Abram is called to leave his family and old way of life, go on a long and dangerous journey and put his whole trust in God. In baptism we are asked “Do you put your whole trust in Jesus love and grace?”God desires an exclusive love relationship with us. In the Romans Reading (4.13-25) Paul reminds us that Abraham was given a new name and honoured for his faith in God. In Matthew (9.9-13, 18-26) challenges the Pharisees that “God desires mercy not sacrifice.”. He goes out to model this by healing and giving new life to woman suffering from bleeding and the Synagogue Ruler’s daughter. This is our mission as people who have put their faith and trust in Jesus.
This would be an enormous challenge for someone in an ancient tribal culture. Families and tribes depended on each other for protection and help in times of trouble.
· Abram believed God’s promise of land, children and protection
· Centuries later Moses put his faith in God to rescue the Hebrew people from Egypt
· Jesus trusted God’s promise that as the divine Son of God Jesus could sacrifice His life for the sins of the whole world
· Believers could come to Jesus for forgiveness and new life
2. Paul Teaches That Righteousness Comes From Faith
The Covenants of Moses – 10 Commandments and Jesus teach us what we must do to remain in a right-relationship with God.
· Contrary to ancient and some modern teaching God does NOT want us to try and earn our way by following these rules.
· God wants a personal love relationship
· Had to give us free will so we could choose to love and trust God – or trust our own ability to be good
· God knows we are human and can not be holy on our own
· Need a divine Saviour who can give us mercy and forgiveness
· Biblical 10 Commandments are spiritual tests of our love of God Commandment to love God exclusively – 9 clarifications
· We are to depend on God’s mercy and forgiveness in Jesus
3. Jesus Models How Forgiveness Gives Us New Life
Jesus reaches out to the most despised, most broken people of His time:
· Forms a personal relationship so they get to know trust and love Him
· Trust leads to forgiveness, healing and new life
· Baptized believers are to follow this example in proclaiming the Good News of Forgiveness, Healing and a new Life in-Christ