There is a blindness on the people of this world that causes them not to see the truth of God. They demand proof that can be seen and measured scientifically before they will accept the truth of any matter. They say that “Seeing is believing.” But in Christ we learn the opposite is true, as Paul wrote in these verses, for we walk by faith, not by sight.
The truth of God and His ways cannot be approached from a physical point of view. God is spirit and so we must approach Him and His kingdom through the spirit. You cannot see or measure the things of the spirit because they are not physical. So physical measures do not work.
“Seeing is believing” will not work for the things of the spirit. And even though there are many things that can be seen, the blindness of the people of the world who are unbelievers refuse to see and accept that these things are from God. They reject the spirit because they reject anything they do not and cannot understand.
There are a few scriptures in the bible that are so well known that many people, even non-Christians know them or recognise them when they hear them. For example, John 3:16 or Psalm 23. And this verse too is another of those that are well known, especially among Christians.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Geometrically speaking, the strongest design that can be made is a triangle. And triangles are used to strengthen many building structures so they do not break or fall. Likewise when someone is trying to be located, authorities will triangulate their position to pinpoint exactly where they might be.
So too this triangle of faith, hope and love is powerful and strong, and in this triangle also the way to Christ and the way of God is located.
The gospel of the good news of Jesus Christ is not a complex, complicated, convoluted message. It is a simple gospel designed by God to be easily understood by anyone and everyone.
It is men who seek to lord it over others and it is the devil who seeks to confuse those who would seek Jesus Christ that make it seem complex.
Complexity was never God's intention nor is it His way to make it hard for us to understand His will. His will is for all mankind to come to a knowledge of the truth in Jesus Christ so that He can save all mankind. Unfortunately not all will come and seek Him out and so many will be lost. But that is not the fault of God due to any complexities in the gospel. It is the fault of those who choose to reject God and reject the simplicity of the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Paul begins this section with statements about the foolishness of what we as Christians believe. He talks about it as the foolishness of God and the folly of the word of the gospel and the death of Jesus Christ. He makes the point that to the rest of the world, what we believe does appear to be foolishness and folly.
And let's face it, who amongst Christians has not been called a fool and had our beliefs scoffed at or scorned by non-believers as foolishness? I am sure that we have all been through such attacks, and if not yet, it will happen at some time.
But Paul shows us here the difference between the thinking of men in this world and the thinking of God. For what a man perceives as folly and foolishness, God has accepted as the pathway to life. God established this pathway and these so-called “foolish beliefs” for a very definite reason, which is worth considering for a moment.
It is a fine line that we walk as Christians for we need to always be aware of what we hold to by faith. There are many things that people believe that have no basis in the bible, and many other things that are held as forms of Christianity that are based on twisted, wrong and even invented beliefs.
The challenge for all of us is to sift the truth from error and hold fast to what is good while we reject what is evil.
But in that process as we learn, there will be doubts. And doubts do us no good at all for doubt is what kills faith. Doubt is the antithesis of faith and while strength in the Lord is based upon faith, doubt brings weakness, destruction and death.
Do you want to be stronger in your faith? Do you want to stand in the faith with the strength that Abraham had when he was prepared to sacrifice his son and heir but fully convinced that God would provide a solution when he was tested?
The faith that we Christians hold as we come to Christ and grow and mature in Him is not a blind faith. The gifts and revelations we receive from God as we walk in His ways with Christ Jesus are given by grace but we must learn how to use His gifts to serve Him and to grow ourselves.
God’s will for His people is that they mature and be strong in the faith. There is much to learn as we walk with Jesus and much to believe as the mystery of the words of God written in the Bible He has given us is unravelled. All of this is thus boiled down to the pursuit of one thing.
Righteousness by faith is a very simple process. And it is not a new process because it existed even prior to Jesus coming. Parts of this section of scripture show the pre-existence of righteousness by faith even under the law for even then there was a requirement of faith.
More importantly though is that it was necessary, no, essential, that righteousness by faith be simple. The righteousness that would lead all mankind who chose to come to God had to be simple so that it would be accessible to all of mankind. That is why simplicity was the foremost element of this process.
One of the key differences between the old and the new covenants is the process and methods of righteousness. In these few verses we see this contrast described from the perspective of where the nation of Israel, and in particular the Jews went wrong.
The important point to note is this. There is salvation available to those who live under and by the law, but there is no righteousness.
Righteousness is only possible through the grace of God. In the new covenant this grace is given freely to all who seek God by Jesus Christ and who have faith, for the righteousness of God is given by faith alone. Continue reading “Righteousness By Faith”
There is no other way to come to God and be accepted by Him except on the grounds of faith. That is the focus of these few scriptures at the end of Romans 9.
In These few words we see the situation both in Jesus Christ and also before He came to the earth when the rule of law was in place.
I doubt anyone would disagree that the way to God in Jesus Christ is by faith, but faith also played a big part in the lives of those who lived under the law prior to Jesus Christ. Consider first all the men and women who lived before the law was given. There were some who were considered righteous, such as Abraham, Lot, Noah, Enoch and yet others were considered sinful and evil.
Why? And what was the change, if there was one, when the law came into being?
When Abraham walked the earth he lived a righteous life. He chose to follow the ways of God and he believed that God could do anything. He understood that when God was testing him by asking that he offer his son Isaac, through whom he had been told by God that his descendants would be named, Abraham knew that God could raise Isaac from the dead if needs be.
Abraham was defined by his faith. We are reminded in scripture in many places that Abraham was a man of great faith. Indeed his faith was so strong and his belief in God’s word that his faith was reckoned to him as righteousness and he was called the friend of God.
And God established Abraham in his faith for God had a plan. His plan was to enable all of mankind to come to Him through faith like Abraham so that everyone would be able to become children of God by faith, and so be children of faith.