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Our Father in Heaven

INTRODUCTION: The phrase "our Father" is commonly associated with the "Lord's prayer" and that phrase may often be used to open general prayers by those of many church denominations. There are some passages from the Bible that should be helpful for us to examine ourselves to see if we are really children of God, who can justifiably use that phrase to honor our Father in heaven. All those throughout history, who have been born from above to eternal life, have the LORD God as their everlasting father. But that is not simply by being born into a certain family line, such as the children of Israel, or by having a parent who has them self become a child of God by grace through faith.

It also does not happen by becoming the member of any church. Those who have truly become children of God, should also exhibit characteristics distinctive of the members of that "second birth" family. Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob each responded to the Word of God by faith and were accepted by God. Scripture tells us that there are those who will be rejected by our Creator God. Every individual must respond to the Word of God, to become a child of God, and an heir of the righteousness which is by faith. Using "our Father" to open a prayer can very easily be done by those who do not truly have a personal relationship with God the Father through Christ Jesus the Son. This study will concentrate mainly on the Old Testament saints, with some selected New Testament scripture closely related to the Old Testament passages.

NOTE: Bible passages are from the 1901 American Standard Version of the Bible (ASV).

A - God created man and placed a continual choice before him

Genesis 1:27 "And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

Genesis 2:7 "And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Genesis 2:16-17 "16 And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

Genesis 3:1-6 "1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of any tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, Of the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat: 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat."

Genesis 3:17-20 "17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. 20 And the man called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living."

Genesis 4:1-7 "1 And the man knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man with [the help of] Jehovah. 2 And again she bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah. 4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. 6 And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shall it not be lifted up? and if thou doest not well, sin coucheth at the door; and unto thee shall be its desire; but do thou rule over it."

Hebrews 11:4 "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh."

Genesis 4:25-26 "25 And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For, [said she], God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel; for Cain slew him. 26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enosh. Then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah."

Genesis 5:1-2 "1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 male and female created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created."

Genesis 5:22-24 "22 and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."

Hebrews 11:5-6 "5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God translated him: for he hath had witness borne to him that before his translation he had been well-pleasing unto God: 6 And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing [unto him]; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that seek after him."

COMMENTS: From the creation of mankind in physical bodies and in living souls and in the likeness (image) of God, when God called the man and woman Adam [Genesis 5:1] as the representative of all mankind, God provided boundless blessings accompanied by a commandment complete with explicit consequences if not followed. When the commandment was broken, the consequences came into effect for all future generations. but the LORD provided a way of escape of the sentence of death to the living soul that man had received by the breath of life from God. The subsequent generations of mankind began with the first born son from the mother of all living.

Cain and Abel were both direct offspring of Adam and Eve, but only Abel followed after God, while Cain rebelled even so much as to murder his own brother. Hebrews 11:4 records the scriptural point of view of the distinction between them, with Abel clearly having the superior outcome. . Though Abel died with no recorded offspring, when Adam was 130 years old, God provided Seth through Adam and Eve to carry a line of ancestry eventually down to the Lord Christ Jesus. With the first generation of Seth's descendents, the scripture tells us that men began to call upon the name of the LORD, indicating some general spread of the gospel. Enoch, six generations after Adam, had such a heart for the LORD, that he became the first recorded man to be translated, without death, into God's eternal kingdom. the full understanding of that event is made more clear for us by the commentary in Hebrews 11:5-6.

But by the time of Noah, who was the great grandson of Enoch, so many of the people descended from the multiple family lines through Cain and Seth were in rebellion against the LORD, that only Noah and his immediate family survived the judgment of the global flood. In the next section of this study, Hebrews once again relates the application of God's grace through faith, in this cataclysmic event. The eight surviving people in the ark represent the ancestry of all who have lived since that time. For every individual in all succeeding generations after the global flood, obedience by faith in the Word of God has been the only way to receive God's grace.

B - The line of God's grace continued through Noah, leading to the promise to Abraham

Genesis 6:5-8 "And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah."

Hebrews 11:7 "By faith Noah, being warned [of God] concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; through which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith."

Genesis 12:1-3 "1 Now Jehovah said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee: 2 and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing: 3 and I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 16:1-4 "1 Now Sarai, Abram's wife, bare him no children: and she had a handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, Jehovah hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. 3 And Sarai, Abram's wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her handmaid, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife. 4 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes."

Genesis 17:15-21 "15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and moreover I will give thee a son of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be [a mother of] nations; kings of peoples shall be of her. 17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18 And Abraham said unto God, Oh that Ishmael might live before thee! 19 And God said, Nay, but Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his seed after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year."

Genesis 22:15-18 "15 And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."

Hebrews 11:8-11 "8 By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed to go out unto a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. 9 By faith he became a sojourner in the land of promise, as in a [land] not his own, dwelling in tents, with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10 for he looked for the city which hath the foundations, whose builder and maker is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised:"

Hebrews 11:17-19 "17 By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac: yea, he that had gladly received the promises was offering up his only begotten [son]; 18 [even he] to whom it was said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called: 19 accounting that God [is] able to raise up, even from the dead; from whence he did also in a figure receive him back."

Galatians 3:6-9 "6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. 7 Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, [saying,] In thee shall all the nations be blessed. 9 So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham."

Genesis 25:1-6 "1 And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. 2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. 3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. 4 And the sons of Midian: Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. 5 And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. 6 But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country."

COMMENTS: Even though Satan had asserted his influence beginning in the Garden of Eden, and many people continued to follow his way rather than calling on the name of the LORD, the LORD prepared a new beginning through one man and his family as Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. Nine generations, and just a little less than 300 years after the flood, through the line of Shem, Abram was born. Noah lived for about fifty years after Abram's birth, but died before God called Abram to leave his father's country to begin his time in the land of promise. For the source of my chronological notes, see the table atGreat Flood to the Exodusthat contains cumulative years starting after the global flood, and various notations with and about the scriptures referenced therein. The line of Christ provides the pathway through scripture physically and spiritually as the LORD demonstrates His involvement throughout the history of mankind.

When we consider the life of Abraham, we see that while he had some degree of surprise at what the LORD planned, and some very affectionate concern for his son Ishmael, God saw into his heart and knew the abiding trust that made Abraham the father of faith that he represents to us. The surprise, and perhaps even doubt, that Sarah would bear a child, was expressed by Abraham and Sarah after they had tried to work out God's plan through Hagar. These actions did not disqualify them as children of faith, as we find the testimony about them in Hebrews chapter 11. The most reliable commentary for understanding scripture is other scripture, and it often more clearly shows us how God uses even the weak vessels that we all are, to bring glory to Him. When the apostle Paul had a request about his own infirmity, God's answer is worthy to be considered as it applies to us. "And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for [my] power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 12:9 ASV).

Isaac as the son of promise has a very distinctive place in the line of Christ, but there is far too much of value about the detail of his life to be fully covered in this brief study. Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts; and he sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country. This did not exclude those sons and their descendents from the opportunity to become children of God by faith, even as the LORD had declared to Abraham that Ishmael would receive many blessings and be fruitful. But the line leading to Christ would come through Isaac. It is documented in the scriptures that Abraham had multiple sons through the flesh, but Isaac is declared by the Lord to be his only begotten son. John the baptist made a very strong statement to the crowd around him, against dependence upon bloodline for relationship with the Lord, emphasizing the need for evidence of a changed heart. Luke 3:8 "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham." And notice that John said "God is able ... to raise up." Obedience to the Word of God is the evidence of faith that nullifies any claim to righteousness based on ancestry.

C - The children of Israel descended through Jacob after God gave him that new name

Genesis 25 "21 And Isaac entreated Jehovah for his wife, because she was barren: and Jehovah was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, wherefore do I live? And she went to inquire of Jehovah. 23 And Jehovah said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, And two peoples shall be separated from thy bowels: And the one people shall be stronger than the other people; And the elder shall serve the younger."

Genesis 25:30-34 "30 and Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red [pottage]; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. 31 And Jacob said, Sell me first thy birthright. 32 And Esau said, Behold, I am about to die: and what profit shall the birthright do to me? 33 And Jacob said, Swear to me first; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. 34 And Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentils; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: so Esau despised his birthright."

Genesis 27:32-35 "32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau. 33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who then is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? yea, [and] he shall be blessed. 34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. 35 And he said, Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing."

Hebrews 12:14-17 "14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest [there be] any man that falleth short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby the many be defiled; 16 lest [there be] any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one mess of meat sold his own birthright. 17 For ye know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place for a change of mind [in his father], though he sought it diligently with tears."

Genesis 28:10-14 "10 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed; and behold, a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and, behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, Jehovah stood above it, and said, I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14 and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."

Genesis 32:27-30 "27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for thou hast striven with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for, [said he], I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved."

Genesis 46:1-4 "1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes."

Genesis 50:12-14 "12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 13 for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying-place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. 14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father."

COMMENTS: Without Genesis, we would miss so much of the full plan the LORD God set into motion for those he created in His image. From the beginning of the ancestry of mankind, scripture records God's grace for redemption from the finality of the sentence of death: "dust you are, and to dust you shall return." Now the son of promise will pass on the blessing of his father Abraham to the next generation. Isaac would have preferred to bless Esau, but even before the birth of the twin boys, God had declared that the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob). Looking at the complete scriptural records from a human perspective, we could find reasons why neither seemed to be worthy of god's blessing. However Jacob was chosen and blessed of God, and the path of his life took the direction God had planned, but not without many sorrows for Jacob. Jacob’s sons are certainly not paragons of virtue either, but the scriptures descriptive of those events are not included in this study. At the end of Genesis, we see that Jacob's body is returned to be placed within the burial plot with Isaac and Abraham in the land of promise. Even amidst the failings of our human nature, faith in the LORD can overcome obstacles that would otherwise keep us separated from God.

D - Moses was used to bring out God's chosen people from the land of physical bondage

Exodus 3:7-12 "7 And Jehovah said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people that are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 and I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9 And now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: moreover I have seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. 10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. 11 And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? 12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be the token unto thee, that I have sent thee: when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain."

Exodus 12:40-41 "40 Now the time that the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. 41 And it came to pass at the end of four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of Jehovah went out from the land of Egypt."

Deuteronomy 9:5-6 "5 Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thy heart, dost thou go in to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these nations Jehovah thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may establish the word which Jehovah sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 Know therefore, that Jehovah thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.

Hebrews 3:15-19 "15 while it is said, To-day if ye shall hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For who, when they heard, did provoke? nay, did not all they that came out of Egypt by Moses? 17 And with whom was he displeased forty years? was it not with them that sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that were disobedient? 19 And we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief."

Deuteronomy 7:7-10 "7 Jehovah did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all peoples: 8 but because Jehovah loveth you, and because he would keep the oath which he sware unto your fathers, hath Jehovah brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9 Know therefore that Jehovah thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations, 10 and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face."

Isaiah 1:2-4 "2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for Jehovah hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; [but] Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that deal corruptly! they have forsaken Jehovah, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are estranged [and gone] backward."

Isaiah 64:4-8 "4 For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God besides thee, who worketh for him that waiteth for him. 5 Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou wast wroth, and we sinned: in them [have we been] of long time; and shall we be saved? 6 For we are all become as one that is unclean, and all our righteousnesses are as a polluted garment: and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee; for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us by means of our iniquities. 8 But now, O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

Job 33:26-28 "26 He prayeth unto God, and he is favorable unto him, So that he seeth his face with joy: And he restoreth unto man his righteousness. 27 He singeth before men, and saith, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, And it profited me not: 28 He hath redeemed my soul from going into the pit, And my life shall behold the light."

COMMENTS: God continued His plan to bring into the world that special "seed of Abraham," as He now established a covenant people that He would ransom out of a land of bondage. The nation of Israel was to be a witness to the world to call people to the LORD, until the Son of God would come to pay the ransom in full for our restoration to God. The pattern of many failures within the historical development of a people identified as Israel, makes it clear that human ancestry was not set as the way of salvation for the soul of any individual person. Over the centuries, many of the children of Israel had failures to keep faith in the LORD from the time they left Egypt, through the fall of the northern and southern kingdoms, and even down to the time of Christ. However the Lord's purposes in establishing a people to bear His name could in no way be frustrated by failures in the flesh, or even specific attempt by man, or the devil, to deter the completion of God's prophisied course through history. Not for the righteousness of man, but "because Jehovah loveth you, and because he would keep the oath which he sware unto your fathers," and "Know therefore that Jehovah thy God, he is God, the faithful God, who keepeth covenant and lovingkindness with them that love him and keep his commandments."

So, the apostle Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, provides further light on that which I am poorly equipped to explain myself. Romans 4:1-8 "1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, hath found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not toward God. 3 For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounceth blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, 7 [saying], Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, And whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom, the Lord will not reckon sin."
And from another apostle, John 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life."

--- Reflections in prayer ---

What can I say as I am overwhelmed about all that you have done LORD over the many centuries of time; as you have displayed from the very beginning, an unbounded grace to those who will call upon your name. By reviewing the sampling of scripture used in this study I am even more firmly convinced than ever before, that I and all others from the time of Adam are sinners, and our righteousness is as filthy rags. It is only by seeking after the Lord and displaying obedience to your Word that anyone can have the righteousness of God that was lost in the Garden of Eden, restored to them.

How easy it is to become drawn by traditional practice to think that we have some merit before a Holy God by our heritage, by what we do, or by the associations we maintain. Even our obedience is a grace gift by faith in the Lord. All glory goes only to the Lord for the fruit we bear from the source of all life. I praise you LORD, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness with those who love you and keep your commandments, even to a thousand generations. You are my Savior and Lord. Amen and Hallelujah!

Published 25 August 2010