All Souls Anglican Church | 02 9569 2646
The Journal

God's great gift to us is himself

Dear Friends,
One of the joys of Genesis 15:1-6 is that it reminds us that God has always been concerned about the need for faith. The need for and importance of faith is often seen as a New Testament requirement for salvation. But Abram believes God’s promise and is declared righteous. Abram’s faith access God’s acceptance. It is interesting that it is not until chapter 17 when Abram is 99 that he is circumcised. Abram is right before God and it is not because of circumcision nor is it because of the law. In Romans 4:1-3 Paul takes up the case of Abram who is right before God because of God’s grace. That is Abram’s right status before God is not based on his works nor even being religious. It is simply trusting in God’s promises. Of course saving faith leads to obedience to God and the Bible again and again shows us that obedience is the product of God’s grace and faith. In Romans 1:5 Paul tells us obedience comes from faith. Obedience to God is a response to having already been rescued by the Lord. That is the case today with the baptism of young Hugo. Baptism is a sign of God’s work on the Cross through Jesus. Hugo is made a spiritual member of God’s family as a gift. He doesn’t earn it and it is the same with salvation - it is a gift. In chapter 14 Abram has just been engaged in a battle with the local power brokers and through God’s help has defeated them and rescued Lot. Further he has shown exclusive allegiance to God by refusing to take money from the King of Sodom. Then in 15:1 God’s Word says “After this” and God comes to Abram in a vision to reassure him. He reminds Abram that He himself is His shield. That is God will protect him and the second promise is even more incredible. The promise is that God is your great reward. Friends salvation is not just that we make it to heaven. Salvation is that the Lord himself is our reward. The greatest gift which the Lord gives us is Himself and a personal relationship with Him. This is what the Lord has offered Hugo and His family today - a personal relationship with Him. It is the greatest and most precious treasure you can ever have. Tonight at the 5pm service we will look at Luke 5:1-11 and the title is people who met Jesus. This time the disciples meet Jesus and there is a miraculous provision of fish and Peter on seeing this realises how sinful he is and asks Jesus to go away from him. Jesus reassures him and says Don’t be afraid. This is a word of acceptance and forgiveness which propels him into mission to go and catch people for God’s kingdom. The Christian faith is firstly and primarily about what the Lord does for you. We see that in the story of Abram and in the story of Peter. But the Lord expects a response of obedience ! Romans 1:5 is right - obedience comes from faith. God’s Blessing Rev David O’Mara