So many times I have heard pastors and others say, read your Bible daily, make sure you go to church often. I know people who get up very early in the morning to do their devotionals or have certain routines in their daily walk. Before you misunderstand me, I agree that we as believers should be in the word and study it. I also believe that we need to be in fellowship with one another to sharpen and encourage each other. Prov 27:17.
The reason I’m writing this is because I was thinking about Father Abraham.
The Bible teaches that we as believers in Jesus Christ are sons and daughters of Abraham. “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” Gal 3:7.
That made me think, most of us have more than one Bible, we read and study it and we go to church. We have home fellowships and study groups, conferences, conventions etc. We are on the social networks sharing our faith with others and so on. These are all good things and we should and need to share our faith with others that may not yet know the Lord. On the other hand there are many that claim to be Christians that go to church on Sundays, listen to the sermon, give an offering and think they’ve done their duty.
Is that’s what it takes to be a Christian? What about Abraham whose name was Abram when he was called by God to leave his country of Ur and to go to a place God would show him? Abram was a gentile i.e non-Jewish when he was called and through him and his son Isaac the nation of Israel came into existence. Abraham was before the law that came 430 years later through Moses. Abraham did not have the law, the Bible, a church to attend or any of the things that we enjoy today. Yet God declared Abraham justified and righteous.
What was is that made Abraham righteous before God? Was it his works or a weekly routine? Did Abraham do any of those things that get emphasize in the churches today and people feel obligated to do them, thinking that otherwise they are not alright before God?
There are many that feel condemned if they don’t read the Bible for a few days or miss church a few times. Is that what God requires of the believers? I don’t think so.
Now again, don’t get me wrong, as believers we should know the scripture and they should be on the heart of every true believer just as King David said: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11.
As I mentioned before, Abraham did not have the scriptures as we know them today. He did not know the written law, but God declared him righteous. Abraham was declared righteous because he of his faith and he believed God and His word. “And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Gen 15:6.
Abraham believed God and His promises. It was faith and faith alone and not his works that gave Abraham a righteous position before God. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” Rom 4:2.
Just as the Galatians did in the days of the apostle Paul, so many people today think that they are justified because of their works. That is contrary to what the word of God teaches.
“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Gal 3:2, 3.
Believers in Christ Jesus are justified and declared righteous before God because of their faith in the finished work of Jesus on the cross through His blood. He has done it all for us and there is nothing that anyone can do to improve on that by works. It is by faith alone. Believers are saved by His grace through faith. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph 2:, 9.
Just as Father Abraham believed God, so must we come to Him by faith. The law, works, the physical church or certain denominations cannot save a person, neither can a pastor or anybody else. It is by believing in Jesus Christ that saves a person.
The thief on the cross had a change of mind/repentance in the last moments of his life, no works to speak of, yet Jesus told him that he would be in Paradise with Him. It was faith that saved the thief. And so it is with every believer, we can read the Bible over and over again, attend church 5 times a week, but the only thing that truly saves is faith.
Please don’t stop reading and studying your Bible or stop going to church, that’s not what I am trying to say. I have met so many people in person and online that think that they are obligated to do certain things in order to be alright with God. The only way to be alright before God is to believe.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.