It is called Grace

In a teaching context to the law-focused Romans on the divine perspective of faith justification using Abraham to illustrate, Paul has this to say about the great Patriarch:

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20-21)

Really?

Sorry, but the following does not sound like “not waver” or “being fully persuaded” to me:

  • His plot with Sara to lie and pass her off as his sister to the Pharaoh while in Egypt in an attempt to save his skin. (Genesis 12:10-20)
  • The plan concocted with Sara’s help to use their maidservant Hagar to conceive a child with Abraham as if God needed their help to work out his will. (Genesis 16)
  • A second lie in passing off Sara to Abimelech as his sister. (Genesis 20- Sara must have been some kind of ninety-year old looker!)

None of this sounds to me like Abraham was fully convinced that God had the power to deliver on his promise of a son. It appears to me that there were times when Abraham was fearful and doubting.

But he never quit. He never stopped going in God’s direction- even after his blunders. He was with God to the very end. This is why Paul could say of Abraham’s faith that “it was credited to him as righteousness” and how he could use him as a faith example for the ages.

As for those specific references about not wavering and being fully persuaded?

Well, this is the main point of this post.

It is called grace.

Through God’s grace-filled recollection of Abraham’s faith journey, those things vanish from the story. Grace accounted for them and removed them from the record.

I don’t know about you, but I am going to need the same type of grace-reckoning.

All prasies to the God of Abraham- and the God of grace!

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10 Responses to It is called Grace

  1. Danny says:

    God is gracious… he stuck with us; Jesus gracious? Look at the cross. The Holy Spirit? Well, he gives us ministries and fellowships we don’t deserve… and maybe (since this was written years after Abraham’s death) He causes people to remember us better than we deserve. Maybe God isn’t nearly as hung up on our ability to perform and get it right as He is the heart that wants to live with Him. I wonder sometimes (as I try to balance between being “soft” on people and making the right “demands”) maybe God is more outrageously gracious than I have yet to even fathom. [I try to balance that by remembering His love for things done right… righteousness and justice.]
    Do you think this may have to do with the magnitude of what Abraham was called to do… going from dity dweller to desert nomad? God seems to do this with Job (Job 42:7… you have not spoken rightly like Job has). Maybe the statement about Abraham is a gracious acknowledgement of a “Father” who understands.

    Danny

  2. God is gracious. He is MYSTERIOUS but he is gracious.

    Well, Danny, it is a done deal. I thought it might not happen but it did. I think you know what I am referring to.

    Praying Always,
    Bobby V

  3. Good post, Danny. You know, I never heard a sermon on grace that I can remember until I went to college at Harding. How much love and appreciation of HIs love for us we missed by not being taught about grace in our younger years!

  4. dannydodd says:

    I enjoyed talking with you today Bobby and I am always praying for you too.

    Good for Harding Tammie! Now let’s just make sure the generations younger than us do not miss out on this message.

  5. Jim says:

    Grace is overrated!

  6. J D says:

    I hope Jim is kidding.

  7. Jim says:

    Just quoting a critical elder from my past. I’m fully dependent on grace from GOD.

  8. SteveLavin says:

    With the passing of time I have come to believe God’s grace is more boundless than I can imagine. The scariest aspect of depending on God’s grace is that in some way each of us will determine its limits…as it applies specifically to us. (Matt: 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.) We, not God, are the weak link in depending on grace.

    My all time favorite verse: “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear…and grace my fears relieved.”

  9. Scottie says:

    I think grace is something that challenges all of us because we seldom offer it to others. If you look at the taditional definition of grace as “undeserved favor”, I think it is easy to understand why grace is underappreciated. How can we come to rely on something that we find it difficult to betstow on others?

    I find it hard to believe that God will bestow his grace on me–I mean really believe–to know deep in my gut when I am alone that I am forgiven. Why? Why do I have this trouble? I think it is because I tend to withold that favor or grace from others. I fin myself trying to earn God’s favor–maybe its because I unconciously require people to “earn” my trust when it is broken, to “earn” my forgiveness when I feel wronged.

    Let’s face it, we live in a place where forgiveness and grace at a human level is not plentiful. How can we expect our spiritual lives to truly understand what God is doing for us? Furthermore, we can cheapen grace by merely accepting it, without understanding what it means. Sins were not wiped away, and they were not merely forgotten. They were PUNISHED, their consequences were exacted on an innocent without us asking for that. i think we need to understand that without grace, we are truly lost, but we need to live with an attitude that tries to earn that love at the same time.

    I never post comments like this, but this has really been on my mind lately…

    thanks Danny…you make me think…

  10. dannydodd says:

    Welcome to the blog Scottie! Great thoughts.

    Scottie is a newer member here at Gateway and an incredible thinker himself. I hope he will be a regular contributor.

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