If Abraham was justified by faith, and I’m justified the same way, what is different about us?

Justification by Faith: Implications for Believers

I. Abraham’s justification by faith

We begin by examining Abraham’s justification, which was not accompanied by regeneration or sonship. Abraham was called out of the world system in Genesis 12:1-3, and in Genesis 15:1-6, he was promised to be made an heir by God. However, he was not regenerated to become a son of God.

II. Present-day believers’ justification by faith

Present-day believers, unlike Abraham, are regenerated to become sons of God (John 1:12-13) and are sealed with the Spirit of Promise (Ephesians 1:13-14). We are also made heirs (Romans 8:16-17) and have a different relationship to God.

III. The difference between Abraham and present-day believers

The difference between Abraham and present-day believers is significant, as it highlights God’s intention for a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Believers are regenerated to become sons of God, and it is through faith in Christ that they are justified and become heirs of God. Flesh cannot be justified by the Law (Romans 3:20), and it is only through faith in Christ that we can be justified before God (Romans 3:22-24). Both Abraham and present-day believers were justified by believing in Christ. Abraham believed looking forward, because Christ is the Seed of Abraham (Galatians 3:16). We believe by looking backwards, because He has accomplished the work He was sent to do and been raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Because of our position in time (post-resurrection), more benefit is available. We have been baptized into Him, and have put Him on (Galatians 3:26-29), and we now are co-heirs together with Him, not only of earthly things, but raised up and seated with Him in the heavenlies, hidden in Him at God’s right hand (Ephesians 2:6). Christ as the seed of Abraham was promised to inherit and be multiplied in the land (Genesis 12:7), but Christ as the seed of David was promised to sit at the right hand of the throne of God in the heavens, being made a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:1, Hebrews 5:5-6). It is according to the heavenly position of Christ in the heavens as the seed of David that we share our heavenly position and blessing as His joint heirs and brethren, the many sons of God who are destined to be conformed to the image of Christ and glorified (Romans 8:17, Hebrews 2:10).

Supporting verses: Mark 7:7 KJV, Galatians 3:2 KJV

Keywords: justification, faith, regeneration, sonship, Law, new creation

I. Abraham’s justification by faith

  • A. Called out of the world system (Genesis 12:1-3)
  • B. An heir (Genesis 15:1-6)
  • C. Not regenerated to become a son of God

II. Present-day believers’ justification by faith

  • A. Regenerated to become sons of God (John 1:12-13)
  • B. Sealed with the Spirit of Promise (Ephesians 1:13-14)
  • C. Made heirs (Romans 8:16-17)

III. The difference between Abraham and present-day believers

  • A. Believers are regenerated to become sons of God
  • B. Flesh cannot be justified by the Law (Romans 3:20)
  • C. God’s intention is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Supporting verses:

  • Genesis 12:1-3: “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.'”
  • Genesis 15:1-6: “And he brought him outside and said, ‘Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’ And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
  • John 1:12-13: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
  • Ephesians 1:13-14: “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”
  • Romans 8:16-17: “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
  • Romans 3:20: “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.”
  • 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

       

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