Crux of the Matter

Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. (Rom.4:13-25)

What is the kernel of Christianity? How is anybody put right with God?

Religions advise you to follow traditions, rituals, a set of rules, or practice certain disciplines. However, it is clear as the day light that no one can earn acceptance in God’s presence by doing these.

Faith

God’s justice does not allow any filtering to see what percentage of holiness you have achieved. The Bible makes it clear that no one can earn salvation by his/her merit. It is not a reward one can earn or a salary one can work for. The only wage we can earn is death. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom.6:23). Being made right with God is purely a gift from God. Anyone can receive it by faith. And no one can have it without faith.

What is this “faith” according to the Christian Scriptures?

Human beings in general operate on faith. We believe in the air that we breathe, the water that we drink, the food we eat and the vehicles we travel by. We trust our banks and other institutions. We have faith in the doctors and the medicines they prescribe. It would be impossible to live without this basic element in human relationships. Faith is always revealed in our action. I would not go to somebody who offers me a gift unless I have faith in that person. This is at the human level. But when it comes to the God of the Bible, the Bible says:

Gift

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. (Rom.3:23-28)

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.” (Eph.2:8-9)

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