For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.
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.
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone,
but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,
who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Two things come to mind from this reading. One, the sacrifice was eaten; those who brought a sacrifice for their sins believed they would receive forgiveness. They took part in the giving of the sacrifice from their own substance and also, in the eating of the sacrifice. Jesus said unless you eat my body and drink my blood; he was our sacrifice, given to us and for us not by us. Given for the forgiveness of sin and we are to participate by receiving and remembering – one way through holy communion receiving the blood and body of Christ. Two, none of this is possible without faith. Abraham believed God. He received because he believed. He set the example for us. He believed though he could not see the reality of it. That faith was credited to him and what couldn’t be in reality became reality. With the same faith we receive the promise of redemption when we receive the Christ.