Monday, November 4, 2013

Faith, Not Works

Read: Romans 9:30-33

Most Christians understand, at least in theory, that salvation within the New Covenant, in Christ, is by faith and not works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

On the other hand, many believers assume that within the Old Covenant, from Abraham to Moses to John the Baptist, salvation was on the basis of works, and not faith. This passage (Romans 9:30-33) is very clear: many within the Old Covenant were not counted righteous because they also thought that they could attain it by works, and not by faith.

It is one thing that those within the Old Covenant fell over the stumbling block laid in Zion, but why do so many Christians today also stumble when they look at the saints of the Old Testament?

Consider also the teaching of Romans 4:3-8:

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Abraham was saved by grace through faith. David was saved by grace through faith. To see the Old Covenant as one of salvation by works is to look at it either in ignorance, or as a Pharisee, tripping over the stumbling block that was laid in Zion. But we must not to stumble over him: instead, whoever believes in him shall not be put to shame.

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