1-6 NIV

Court is now in session, and Paul calls Abraham to the stand as a witness.

Paul is trying to not only communicate the Gospel to his Galatian readers who had been caught up with the law and Jewish living but to truly connect with them. He does this by bringing Abraham into his defence, who, in their mind, would be one of the Jewish formative figures.

When Paul says Abraham’s faith was “credited to him as righteousness” he is using a legal term and a legal status that he is justified—Abraham is saved.

This is a huge statement to the Galatians reading this and even to us today. 

Paul is saying that Gospel-living is being sinful, yet loved and accepted by God.

We are simultaneously sinful and saved.

Paul is saying that you don’t need to clean up your life in order to be saved in God’s eyes; rather, you receive salvation, even while you are a sinner.

This is because faith is credited as righteousness, not works. 

We are saved by faith, not by the ‘good things’ we do.


What can we learn from Abraham’s story today?

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