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Why Was Abraham Justified Before God?


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#1 Guest_The Deacon_*

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 11:31 AM

What was it about Abraham that justified him before God? Was there something special about him that God liked? Was he a 'good' man?

#2 Ray Martinez

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Posted 16 April 2005 - 07:21 PM

What was it about Abraham that justified him before God?

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His faith in a promise of God.

When and as Abraham did the above - God credited him righteousness.

IOW, faith = righteousness = Abrahamic covenant.

RM

#3 Geezer

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 09:52 AM

Has this concept been done away with since the coming of the NT?

#4 Guest_The Deacon_*

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 12:26 PM

Has this concept been done away with since the coming of the NT?

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Certainly not! Faith is at the very heart of the Gospel since God will accept nothing else in it's place.

A few references for you:

Romans 4:1-5, What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Rom 4:8-17, Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Galatians 3:5-14, He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Paul goes on to say: (Read about who Paul was in Acts)


Galatians 3:15-29, Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

James 2:23, And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

#5 Ray Martinez

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 04:18 PM

Hi Deacon:

Would you agree that the Abrahamic Covenant IS the gospel/New Covenant ?

RM

#6 Guest_The Deacon_*

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Posted 18 April 2005 - 04:26 PM

Pretty much, Ray. The only difference is that now we personally know Who the object of our faith is.

#7 Geezer

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 11:01 AM

OK, so is the Abrahamic covenant still in effect with regards to Jews?

#8 Guest_The Deacon_*

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 08:06 PM

OK, so is the Abrahamic covenant still in effect with regards to Jews?

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I hate to have to say so, but the answer is no. The Abrahamic covenant does not apply to all Jews, just as it does not apply to all gentiles. He who is not under grace is still bound by every jot and tittle of the law, to keep it fully.

As quoted above: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

It is because of faith (belief) in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Godhead, fully God and fully man, The lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, that men are justified. One must not say "I believe God", if at the same time he rejects His Son. From Genesis to Malachi Jesus is everywhere in the Scriptures. Perhaps the clearest and best portrait of Him is found in Isaiah 53. To reject the One shown there is to reject the Father who sent Him.

#9 Fred Williams

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Posted 19 April 2005 - 09:17 PM

And of course this noted passage in Acts, which is Peter's response to the unbelieving high priests and elders after the apostles had healed someone:

And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power or by what name have you done this?" Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the 'stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.' Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:7-12

I realize this is an offensive claim, but it would be irresponsible of Christians to not share this. Unfortunately many don’t bother to point this out to even their closest friends.

Fred

#10 Guest_The Deacon_*

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Posted 20 April 2005 - 10:44 AM

I realize this is an offensive claim, but it would be irresponsible of Christians to not share this. Unfortunately many don’t bother to point this out to even their closest friends.

Never truer words were spoken. We, as mere men, ofttimes hesitate to preach the eternal Gospel of grace to our friends and family for fear, perhaps, of rejection. We fail to consider the Word of the cross as of more importance than our relationships. And that Word is indeed an offense, just as the Scriptures say. Here are a few of them:

Isaiah 8:14, "And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. " {In the sense that God Himself is a stone of stumbling to flesh and blood.}

Romans 9:31-33, "but Israel, following after a law of righteousness, did not arrive at that law. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by works. They stumbled at the stone of stumbling; even as it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame."

1 Peter 2:6-8, "Because it is contained in scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him shall not be put to shame. For you therefore that believe is the preciousness: but for such as disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner; and, A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; for they stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed."[b] {This, by the way, is conclusive for soverign election.}

And, as though it needed re-inforcement, Jesus said in Luke 7:23, [b]"And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me."


#11 Christopher_John

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 10:21 AM

OK, so is the Abrahamic covenant still in effect with regards to Jews?

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Yes, this is an interesting read, I didn't write it, but it does make the Abrahamic covenant quite clear.

The Abrahamic Covenant is an unconditional covenant. God made promises to Abraham that required nothing of Abraham. Genesis 15:18-21 describes a part of the Abrahamic Covenant, specifically dealing with the dimensions of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants.

The actual Abrahamic Covenant is found in Genesis 12:1-3. The ceremony recorded in Genesis 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant. The only time that both parties of a covenant would pass between the pieces of animals was when the fulfillment of the covenant was dependent upon both parties keeping commitments. Concerning the significance of God alone moving between the halves of the animals, it is to be noted that it is a smoking furnace and a flaming torch, representing God, not Abraham, which passed between the pieces. Such an act, it would seem should be shared by both parties, but in this case it is doubtless to be explained by the fact that the covenant is principally a promise by God. He is the one who binds Himself. God caused a sleep to fall upon Abraham so that he would not be able to pass between the two halves of the animals. Fulfillment of the covenant fell to God alone.

God determined to call out a special people for Himself through whom He would bring blessing to all the nations. The Abrahamic Covenant is paramount to a proper understanding of the kingdom concept and is foundational to Old Testament theology. (1) The Abrahamic Covenant is described in Genesis 12:1–3 and is an unconditional covenant. There are no conditions attached to it (no “if” clauses, suggesting its fulfillment is dependent on man). (2) It is also a literal covenant in which the promises should be understood literally. The land that is promised should be understood in its literal or normal interpretation—it is not a figure of heaven. (3) It is also an everlasting covenant. The promises that God made to Israel are eternal.

There are three main features to the Abrahamic Covenant. 1. The promise of land (Genesis 12:1). God called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees to a land that He would give him (Genesis 12:1). This promise is reiterated in Genesis 13:14–18 where it is confirmed by a shoe covenant; its dimensions are given in Genesis 15:18–21 (precluding any notion of this being fulfilled in heaven). The land aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant is also expanded in Deuteronomy 30:1–10, which is the Palestinian Covenant.

2. The promise of descendants (Genesis 12:2). God promised Abraham that He would make a great nation out of him. Abraham, who was 75 years old and childless (Genesis 12:4), was promised many descendants. This promise is amplified in Genesis 17:6 where God promised that nations and kings would descend from the aged patriarch. This promise (which is expanded in the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7:12–16) would eventuate in the Davidic throne with Messiah’s kingdom rule over the Hebrew people.

3. The promise of blessing and redemption (Genesis 12:3). God promised to bless Abraham and the families of the earth through him. This promise is amplified in the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31–34; cf. Hebrews 8:6–13) and has to do with “Israel’s spiritual blessing and redemption.” Jeremiah 31:34 anticipates the forgiveness of sin. The unconditional and eternal nature of the covenant is seen in that the covenant is reaffirmed to Isaac (Genesis 21:12; 26:3–4). The “I will” promises suggest the unconditional aspect of the covenant. The covenant is further confirmed to Jacob (Genesis 28:14–15). It is noteworthy that God reaffirmed these promises amid the sins of the patriarchs, which fact further emphasizes the unconditional nature of the Abrahamic Covenant.

God’s method of fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant is literal, inasmuch as God partially fulfilled the covenant in history: God blessed Abraham by giving him the land (Genesis 13:14–17); God blessed him spiritually (Genesis 13:8, 18; 14:22, 23; 21:22); God gave him numerous descendants (Genesis 22:17; 49:3–28). The important element of the Abrahamic Covenant, however, demands a future fulfillment with Messiah’s kingdom rule. (1) Israel as a nation will possess the land in the future. Numerous Old Testament passages anticipate the future blessing of Israel and her possession of the land as promised to Abraham. Ezekiel envisions a future day when Israel is restored to the land (Ezekiel 20:33–37, 40–42; 36:1–37:28). (2) Israel as a nation will be converted, forgiven, and restored (Romans 11:25–27). (3) Israel will repent and receive the forgiveness of God in the future (Zechariah 12:10–14). The Abrahamic Covenant finds its ultimate fulfillment in connection with the return of Messiah to rescue and bless His people Israel. It is through the nation Israel that God promised in Genesis 12:1–3 to bless the nations of the world. That ultimate blessing will issue in the forgiveness of sins and Messiah’s glorious kingdom reign on earth.
Recommended Resource:  The Moody Handbook of Theology by Paul Enns.

Please note - a good portion of the content in this article was adapted from  "The Moody Handbook of Theology" by Paul Enns and "There Really is a Difference" by Renald Showers.




CJ

#12 de_skudd

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 09:20 AM

I realize this is an offensive claim, but it would be irresponsible of Christians to not share this. Unfortunately many don’t bother to point this out to even their closest friends.

Fred

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It's only offensive to those who don't accept the truth of it. Dr. Phil Fernandez so aptly stated “If I have a problem with scripture, it’s my problem not God’s”.

#13 the totton linnet

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 12:42 PM

Yes, this is an interesting read, I didn't write it, but it does make the Abrahamic covenant quite clear. 

CJ

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*
So more properly the answer is yes and no [only a Brit can speak yes and no in unequivicoble terms-it's what made Britain great] The blessing is still in full effect conditional upon the same faith that Father Abraham had, is it possible for the Jews at the present time to have this faith? I would say no, because before Abraham could believe God he first had to know God, God called Abraham long years before the promise was given and believed. The original question asks why Abraham? well predestination and election aside Abraham observed the blood atonement sacrifice. Without shedding of blood is no forgiveness. Do the Jewish people today observe blood atonement? as a nation or in their communities or as individuals? so there is no approach to God. As was pointed out when Messiah Jesus comes [2nd time] Israel will "look upon Him who they have pierced and mourn for Him as for a firstborn son." Glory hallelujah Israel will be born again.
Of course many dear Jewish people have found this personal faith in God through Messiah Jesus, praise His name, that was always God intention when He dispersed them throughout the world, sending them to all the places where the gospel would go.




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