It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
The Need for Righteousness
A Mormon woman who had become Lutheran took me to the apartment where the two young Mormon men on their mission were staying. We had a nice discussion. The young men mentioned the “gospel” a few times. I asked them what they thought the “gospel” was. They replied, “The gospel is the set of laws the heavenly Father gave us to show us how to get to heaven.”
Mormons aren’t the only people who think the gospel is a set of laws. Abraham and his offspring were given special laws by the Lord, and it would have been easy for them to think that following those laws would get them to heaven. But even the promise that the Savior would come from the line of Abraham was not given because Abraham and his offspring would keep those special laws.
Religions around the world have each devised their own set of laws for pleasing God or getting to heaven. None of them work. Getting to heaven does not happen through obeying God’s law. Getting to heaven happens through the righteousness that comes by faith.
What does “the righteousness that comes by faith” mean? “The righteousness” is the perfect life of Jesus, the only person who has ever lived a perfect life good enough to get to heaven. “Comes by faith” means that whoever believes in Jesus has his perfect life credited to them as a gift.
The gospel is not a set of laws. It is not through the law that you receive the promise of salvation. The gospel is a promise. You are going to heaven through the righteousness that comes by faith.
Prayer: (Christian Worship: Hymnal – 405)
On my heart imprint your image, blessed Jesus, King of grace,
that life’s riches, cares, and pleasures have no power to hide your face.
Let the clear inscription be: Jesus, crucified for me,
Is my life, my hope’s foundation, and my glory and salvation. Amen.