The Reason for Our Faith

God met with Abraham and said, “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of the night and you will become a nation of faith.”

Abraham said, “I will enter into that agreement.”

“So He said to him, ‘Bring Me a three year old heifer and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’ Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other …” (Gen. 15:9-10).

Notice how God is speaking to Abraham to make a covenant. God speaks to you in your own context.

“Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him … it came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between the pieces. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram” (Gen. 15:12, 17-18).

Abraham knew that, were he to walk through the cut pieces of animals—if he violated any of God’s commands after coming in under a new king (the Lord)—he would become like one of those slain animals.

If Abraham had walked through the pieces and made the covenant, he would have to say, “If I sin, I die.” Yet, God wanted to bring faith to you and me. Because Abraham could not do it, God Himself walked through the pieces of dead animals and made the covenant with Himself. In other words, He co-signed for Abraham.

In essence, God said to Abraham, “If you sin, I die.” God made the agreement with Himself and He Himself has to be faithful to fulfill that agreement.

God said to Abraham, “I am going to institute a substitutionary sacrificial system. On the Day of Atonement, once a year, for the sins of your family, you will bring an unblemished lamb and present it to the priest.”

The children of Israel eventually forgot about God’s covenant so God knew He would have to do something to the promise He made with Himself. God so loved us that He came to earth in bodily form — Jesus. Jesus went to the cross and took on the sins of the world.

  1. Jesus Took Our Place and Fulfilled the Law’s Requirement for Sin

“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing” (Gal. 3:13a).

From the cross, He could say, “It is finished.” In other words, “It is fulfilled.”

When you understand that we should be dead but Jesus died for us—we now live by faith in God by grace—will that change you? If you understand grace, it transforms you because we know what a great God we have.

God established two perpetual statutes that we as a church call sacraments: two perpetual statutes that we are to do to help us to remember what Christ did for us.

  1. Communion is Remembering His Love for Us and Committing to Live by His Law of Grace

The Old Covenant is the covenant of law, but Jesus fulfilled that covenant when He said, “It is finished.” Now, we have a covenant of grace.

We take Communion and say, “This should have been me but it was Christ and since I am one with Him, so I died with Christ.”

God fulfilled the law; He did not abandon it. He fulfilled it for us and made us a people who live by grace.

  1. Baptism is an Outward Sign of Us Stepping Across the Line of Faith

When you go under the water, you are saying, “I am dead. Because of my sins, I die. But because of His resurrection power, when I come up, I am living as a person under grace.”

Do not ever forget that each time we take Communion or participate in a water baptism, we remember who we are.

All of us have spiritual debt because of the sins that we have committed. The Bible says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It is a debt we cannot repay by ourselves.

When we come to Christ and step over that line and we ask God, “Would You apply Your riches to my debt and my debt to Your account?” Then, we live by grace and grace changes your life.

It is a decision between God and every single one of us — whether or not we want our debt to be applied to His account. He waits and He extends an invitation to you and me to step across the line of faith and call Him our Lord and Savior. If you have never made that decision to take that step across the line, make that decision today.

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