Friday, September 26, 2008

In Him too.

At first blush of reading Genesis 15, it would seem to indicate that God's promise to Abraham had nothing to do with the promised Messiah. I used to read it this way - Abraham was counted righteous for believing that he would have plenty of children, and that was it, without reference to Christ.

Reading now the same passage and being enlightened of what Jesus said about Abraham, I understand now that Abraham also trusted in the promised Messiah and was reckoned righteous.

This is what Jesus said in

John 8:56 (King James Version)
56Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

In other words Jesus was saying tha Abraham believed in Him too. Only by reading Scripture in the light of the Gospel does it become coherent.

I had an interesting discussion on the internet almost a year ago. I was having a small banter with a person on justification, and the person responding to me said, to this effect... "God was already treating Abraham righteous even before He came to Abraham", i.e. even before He pronounced the promise to Abraham.

Now, what do you think of that?


Doorman-Priest said...

In C.S. Lewis's "The Last Battle" there is an exchange between Aslan, the Christian God figure, and Emeth, a follower of the God Tash, who is surprised to find himself on the right side of Aslan’s judgement. In this allegory of the Christian story Lewis is suggesting that God’s grace is, indeed, extended beyond the limits we might expect. But that is down to God’s grace and not our judgement. God may well choose to act towards others in ways which surprise us and it is not for us to set limits on God’s grace.

Emeth says to Aslan: “Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine, but a servant of Tash.” Aslan answered “Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. If any man swears an oath to Tash and keeps the oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he knew it not and it is I who reward him.” Emeth replied “Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.” “Beloved”, said the Glorious one, “unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly. For all find what they truly seek.”

I think many of us would do well to ponder on that idea.

BTW: How's your daughter doing in London?

LPC said...

Hi DP.

That is an interesting take by CSL. Of course, The Chronicles of Narnia is not scripture.

In a sense, God's good will towards men indeed precedes all of our activities. Jesus came to man as man in the state of sin. After the fall there is no state where in we are not in a state of sin, so God does take the initiative.

The comment of that guy sounded universalistic to me because in the technical discussion on justification I ask, what if Abraham rejected the promise, was Abraham still considered righteous?

My daughter is in south London and is not doing too well, no jobs in her field - banking/finance. She wants to come home.