Dear Marcus and Ken, I regularly post comments on a discussion site which has a lot of Bible only Christians. … One of the things I notice with this group is they go to the OT a LOT and the epistles but seem to ignore the Gospels and any parts of the Epistles that don’t jive with their thinking (like most of James). Fear is very prevalent among them and the God they present looks more like the Terminator. Any help you can give me will be appreciated as when I post I try to write for those who may happen upon the conversation who may or may not be Bible Believers. Thank you, Carolyn
1: What then shall we say about Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?
2: For if Abraham was justified by works,
he has something to boast about, but not before God.
3: For what does the scripture say?
“Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” [Gen 15:6]
4: Now to one who works,
his wages are not reckoned as a gift but as his due.
5: And to one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is reckoned as righteousness.
6: So also David pronounces a blessing
upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:
7: “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
8: blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin.”
[“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven. whose sin is covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit” (Ps 32:1,2)]
9: Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised,
or also upon the uncircumcised?
We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.
10: How then was it reckoned to him?
Was it before or after he had been circumcised?
It was not after, but before he was circumcised.
11: He received circumcision as a sign or seal
of the righteousness which he had by faith
while he was still uncircumcised.
The purpose was to make him the father
of all who believe without being circumcised
and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them,
12: and likewise the father of the circumcised
who are not merely circumcised
but also follow the example of the faith
which our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Luke 1:67-75 Benedictus
67: And his father Zechari’ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69: and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70: as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71: that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
72: to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant,
73: the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
74: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
75: in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.