Some Things Never Change

Read Romans 4:1-15

What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Romans 4:3

Dr. Harry Ironside, for eighteen years pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, told of visiting a Sunday school class while on vacation. The teacher asked, "How were people saved in the Old Testament times?" After a pause, one man replied, "By keeping the law." "That's right," said the teacher. But Dr. Ironside interrupted: "My Bible says that by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified" (see Rom. 3:20 KJV).

The teacher was a bit embarrassed, so he said, "Well, does somebody else have an idea?" Another student replied, "They were saved by bringing sacrifices to God." "Yes, that's right!" the teacher said, and tried to go on with the lesson. But Dr. Ironside interrupted, "My Bible says that the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin" (see Heb. 10:4).

By this time the unprepared teacher was sure the visitor knew more about the Bible than he did, so he said, "Well, you tell us how people were saved in the Old Testament!" And Dr. Ironside explained that they were saved by faith--the same way people are saved today! (see Eph. 2:8-9).

The Bible says that Abraham "believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness" (Rom. 4:3). He is the father of all who believe on Jesus Christ and are justified by faith (see v. 11). Although Gentiles can never be natural descendants of Abraham, they can be his spiritual descendants--by faith.

Applying God's Truth:

  1. Prior to this reading, how would you have responded to the question: "How were people saved in the Old Testament times?"
  2. Since faith was behind the ceremonies of the Old Testament, what should faith inspire us to do today?
  3. What do you think is entailed in being a "spiritual descendant" of Abraham (privileges, responsibilities, etc.)?

Devotions for Renewal and Joy ©2005 by Dr. Warren Wiersbe. Used by permission of David C Cook. May not be further reproduced. All rights reserved.

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