Scripture Commentary from March 16, 2014 by Arthur H. Cash

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SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

FIRST READING

Genesis 12:1-4a

This is the story of the commissioning of Abram (whom God at a later time will re-name Abraham).  Abram was reared in the city of Ur, an advanced civilization in Mesopotamia, but had migrated to Haran, also in the fertile lands of Mesopotamia, where he was enjoying a prosperous life when God called him. God promises great rewards, but Abram must give up a good life to go to a wilderness frontier. The author of the Book of Hebrews saw Abram’s obedience to God’s call as perfect faith (Heb. 11:8).

 

 

SECOND READING

Romans 4:1-5, 1317.

Justification by faith is the act by which a sinner is freed from punishment for his sins and accepted as righteous by God. Our two cobbled­ together passages show that Paul has two purposes here. He wants to make clear that justification cannot be earned; it is a grace given by God out of his will alone. The faith of these new Christians is their certainty that God is merciful, and God‘s justifying them shows they were right. Abram had that sort of faith and God justified him. Paul’s second point is that justification is not limited to Jews, but is possible for all people, whatever their ethnicity, if they have faith.

© Arthur H. Cash

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