What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about -- but not before God.
Thoughts for Today:
Here are two questions to consider which will help us understand what Abraham "discovered in this matter":
1. When Abram [later name changed to Abraham] left Ur of the Chaldeans, did God declare him righteous? Answer: No.
2. When Abraham took his son Isaac to Mount Moriah in order to sacrifice him, did God declare him righteous? Answer: No.
Abraham was only declared righteous when he believed God (Genesis 15:6: "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.")
So when is a man saved? Is it when he is obedient to God? What about when he dutifully sacrifices something important for God? No, the Bible tells us it is only when we believe what God has said that we are saved. When we simply say to the Lord: "I believe in you -- I believe what you said is true -- and I believe Jesus died for my sin." It is only by belief, not works, that we are forgiven (justified and declared righteous).
Questions to Ponder:
Abraham discovered he was not justified by works (so he couldn't brag). He was declared righteous because he believed what God said. Righteousness does not come from our obedience or sacrifice -- it comes through belief.
What has God said to you through His Word that you struggle to believe ?