|Sin and its consequences.||God’s provision in Christ.|
|Being under the judgement of God.||Justification and forgiveness.|
Job asks these great questions. “What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?” Job 15:14.
How can a man be made righteous?
How can he stand as a guilty sinner before the Triune, thrice holy God?
You may remember, many parts ago now, how Adam’s nakedness as a consequence of his sin, was covered. The Lord God made coats from the skins of animals to clothe them. This is the first indication in the Bible that a sacrificial blood offering had to be made, and it was God who provided such.
Further on in Genesis we read of the great man, Abraham.
You will remember from our studies that Abraham was called out of his heathen culture to walk with the true and living God, the God of glory. God had given Abraham many promises, all of which were dependent on him having an heir. This was a problem as he had no children; both he and Sarah were infertile.
One evening when Abraham was talking with God about this matter, the Lord took him outside and this is what we read took place.
“Then He (the Lord) brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And he said to him, “So shall your descendants be”.
And he believed in the Lord and He accounted it to him for righteousness, Genesis 15:5,6”.
Abraham received righteousness because he believed God. He received it as a gift from God that had come to him by way of his faith in God.
This shows both Abraham’s greatness as well as God’s greatness!
Abraham did not earn this gift of righteousness; he put his faith in God by means of His word to him. It was unmerited and totally of grace.
Paul takes up this central theme of our salvation in the New Testament. There we read “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we who have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified, Galatians 2:15,16”.
The words are quoted again in Galatians; “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? – just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness”, Galatians 3:5,6”.
He goes on to clearly state that this righteousness was not merely for the Jews but also for the Gentiles in the purposes of God; “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying , “In you all the nations shall be blessed”
So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham, Galatians 3:8.9”.
“Abraham did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
And therefore it was accounted to him for righteousness””. Romans 4:20-22.