How do you know whom to believe? How do you know what to believe?
We hear lots of competing claims for truth these days. As Christians we claim to follow the one who is “the way, the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) Today, hear God’s promises as the honest truth, the real truth, the most trustworthy truth.
The promise to Abraham and to his descendants, that he would inherit the world, didn’t come through the Law but through the righteousness that comes from faith. If they inherit because of the Law, then faith has no effect and the promise has been canceled. The Law brings about wrath. But when there isn’t any law, there isn’t any violation of the law. That’s why the inheritance comes through faith, so that it will be on the basis of God’s grace. In that way, the promise is secure for all of Abraham’s descendants, not just for those who are related by Law but also for those who are related by the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us.
For a book that’s more like a collection of books than an ongoing novel or history text, the Bible still builds on itself. Often while reading the New Testament, it helps to know the Hebrew Scriptures, since Christianity is rooted in Judaism. Today’s passage is just such a case. The Apostle Paul retells the story of Abraham and Sarah as an example for the early Christians to emulate. And by this point, we have evidence that God’s promise to the old couple way back in Genesis was true — because generations of people have indeed come forth from Abraham and Sarah. The truth of God’s promises in the Old Testament gives us courage to believe God’s promises in the New Testament. In a way, we ourselves are the living proof, and we now have a story to tell.
God of history, continue to tell the story of your faithfulness in and through my life. And open my mouth to speak of what you have done in the past and are doing today. Amen.