PUTTING THINGS TO RIGHT Genesis 12, 15
The seeds of all teaching in the N.T. are planted in the book of Genesis.
Paul writes Romans to a people already grounded in these understandings.
We sometimes miss his meaning due to our own lack of understanding of the book of Genesis.
1. Looked at creation … “In the beginning God”. God is pre-eminent. God must be at the centre for life to flow.
2. Genesis 3 shows us mankind dethroning God … challenging His right to be “in the right”.
As a result the intimate relationship was broken & MANKIND WAS BROKEN … not damaged BROKEN!
Sin is choosing to put ourselves 1st & removing God from the centre … doing things our way.
Sin became part of our DNA from that moment on.
How could this be fixed?
Genesis 12, 15
WHO WAS ABRAM/ABRAHAM?
He lived in Ur of the Chaldees … not a believer … a gentile.
Abram, like us all, was born into human degredation, disintegration & wickedness.
He had done nothing to deserve God’s attention.
Like all humanity, he was hopelessly lost.
Genesis 12:1 “The Lord had said to Abram …”
BUT God spoke to him!
What do we learn from this encounter?
1. GOD’S PLAN FOR MANKIND IS CENTRED IN GRACE
Grace is God reaching out to the undeserving & offering them something they cannot earn.
God’s answer for broken mankind is founded in GRACE.
It cannot be earned!
There is NOTHING mankind can do to make things right!
What God did for Abram … what He promised Abram … IS A WORK OF GRACE.
God’s favour is GIVEN NEVER EARNED!
2. ABRAM RESPONDED IN SIMPLE TRUST
Vs. 4 “so Abram left as the Lord had told him.”
Abram’s faith was a DELIBERATE REVERSAL of what took place in Genesis 3.
Abram responded in total trust … Opposite to Adam & Eve.
• God spoke to Adam & Eve … they chose to reject His word & trust in what their eyes saw instead.
• They rejected God’s right to be right.
• Abram trusted God … He chose to accept God’s right to be right.
God’s promise to Abram was based on his steadfast faith.
Abram’s willingness to make God #1 … to trust 100% in God’s ways alone.
Genesis 15:6 “Abram believed the Lord and He credited it to him as righteousness”
“Righteousness” … NOT a moral term … Abram didn’t become holy or perfect.
IT IS A LEGAL TERM (same as “justified, justice, right”)
It means “putting everything to right” or declaring someone to BE IN THE RIGHT (Like a judge at the end of a trial)
Abram moved from being part of broken humanity TO BEING DECLARED TO BE “IN THE RIGHT” BY GOD!
A new faith community of people was being formed from him.
God wasn’t fixing something that was damaged … HE WAS RE-CREATING A NEW PEOPLE!
Because Abram chose to trust by faith … chose to restore God to His rightful place in his life … #1!
“Faith is a living, unstoppable confidence in God’s grace”
Abram chose to put all his weight on what God said.
The result? He was declared to be in the right.
What was his faith like?
• It was God centred
• Faith in God’s person & His word.
• He chose to put God BACK AT THE CENTRE.
3. A NEW PEOPLE WAS BORN WITH A NEW PURPOSE
Genesis 12:2-3; 15:1, 5-6
“All the people on earth will be blessed THROUGH YOU”
• They would be accepted by God
• They would be declared to be “in the right”
• Their brokenness would be reversed … God would share his life & goodness with them
• They would be united to God in intimate relationship Genesis 15:1
• What Adam lost God would restore.
A broken world would then SEE THE DIFFERENCE and be drawn back to what they have.
From Abram God planned to create a new community who would draw the lost back to Him.
HOW DOES THAT APPLY TODAY?
NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
Paul teaches in Romans that God’s promise/covenant to Abram is totally fulfilled in Christ.
As we respond to Jesus in faith & trust … God declares us to be “in the right” & ushers us into a new covenant community whose role is to take the blessing received & share it with a broken world.
To respond in faith … in trust in God’s word … in such a way that our lives become attractively different to those who don’t know God!
This is the message of Romans.
• A message of a God who is “in the right”
• A message about the creator … the one at the centre of everything
• A message of a human race that has rejected Him and become totally broken
• A message of a God of grace who reaches out to us through Christ to bring us back into relationship with Him … to heal our brokenness.
• A message of a redeemed community touching a broken world with God’s light.
Where does the Old Testament law fit into all this?
We will look at this next time.