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Posted 4/23/2003 7:14:26 AM

How does one win favor with God? By obeying Him, certainly, but what if a person doesn't know the Bible, and the Law that is in it? Is there no hope? Does the person who never hears about Jesus Christ condemned because he never hears? What about people who lived before Christ?

The answer is faith, faith in the true God. "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'" Rom 4:3, Gen 15:6 Being good is fine, but if we were good enough to win favor with God, we would actually deserve favor from Him, as perfect people. Rom 4:4,5

A law-abiding member of God's family doesn't earn salvation, it's the other way around. Faith in God, and faith that Jesus rose from the dead, result in God's gift of salvation Rom 4:24-25, which turns a person into a law-abiding member of God's family. Abraham first believed, then God established His convenant with him. And believe is all he did, too; he didn't earn God's favor to become the father of many nations. Rom 4:16 First faith, then works - but both are necessary! Jam 2:14-26

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