In Christ Reality:
In Christ reality – Suffice it to say that In Christ has been a fundamental thing. God in His foreknowledge predestinated that it is only In Christ; all men shall be called His people. Therefore, whatever program or conduct, whether in types or shadows is geared or pivoted around this decision. This decision divulges that anyone who wants to be a son to God must do that In Christ. Though there was an interruption to this process put in place by God. In the sense, that the interception of the law caused men to start living in their abilities to please God.
“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”
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The law was an interruption to the flow of believes in faith. Under it, people started having their own righteousness which is according to the law, see Philippians 3:9. The reality is that it was very impossible for them to obtain righteousness by the law. Apostle Paul puts it this way in his epistle to the Galatians.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
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In Christ Is justification Established:
This confirms that the justification of Abraham and the rest of them who were declared righteous were as a result of their faith. That is their faith in what was preached to them which is justification through the sacrificial blood of Christ. That was why their faith is described as;
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Their faith therefore, is anchored in Christ via what He will do by dying on the cross. On the cross He will shed His blood for the remission of their sins. And as a result of this faith they have, they were able to receive righteousness.
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So, people in the old order that had faith in the gospel of the sacrificial lamb received righteousness. Therefore, the belief in the sacrificial lamb becomes the standard to measure or becoming righteous in the sight of God. This indicates that it wasn’t about what these people did that made them righteous but what they have believed in. And what they believed in is nothing but the blood of the lamb. In that case the substance of their faith was anchored on something they hoped for. And the evidence was something not seen but registered in their hearts. As a result of this, they were righteous. This also by implication suggests that they were blessed people. This is because they didn’t see and yet they believed. As Jesus puts it to Thomas this way;
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
People Gained A Place In Christ Through Faith:
One thing to point out here is that faith is developed or gained in the heart of the person that receives the message. This is because he or she has great value to the integrity of the messenger and his words. This statement prevails whether in the past, present and future. Here, it means that these people in the beginning and old order that had faith in the massage did so because they regarded the integrity of the person that spoke the word to them. In other words they regarded God’s integrity.
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On the other hand, their belief in the substance of something hope for, means that the substance wasn’t visible. This implies that their faith was established on something they didn’t see. However, it is obvious that they were convinced to believe because something motivated them. So their faith was built on something that they heard, since faith is by hearing. And that is by hearing what God has done, is doing and will do. And what was spoken to them was the message of the Lamb. Therefore, the message was powered by the spirit of the message of the Lamb. And it became fixated in their hearts. and as well quickened their hearts to believe. Here, consider what Apostle Peter said in his epistle that;
“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you. Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.”
1 Peter 1:10-11
The Spirit Of Christ Upon Them Gave The message:
The Spirit of Christ in them did speak to them about Christ and His sufferings and glory. That is to say that they really heard the right message from the Spirit of Christ. Although, the Spirit was not in them but was upon them, and motivated them as the message came to them. As a result they believed what was said and they started to act accordingly and it was called faith. This is why they were called righteous or people that obtained good report. So this act of faith cause or enabled them to receive a promising salvation deal or a placement in Christ.
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One interesting thing to point out here is that though they didn’t see Christ physically they believed in Him by mere message. And as a result they were declared righteous before God because of their faith in the message. Therefore, their righteousness was the righteousness of faith not righteousness of doing. It was obvious that from their antecedents they had loads of issues. Such that were not consistent with the character of people assumed to be ‘righteous’ in the sight of men. So, their unbecoming characters were not recorded but their act of faith was recorded. And by that they were qualified to be called righteous irrespective of their shadiness.
The Faith Of The Elders:
Let’s painstakingly scrutinize these characters in the bible called the elders who obtained good report by faith. That is elders who were declared righteous and found a place in Christ. Let’s find out what exactly they did that made them outstanding. The detail accounts of their acts of faith are made in the book of Hebrews and let’s see what it says in Hebrews chapter 11.
We take them one after the other to analyze what their acts of faith was. The statement in verse one of Hebrews chapter 11, is not a definition of faith. But a description of a particular faith called the faith of the elders. Therefore, faith can be described in a verse(s) it appears based on the content and context of the writing. Hence faith doesn’t have a general or omnibus definition in application. I said all of these above because it will help us to position things fittingly as we proceed.
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So let’s begin to look into the life of the characters that appeared in Hebrews 11. And relate with what they did that made them to be called men of faith.
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”
This verse above is indicating to us that it was by faith; Abel offered his sacrifice to God. Which implies that, the act or sacrifice was not a mere exercise but was induced by faith. And if it was by faith, it means he heard something that ignited the faith which motivated his action.
Cain Didn’t Gain A Place In Christ:
In the same vein his brother Cain heard the same message but he didn’t receive it in a way it resonated or generated faith in him. And that made his sacrifice or offering unacceptable. So the sacrifice of Abel which he made by faith declared him a righteous person. We should recall that this Abel was the son of Adam who sinned or disobeyed God and was not called righteous but his son by faith was called righteous. So because of his act of faith he was removed from the sin of Adam his father.
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
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This shows that Abel before carrying his sacrifice he must have heard from the Spirit of Christ. And the message of the Spirit of Christ is about Christ and His sufferings and glory that will follow. He understood the fact that Christ will come, and the consequences of his father’s sin to mankind will be eradicated. He believed and made his sacrifice and God accepted it because it was offered based on the premise of what Christ will do. This act granted him a place in Christ!
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