For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
Have you ever worked for somebody, known that you would get paid, but didn’t figure out beforehand how much you’d get paid? How did that work out?
One time a bunch of us in high school marching band heard a guy needed a few strong young men to help him load a moving truck. A few guys said he would pay, so we all went.
We all went.
So this guy, that probably needed 2 guys to help him load a bed and a desk, got the whole bass line, 5 trumpet players, 4 saxophone players, and a clarinetist.
We had that truck loaded in about 17 minutes.
Then our leader told us to all go wait by the car and he’d get the money. We half complied and stood back in awe as the man handed our buddy a single, wrinkled, $20 bill.
As we did the math, most of us realized we got about $1.35 for our hard work. We loaded into our cars, mad at the guy, mad at our friend, and went and bought some pizza or something.
I’m not sure what we expected. Did we really think that guy would give 15 boys $5 each? $10? He didn’t really invite us, but we sort of extorted our services upon him.
(Now that we are adults, most of those same guys help a move a lot more things for free!)
The trick is, that when you work for something, you build up expectations of what you are going to get. You build up expectations of what the payoff will be.
If people follow a religious law expecting God to pay them off at the end, they will be disappointed. The Righteous will Live by Faith is a statement of devotion and faith in God that it is HE that gives us life and breath and everything else. It is a truth that we are depending on God for our alrighteousness and our holiness, not our own good deeds.
Wherever there are rules, there are people breaking the rules. Rules typically are made after someone does something that we don’t want anyone else to do in the future. There is no rule against fishing inside a Starbucks, but you know they’ll post signs after the first lure spills a latte.
But where there is no law, and the goodness of God is given out on different criteria. Law no longer has an effect. The grace of God wins out over rules and holiness comes upon us as a free gift.
That is how Abraham became the heir of the world. The only ones that would live on, forever, are the ones who live on by faith in God who saves.
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