Friday, 19 April 2013
…but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,… Romans 4:24
“But also for us” is tied to the previous verse which explained Genesis 15:6. Abraham simply believed God’s promise and it was accounted to him for righteousness. This written account of that declaration, according to Paul, “was not written for his sake alone.” In other words, what the Bible records about Abraham serves a another purpose which is that we too enter into the same state of righteousness.
And how will it occur? “It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” We learn that our justification before God comes to us by an act of faith, just as it did with Abraham. The record of Abraham’s reckoning has been given to show us that the same thing will occur to us in the same way. The only difference between what occurred in Abraham and what will occur when we believe is the difference in what is known.
Abraham was given a promise and without wavering he believed. We have been given the account of Jesus and we are asked to believe it. This is the good news and it is the foundation of our faith. There are two things to note about it. First, Paul calls Jesus “Lord” and secondly he notes that He has been raised from the dead. He will call these to mind again in chapter 10 –
“….that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (verse 9).
After this, he will explain how this process works – “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (verse 10).
The pattern is set in the Old Testament and it continues and is confirmed in the New – there is only one way to be saved and works are excluded from the process. It is by faith, and faith alone that God bestows righteousness. We are to have faith that “Jesus is Lord.” This means that He is the divine Son of God – fully God and fully Man. And we are to have faith that God raised Him from the dead; He has fulfilled the law on our behalf.
Life application: What does your denomination require of you? Do they say you can’t eat pork? Do they say you must observe a Sabbath? Is there some other work that they tell you is necessary for you to prove you are saved? If so, it is time for you to find another place of worship. The Bible is clear, but we misunderstand. Call on Jesus as Lord, believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved. Nothing else is required. Now, go share this good news.
Lord God, thank You for the simplicity of the gospel. Help me to never add to the message that I am saved by grace through faith and that this is a gift. Reassure me as needed that a gift from You is an eternal bestowing of Your righteousness. When I fall short and sin, remind me that nothing can ever separate me from Your love again; that I am eternally saved through Jesus. Amen.