Rewarded according to our works? (part 6)

It still stands that we are rewarded according to our works but, Romans 4:13, “It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”

God promised Abraham he would inherit the world. That was his reward. And to get that reward Abraham had to be righteous. But there wasn’t a law, or set of laws, or a system of rules, rituals and religious duties in the Bible or anywhere else that would give Abraham the righteousness he needed. That righteousness could only come by faith.

Paul explains how this works. God made this amazing promise to Abraham, that one day the whole world would belong to him and his offspring. But Abraham didn’t have any offspring! He and his wife were way beyond their child-bearing years so the chances of having any kids by natural means were zero. But, verses 20-21, Abraham “did not waver through unbelief…being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” And because he didn’t waver it was “credited to him as righteousness,” verse 22. All the righteousness Abraham needed to receive his reward was placed in his account, payment in full, and all he did for it was simply believe in God’s power to pull off what he promised.

This is how it worked for Abraham, and this is how it works for us too, because we’re now Abraham’s offspring and therefore heirs to the same promise God gave him (verses 16-17). What applied to Abraham applies equally to us – which is exactly what Paul says in verses 23-24 – “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone but also for us.” All the righteousness we would ever need to receive our reward is placed in our account, payment in full, too. When? When we too believe what God promised. And what did God promise? Verse 25, that Jesus “was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

You mean there’s nothing we do for our eternal reward because it’s all been done for us by Jesus? That’s what Paul is saying. But to ask “How can that be?” would be the same as Abraham asking “How can I have kids when I’m a hundred years old?” It all comes down to belief. God’s promise to us seems as impossible as the promise made to Abraham but “God calls things that are not as though they were,” verse 17. God can pull anything out of a hat. And because Abraham believed that, he was given the righteousness he needed for eternity. So are we…(continued in Part 7).

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