January 4 Today’s Reading: Genesis 12 - 16
Christ Our Priest and Our Sacrifice
The Book of God often reveals the sinful deeds of righteous people, teaching us plainly and repeatedly that God’s elect in this world, though washed in the blood of Christ, though robed in his righteousness, though forgiven of all sin, though born of his Spirit, are all sinners still (1 John 1:8-10). Abram, called of God and brought out of Ur, in time of trial went down to Egypt for help. There he shamed himself greatly. No sooner did he come back to Bethel and worship God for his goodness than a strife arose between his herdsmen and Lot’s. It was a strife between brethren, — a strife about cattle! Righteous Lot “pitched his tent toward Sodom!”
In Genesis 14 we see Melchizedek coming to Abram. This man, Melchizedek, was the king of Salem and “the priest of the most high God.” This Melchizedek is, at least typically, the Lord Jesus Christ, our great High Priest (Hebrews 6:20).
Let us, this day, meditate upon this blessed, glorious, soul-cheering fact. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is our great High Priest. He is the sinner’s Advocate in heaven (1 John 2:1-2).
“Arise, my soul, arise!
Shake off thy guilty fears!
The bleeding sacrifice
In thy behalf appears!”
The bread and wine Melchizedek brought to Abram speak of the body and blood of our dear Savior. His body (his humanity) was especially prepared of God, so that he could come into this world to obey God for us and die in our stead at Calvary. His righteousness, (his obedience to the law), and his blood, (his satisfaction of justice), our great Melchizedek pleads for us in heaven. — “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!”
Justified By Faith
In Genesis 15 we see Abram, a man to whom God revealed himself, to whom God promised a Savior, believing God. Standing in the midst of the sacrifice (looking to Christ), God made a covenant with him. — “He believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” Abram was justified, justified from eternity in the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and now justified in his own conscience by faith in Christ, declared righteous before God by God himself. The righteousness of Christ was imputed to him.
So it is with all God’s elect. Our only righteousness before God is that which God himself gives to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. We are made the righteousness of God in Christ. It is righteousness, without works, received by faith. Let us ever give thanks to God for his grace. Believing sinners are “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ.”
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