Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Faith and our Fathers

Many of us today take pride in our genealogies.

And it seems like everyone who traces their family tree back far enough finds a king or princess or some well known person in their family line.

My father’s side of the family takes pride in our English/French ancestry and in one Robert de Pierrepont.

Robert de Pierrepont was an ally of William the Conqueror and fought with him at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He was Knighted for distinguished service, given land in Nottinghamshire.

According to the Domesday Book he possessed Henestede and Wrethem in Suffolk, and he held them for William, the Duke of Normandy.

More recently - but still about 6 great grandfathers’ back – John Pierpont fought in the American Revolution and hosted George Washington in his home for the night at Fort Pierpont on the forks of the Cheat River.

Unfortunately I cannot claim ancestry from father Abraham.

There is even more snob appeal there than in Robert de Pierrepont.

I'll admit that I sometimes feel the pull of arrogance in my own life, and I don't think I'm alone.

Isn't it funny how a man will act boastfully over something he has no control —like who his great-grandfather was?

Arrogance is usually like that. Ironically, though, Christians can boast about something over which we have no control.

Yet even the illustrious Abraham was justified not through his good works, but through faith.

Faith was the source of his righteousness. Paul uses the scriptures to make this point when he quotes Gen. 15:6 — "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."

That word for "reckoned" can be translated different ways: imputed, counted, or credited to his account.

All these choices depict the idea that Abraham's righteousness was something not earned, but given to him by God.

And so it is with us.

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