Tuesday, 9 April 2013
For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, Romans 4:14
Today’s statement is so obvious and yet so powerful that it should be posted as a banner at the doorway to houses of worship around the world. “For” is used here as if to say “indeed” or “surely.” It is stressing the truth of what is coming. “For if those who are of the law are heirs…”
The first thing to note is that there is no definite article before “law” in the Greek. “For if those who are of law are heirs…” Whatever law, natural or Mosaic, is hinted at. If someone who is living under law is an heir of Abraham, then the very thing that caused Abraham to be declared righteous, which is faith, “is made void and the promise made of no effect.
The promise would then be made inoperative; it could never be fulfilled. Grace which is sought for by work isn’t grace. Anything beyond faith is a work and therefore grace could never be bestowed upon a person who is seeking righteousness by the law. So, if a person is an heir who is doing works of the law, then faith is made void.
The importance of this is immense because both Jews living under the law, and Christians who mandate any given aspect of the law (such as “no pork” or “be circumcised”) are in essence saying that God’s promise to Abraham is of no effect. They are basically hinting that the entire premise of the Bible is faulty.
God’s word, which states that we are saved by grace through faith, is either true or it is false. If it is true, then attempting to obtain grace in any other way can only lead to not receiving the grace at all.
Life application: Stand on the biblical truth that grace is grace. It is unmerited favor bestowed upon us by simply believing that God has it all under control and has accomplished the work for us through Jesus. Don’t add to this, lest you be found to have fallen short of His immeasurable gift.
Heavenly Father, what could I add to the grace You have granted me through the cross of Jesus? I receive what You did and I stand on the merits of the Lord and not on my own supposed righteousness. I have faith that His work will carry me through to be received into Your holy temple. Thank You for this surety. Amen.