ABRAHAM WAS RIGHT WITH GOD = RIGHTEOUS (BUT JOB TRUSTED IN HIS OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS)
The history and life of Abraham is of great significance to all Believers. He was truly Righteous, i.e. in right standing with God. If we grasp the truths taught by Abraham’s life we will be blessed by coming into a deeper understanding of what God considers to be true Righteousness and how this state comes about. An understanding of Righteousness is critical to your maturity as a Believer Heb_5:13 Without true Righteousness we cannot receive the empowering and blessings God has for us. In fact without true Righteousness we will battle in our walk as a Christian.
ABRAHAM IS OUR SPIRITUAL FATHER
Abraham was the founding father of a great a spiritual nation i.e. All Believers who are Righteous and saved through faith Gal_3:7. This includes both Jews and Gentiles who choose salvation by grace through faithEph_2:8. The New Covenant is clear that all those who are “Born Again” are spiritual children of Abraham. The key to his life is that Abraham’s great blessings, promises and Righteousness were received only through faith Rom_4:1-3. He was the first example of the man of faith, who was properly Righteous in God’s eyes. It is vitally important for us as Believers to look carefully at Abraham: what he believed, how God responded to him and how he was blessed? This will help us to understand the way God relates, saves and blesses those who are Righteous by faith.
RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE KEY ISSUE OF LIFE AND OUR FAITH Gen_3:1-24 The Serpent said: “For God knows that when you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Righteousness by dead works or by faith??? Without true Godly Righteousness and perfection no one can ever come to God, no one can ever be saved. The Scriptures deal with this core issue of human existence, “What is it that makes us right with God and leads to godly immortality?” At the fall, Adam and Eve choose to seek perfection, righteousness and immortality independently from God by doing good and avoiding evil. They were deceived into believing that they could become as gods through good and bad (works). However, the root message of Abraham life is that “Righteousness” (True Right Standing with God) is a gift from God that is by Grace through Faith” Abraham knew that true Righteousness could not be obtained through dead works based on knowing and doing what is either good or bad.
ABRAHAM WAS RIGHT WITH GOD Rom_4:3-9 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” ….5 the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. The Righteousness that is acceptable to God and has nothing to do with our good or bad works, our sinlessness or sinfulness. It is based solely on our trust and belief in God’s goodness and plan of salvation (which is Jesus). This is the critical truth that all Christian life must be founded upon if we are to experience a right relationship with our heavenly Father. All the promises of God only come about based on God given Righteousness that is received purely by faith. Abraham understood this truth, he was tight with God and he was blessed in every way. Abraham trusted God and God revealed himself to Abraham. Abraham was given the revelation that salvation is through the gift of Righteousness that comes only through Grace by the faith of Jesus. Abraham did not trust in his own righteousness, good works or sinlessness as he understood they could never make him perfect enough for God. Abraham trusted solely in God’s goodness and God’s free gift of the Saviour’s Righteousness that was imputed to him purely by faith. So how did this revelation come about? What was it that caused Abraham to be so radically different. There was a foundational event in Abraham’s life that lead him into truth, completely changed him and through him, changed history…..
ABRAHAM MET THE KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS & PEACE, FACE TO FACE! Gen_14:17-23 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. Abraham did not just hear about God but encountered Him face to face. Abraham met with a King called Melchizedek…. well so what, you may ask! Although not a lot is said about this encounter it is one of the most significant events in the Old Testament. Many seemingly small and insignificant events recorded in scriptures prove to be amazingly significant spiritually. This brief but amazing encounter was the foundation of Abraham’s faith and Righteousness. In Genesis there is no historical explanation of who this King Melchizedek was, where he came from or where he actually ruled. However we know that the Old Testament always has shadows or types of Christ Joh_5:39. The Old Testament is actually all about Jesus Luk_24:27 and God’s plan of salvation through Him – if we are prepared to look carefully with spiritual eyes we can see this. As the saying goes, “The Old Testament is Christ concealed, the New Testament is Christ revealed”. This is the way to read all scriptures- always look for Jesus and the cross hidden in symbols and types. We can see these truths about Jesus in Abraham’s encounter with a King who was unknown and only mentioned once in the Old Testament. Through this encounter the gospel of salvation by Grace, was revealed to Abraham. The Book of Hebrews sheds light on this most important encounter….
ABRAHAM’S ENCOUNTER WAS WITH JESUS Heb_7:1-3 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. 4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! This Melchizedek was not just a type of Jesus but he was Jesus himself. This may be hard for us to get our heads around, but this Priest/ Messiah King was Jesus in everything but name. This event is the clearest and boldest revelation of the physical Christ found anywhere in the Old Testament. This physical King, Melchizedek, had no beginning or end (Heb.7:3)…. only Jesus exists in this way, no other. Only Jesus can be called “The King of Righteousness” and “The King of Peace”, no other can take this role or title. This Melchizedek was a Priest of the most High God, he was not an earthly priest, he was the heavenly priest, Jesus, described in the Book of Hebrews. This was an pre-incarnation appearance of Jesus, the High Priest of the heavenly Jerusalem Heb_12:22 . Jesus, who is not constrained by time, miraculously appeared to Abraham and shared the gospel with him. For Abraham, his personal encounter with his saviour was a “today, now event” Abraham had a personal salvation encounter with Christ, even though Christ never revealed His name. Abraham’s faith was in God’s goodness and love that was still to be fully revealed in a future event; The cross of Jesus. Similarly, our faith is in God’s goodness and love that has been revealed in a past event, The same cross of Jesus! We look backwards to the cross of Jesus and have faith. Abraham looked forward to the cross and had faith.
ABRAHAM HAD INTIMATE COMMUNION WITH HIS SAVIOUR Gen_14:17-23 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (or in plain language: The King of Righteousness and Peace shared bread and wine with Abraham). So how did Jesus reveal the plan of salvation to Abraham? It was through communion!Luk_22:17-20. Although Jesus did not reveal His name to Abraham, He did reveal God’s plan of salvation. The gospel was announced to Abraham before the cross Gal_3:8. Communion is an extremely important and spiritually significant act, an act which most of us under estimate 1Co_11:23-29 Jesus as Melchizedek, revealed God’s salvation plan to Abraham by having communion with Abraham right there on the road. He took bread and wine and shared it with Abraham - “This is My Body and this is My Blood. The New Covenant will come. Have faith Abraham!” Abraham was given spiritual revelation of salvation as he ate the bread and wine…. his spiritual eyes were opened. Jesus also showed Abraham the fruit of pure Grace by blessing him. Because of the grace shown and the gospel revealed to him, Abraham freely submitted to this King (Jesus). In those days a king would demand a tenth from his subjects as a sign of their submission. Jesus demanded nothing from Abraham but Abraham willingly and submitted to the King. That’s why Abraham was saved, because he had saw God face to face, heard the good news and this resulted in believing faith. By the way, the Emmaus Road experience of some of the disciples was similar to Abraham’s, Jesus revealed Himself to them in the breaking of the bread. Luk_24:30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
WE ARE RIGHTEOUS LIKE ABRAHAM Rom_3:21-24 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. You ARE Righteous! The importance of Abraham’s life to us who believe, is that we are Righteous the same way he was. The Righteousness of a Believer is by faith in Jesus’ finished work on the cross. This is the only Righteousness that is acceptable to God. We do not obtain or maintain Righteousness by doing good works and avoiding bad or evil. We reject way of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil Gen_2:17. We repent (i.e. change our minds) concerning Adam’s decision of using the knowledge of good and bad to obtain heavenly perfection and godliness Gen_3:5. We do good works because we are saved and loved by God not to get saved nor to maintain God’s love. When we understand we are Righteous we are able to receive from God, we feel worthy to be blessed. When Satan tells us we are no good and separated from God, our (Jesus) Righteousness tells us otherwise…. it’s good news.
THE ERROR SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS Rom_9:31-33 Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. One of the errors revealed throughout the Old testament is that many of God’s people thought that being good and avoid ding sin made them right with God. They believed that right standing with God could come about through their SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS. This self righteousness was based on the fallen notion that God accepts us based on our good and bad deeds – called dead works in the New Testament. But God hates self righteousness because the spirit behind it is one of pride and independence from God. God will allow the righteousness of the SELF Righteous to be tested and to be proven to be short of His perfection. God’s longing is for all to simply call on him for Righteousness that is given through His son Jesus. It is crucial for us to be established in true righteousness if we are to experience the fullness of the kingdom and God’s blessings. The mark of a mature believer is that they understand these truth on righteousness!Heb_5:12-13 If you are self righteous you are headed for trouble for God hates self righteousness…..
JOB AND THE SUFFERING OF THE SELF RIGHTEOUS Job_32:-2 These three men stopped answering Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. 2 But Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became very angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. In contrast to Abraham who was justified (just as if he never sinned) and righteous by faith, the Scriptures tell of another man of God who relied on his Self Righteousness. This man was called Job. His name means hated! Hum I wonder why? We all know Job was a upright and perfect man Job_1:1 who suffered greatly because God invited Satan to test him Job_1:8 … yeah I know it’s scary,…this is not good news when interpreted in the traditional way! However if we start to look at Job in a correct way we will see that it is actually good news, because the issue of Job is not that God gives and takes away, willy nilly, but that God hates self righteousness. Job is the exact opposite of Abraham. Job had heard about God but never saw Him, Job’s relationship with God was distant, fear based and works driven. Job suffered because he trusted in his own righteousness, Abraham received one blessing after the other because he trusted in a righteousness that was by faith.
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