#DailyDevotion The World Is Your Oyster Through Faith
Romans 413It was not by the Law that Abraham or his descendants received the promise that he would inherit the world, but it was by the righteousness of faith. 14For if the Law is the way to inherit, then faith has been made worthless and the promise has been made powerless. 15No, the Law brings God’s anger on us, and only where there is no Law there is no breaking of the Law. 16Therefore the promise is by faith that it might come to us by grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the descendants, not only to those who live by the Law but also to those who only believe as Abraham did. He is the father of all of us, 17as it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” Standing before God, Abraham believed God makes the dead live and calls into being that which doesn’t exist.
So we see that the Law has no standing to make us righteous before God. No, before there was any Law the LORD made Promises to Abraham and his descendents. This promise is Abraham and his descendents would inherit the world and not just a strip of land on the eastern side of the Mediterranean. Now these descendents are those who have faith in God’s promises even as Abraham did. Not just the physical descendents but all those who have the faith of Abraham become his descendents. The righteousness of faith is that which receives that which is promised.
If you could inherit the world by obeying the Law then faith is worthless and the promise has no power. Paul makes it clear here, the Law brings God’s anger on us. Later he would say God gave the Law to increase trespasses so sin could be utterly sinful. But the promise of God has the power to do what he promises. The promise of God renews, resurrects, give faith and makes alive that which is dead, including our souls and spirits.
The promise of God creates faith in us so that by that faith that we may receive what is promised by grace. Grace, God’s undeserved favor, kindness, mercy, love and forgiveness, is why God promises and why he fulfills his promise. When God makes a promise it is sure and certain. The promise is by faith so we can we sure, both to those who lived under the Law (Jews) and those who believed without the Law (Gentiles) as Abraham did. Therefore St. Paul says, “He is the father of us all.” For the LORD had promised Abraham, “I have made you a father of many nations.” A man who was as good as dead with a wife whose womb was dead the LORD makes a promise of a descendent, many descendents and being the father of all who would place their faith in his seed, Jesus Christ the LORD.
“Abraham believed God makes the dead live and calls into being that which doesn’t exist.” Yes he made dead Abraham and the dead womb of Sarah live. Even as the LORD created all that exist out of nothing, he makes the seed of Abraham in the womb of Sarah a child. He makes the seed of Mary a child. He believed God could raise the dead as he offered up Isaac. (Heb. 11) He takes we who are foolish, weak, enemies of God, the ungodly, sinners, those who are nothing in the world and by the promise of salvation and victory through Jesus Christ he makes children for Abraham out of us dead stones and makes us heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ of the new heavens and new earth, heirs of God’s kingdom. We receive the resurrection from the dead into everlasting life through the promise which is received by the faith created by the power of that very promise. So it only by grace and not by anything we did or anything we avoided doing.
Almighty God and Father, continually give us your promise that faith may be created in us and sustained that we may be children of Abraham. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.