Yeah you have missed Paul's teaching here. I don't reject his gospel; I reject your gospel. RB, the OT is one long record of God's mercies and grace based upon man's cooperation. In the case of the Jews under the Old Covenant, that was the case physically, materially and spiritually.
I would agree with all three, if you modified what you mean by "spiritually".
Example: King David's terrible sin. He was a man of God that committed a horrible sin that we are all capable of doing if we do not heed the exhortations of the word of God. Especially so the many, we find in Solomon's Proverbs.....of all people! Then I agree with the word spiritually. If
you are speaking of regeneration then I must disagree with you~we have no part in being saved from sin and condemnation, that's the work of God solely by his power and grace toward us on the behalf of Jesus Christ who was made sin for us, that we would be made the righteousness of God. I'm sure that the sense in which you were using the word spiritual.
It began early on with God's dealing with Cain and Abel. In God's question to Cain, it is clear that God is seeking cooperation. God said to Cain, Gen 4:7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."
Well, guess what? He would have, and if he had followed the way of his brother, then that would have proved
that God had given him the gift of faith~and by Cain not doing as Abel proved also that of himself he could not bring the proper offering, and by Cain killing his brother also proved he truly had no desire to please God, or even his own flesh and blood~his god was his own precious thoughts and feelings which all men have by nature hold dear to themselves.
What you call a work gospel, Paul rejects. He said, What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." (Rom 4:1-3)
Paul specifically and directly declares that it was Abraham's faith that was counted to him as righteousness; that is by his faith, Abraham was justified. Paul at that same time rejected the idea that faith was a work.
Let us once more look at this phrase that is used several times over in the scriptures both Old and New Testaments.
This is the most popular Bible quotation (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3,5,6,9,22,24; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23).
Paul declared New Testament worship of Christ to be comparable to Abraham’s worship. The adverbial phrase, "even as", in Galatians 3:6...
Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Means that there is a very strong comparison to be seen.
Paul has been mentioning faith over and over, and Abraham is the greatest example of it. The Galatians stood by faith (2:16; 3:1-5); God approved Abraham by faith (Genesis 15:6). This is precious and sweet, if we grasp Paul introduced Abraham as father to Gentiles!
The Judaizer false teachers could only offer some connection to Moses by circumcision.
Why is Abraham so important? For very good reasons in opposing the legalism of Judaizers~and ALL those who believe as you do that works are included in one being born of God.
All the Jews recognized Abraham as the great friend of God, inheritor of promises, and father of the nation, in whom they took great confidence (Matthew 3:9; John 8:33; Exodus 3:6). For those trusting Abraham, he was a man approved and commended by God for faith. For those trusting circumcision, Abraham was declared righteous before it
(Romans 4:9-12). For those trusting Law, Abram was righteous 430 years before
(Romans 4:13-16; Galatians 3:17).
What did Abraham believe? God promised him a son and a multitudinous seed (Genesis 15:6). Did Abraham call forth faith in order to be justified and made righteous by God at this time?
Here is where we greatly differ from Arminians and even Calvinists alike about justification, whom we find to be very similar on this doctrine, when we press them for definitions.
Arminians (like you) hold conditional
justification~faith is the human condition for righteousness.
Calvinists hold instrumental
justification~faith is the instrument receiving righteousness.
We deny both as being heretical notions, for our faith does not affect legal justification
The text says God accepted Abraham’s faith and counted it as evidence for righteousness, which is how we understand it: our faith is the spiritual evidence and fruit of salvation
.The difference is significant~is legal justification conditional, or is it unconditional? Is faith the means of righteousness before God, or is it only the evidence of righteousness?
Abraham had believed God and his promises and trusted Him obediently long before
this minor event (Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8; PLEASE READ ....Genesis 12:7,8; 13:4,14-18; 14:17-24). If this event was the conditional or instrumental cause of Abraham’s justification, then he was a condemned pagan in his previous acts of worship, which God joyfully accepted! You cannot escape this conclusion.
Did Melchizedek bless Abram as a condemned sinner on his way to the lake of fire (Genesis 14:18-20)? Before Abraham could get started believing, God had already accepted him (Genesis 15:1)!If
this event was the conditional or instrumental cause of Abraham’s justification, then the shish-ka-bob javelin act of Phinehas was his condition or instrument (Psalms 106:30-31)!
4WD, ask yourself these questions: Is it an act of faith that justifies? A life of faith? Or only while you have faith? Or what? Why was this event singled out and quoted more in the New Testament than any passage?
Abel, Enoch, and Noah were ignored, because they were not the “father” of Israel, though they proved their righteous character by their faith
long before Abraham (Hebrews 11:4-7).
We must conclude God wrote Genesis 15:6 and its many other like scriptures for future use in showing the important role of faith to all trusting in their works~ the Law that came 430 years later and to Gentiles that had no Law at all! Salvation is of the Lord.