Abraham’s faith was rewarded with righteousness, but when the scriptures say he “believed” God, the word the Holy Spirit moved on Moses to use had the tense of a repeated, ongoing act that was characteristic of his life.
Paul’s letter to the Romans puts a similar slant on this thought:
This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (NLT)
Eugene Peterson nuanced the same text with care and precision in The Message:
God’s way of putting people right shows up in the acts of faith, confirming what Scripture has said all along: “The person in right standing before God by trusting him really lives.”
The Gospel arouses faith, and faith empowers us to move through the paces of our life in Christ – from first to last. It’s robust enough to guide and gait us through our journey – from start to finish. It’s trustworthy to take us from the shallows and into the deep waters of transformation.
From faith to faith.
From “strength to strength” (Psalm 84:7).
With grace after grace! (John 1:16)
From glory…to glory.
In verse 5 Paul makes the startling case that the Risen Christ has given us the gift of obeying the Father just like He did when He was enfleshed on earth!
In perhaps his earliest epistle, Paul said he was no longer a Paul-man but a Christ-man, that he lived Another Life because of “the faith OF the Son of God” (Galatians 2:20) that was working in him.
The Gospel doesn’t just save us from our sins but delivers the goods: the grit and growth potential that takes us from one glory to the next, or glory after glory! (see 2 Corinthians 3:18)
Perhaps, after setting the table for Mr. Luther, you’ll get what he’s saying here. I sure hope so, because it’s really good:
“This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness,
not health, but healing,
not being, but becoming,
not rest, but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it,
the process is not yet finished, but it is going on,
this is not the end, but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”
– Martin Luther
That’s all for today, saints. Enjoy “so great“ salvation that not only ransoms you from being a bad person, but it redeems you so you can be a glorified child of God.
And He’ll surely do it…from start to finish.