[From Feb.1, 2013]
"For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all Abraham's descendants, not only to the adherents of the law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham..."
Loans. Promissory notes. Collateral. Prenuptial agreements. Binding contracts. We're familiar with how our agreements and promises are made. Two (or more) parties have goods or services they plan on exchanging. Details are laid out ahead of time. No one enters into such an agreement without believing the other party will fulfill their end of the bargain.
Paul, writing to the believers in Rome, lays out the promise of God to Abraham. The Covenant! When Abraham had nothing to give God except his faith, God made the promise. It wasn't contingent upon anything Abe did (or didn't do). It was all on God. Paul says that's a promise that "rests on grace."
I love that phrase! That's how God works, isn't it? He doesn't give us what we deserve, but instead showers us with love & forgiveness. In return, we're invited to do the same for others. May we be agents of grace - God's transforming grace!