Monday: March 5                                                     

Romans 4:13-25

            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.

             If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.  For 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, as 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.

             Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He 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 Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.”

             Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

——————————

            Are we saved by “our faith in Christ”, or are we saved by “the faith of Christ?” Is this a question of splitting hairs?  Mere semantics?  Perhaps, but language is powerful!  Our evangelistic language must reflect the gospel emphasis…our faith in Christ? or the faith of Christ? 

            Was it the ancestors’ faith in Abraham that brought them inheritance, or was it the faithfulness of Abraham?  Is it our faith in Jesus that brings righteousness and salvation, or is it the faithfulness of Christ?  “For this reason it depends on faith…” is a true statement, but whose faith?  In whose hands does it rest?  An honest and open Lenten journey will evoke a joyous response to that question’s answer!

            During Lent, try changing the language you use in your prayers from “our faith in Christ” to “the faith of Christ.”  It’s a subtle shift in our language, but it has gospel implications.

May the faith of Christ continue to work vicariously through us.

Rev. Kenneth Hardway

First Christian Church, Wheeling

Assoc. Regional Minister for Youth & Young Adults

Advertisements