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16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

 

 

16 Therefore [literally, on account of]

Paul now drew a conclusion to the previous statements. The word “therefore” is literally on account of this. On account of the fact that the law cannot save a soul, faith in God’s grace is necessary for salvation. The law cannot serve as a medium of promise, because it is a medium of wrath. People fail to keep the law.

it is of [out of—source] faith that it might be according to [norm or standard of—the pattern of] grace,

Faith is not merit. It is the channel of how we receive God’s grace and is simply the proper tool for trusting God’s provision. Faith and grace connect together because engaging in God’s promises are through His grace. The only way to receive a promise is by faith.

Faith-promise-grace is God’s system of saving the soul. Salvation is in accordance with grace because it is by faith that we receive it. Faith could not save us without a promise of grace. Faith is not another system of works.

Grace is God’s free or unconditional provision of salvation for sinful people. If salvation comes by grace, then it rests on God. If salvation comes by works or law, then it rests on defective man. That is why faith must accord with grace. Grace is an unconditional idea.

so that [to the end that] the promise might be sure [certain] to all [not most] the seed [not only physical but spiritual seed],

The promise arises from God’s grace. We deserve God’s wrath, not His grace.

The second reason faith is necessary is that it is the only way for God to guarantee His promise to us. The word “sure” means guarantee and is a legal term. God guaranteed the promise by faith but not by the Law. God legally guarantees His salvation to anyone who believes. If God’s promise was based upon human achievement, there would be nothing sure about our salvation. God’s character demands perfect righteousness and there is nothing in man that can measure up to that righteousness. We rest completely on what God has done, thus making our salvation “certain.” Nothing can shake that.

The moment we introduce man’s contribution to salvation, we introduce uncertainty and insecurity about the subject. When we say, “I must do my part in salvation,” then we assail the finished work of Christ to pay for our sin.

not only to those who are of [out of—parallel to “out of faith”] the law [Jews],

The promise of God reaches more than those under the law, the Jews. This promise indeed had the Jews in view, but it also had another group in view (next phrase).

but also [emphatic] to those who are of the faith of Abraham,

The promise is guaranteed to anyone who has the kind of faith Abraham had. God will save Gentiles by faith as well.

who is the father of us all

Abraham is the father of anyone who comes to God by faith. There is no distinction in the way people come to God.

PRINCIPLE:

Faith establishes grace; the only way to receive grace is by faith.

APPLICATION:

People today want to earn salvation by what they do or by their pedigree; however, God’s salvation runs counter to human effort and its consequential pride.

The law establishes requirements; grace means God fulfilled those requirements. People who attempt salvation by the law have perpetual doubts about their standing before God. However, those who accept God’s grace have certainty about their salvation, because it does not depend on their faithfulness to the law.

God’s grace toward man is of such a nature that we can only receive it without condition, that is, by grace. God’s unconditional promise is grace oriented. This is unadulterated dependence on God and His promises. There is a helplessness in faith in that it totally depends on God’s grace. A promise is God’s grace to us. God wants the very best for us. Grace reflects the generousness of God’s character.

Ps 34: 8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

All who are saved in God’s economy are saved by God’s grace, by His promise, a promise accepted by faith. There is no other alternative. It is the only way to receive salvation from God. Grace and work are mutually exclusive; as we cannot mix black and white and maintain the integrity of black or white, then we cannot mix grace and works and maintain the integrity of grace.

Ro 11: 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

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