Read Romans 3:31. What’s Paul’s point here? Why is this point important to us as Adventists?
In this passage Paul states emphatically that faith does not make void God’s law. But even those who kept the law, even the entire Old Testament corpus of law, were never saved by it. The religion of the Old Testament, as that of the New, was always one of God’s grace given to sinners by faith.
Read Romans 4:1-8. How does this show that even in the Old Testament, salvation was by faith and not by works of the law?
According to this Old Testament narrative, Abraham was accounted righteous because he “believed God.” Therefore, the Old Testament itself teaches righteousness by faith. Hence, any implication that faith “makes void” (Greek katargeo: “renders useless,” “invalidates”) the law is false; salvation by faith is very much part of the Old Testament. Grace is taught all the way through it. What, for instance, was the entire sanctuary ritual if not a representation of how sinners are saved, not by their own works but by the death of a substitute in their stead?
Also, what else can explain how David was forgiven after the sordid affair with Bathsheba? Certainly it wasn’t law-keeping that saved him, for he violated so many principles of the law that it condemned him on numerous counts. If David were to be saved by the law, then David would not be saved at all.
Paul sets forth David’s restoration to divine favor as an example of justification by faith. Forgiveness was an act of God’s grace. Here, then, is another example from the Old Testament of righteousness by faith. In fact, however legalistic many in ancient Israel became, the Jewish religion was always a religion of grace. Legalism was a perversion of it, not its foundation.
|Dwell for a few minutes on David’s sin and restoration (2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51). What hope can you draw from that sad story for yourself? Is there a lesson here about how we in the church should treat those who have fallen?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons