The Faith of Abraham - Romans 4

The Faith of Abraham

Romans 4:1-25

The nation of Israel had many heroes.  Many are listed in the eleventh chapter of Hebrews.  There were none greater than Abraham, affectionately known as "Abraham our father."  Romans 4:1.

But just how great was the father of the nation?  "For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God."  Romans 4:2.  In other words, Abraham didn't have any bragging rights when it came to his relationship with the Lord.  His good works did not commend him to God.  This great man was not justified by works.

How then was he justified?  "For what does the Scripture say?  'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'"  Romans 4:3.  According to Genesis 15:6, he was counted righteous through faith.  He believed God. 

Most people don't get it, but God justifies the ungodly.  "But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness."  Romans 4:5.  David is cited as another example of an ungodly man "to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works."  Romans 4:6.  When others think of David, the thought of an adulterer and murderer comes to mind.  Yet he also was justified by faith.

We need to understand the meaning of "accounted for righteousness," and "imputed righteousness."  The righteousness of God is credited to the bankrupted account of those who believe God.  Reference is made to these terms in Romans 4:5, 6, 9, 11.

In the New Testament Christians were continually confronted by Jews, who insisted on circumcision as a condition of salvation.  They boasted that they were descendants of father Abraham.  But when Abraham experienced the blessedness of justification he was not circumcised.  He was justified apart from circumcision.  Romans 4:8-12. 

But what about the keeping of the law?  "For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings wrath...."  Romans 4:13-15.

Abraham had the promise of God.  "He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform."  Romans 4:20, 21. 

What does the faith of Abraham have to do with us?  "Now it was written not for his sake alone that it (righteousness) was imputed to him, but also for us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification."  Romans 4:23-25.

Today we have exceeding great and precious promises of God.  What can you do with a promise?  The Lord wants you to believe it.  It is the just, those who are declared righteous, who live by faith.  You can believe God when He says that your faith is accounted to you for righteousness.

 

Lord, thank You for Your promise of justification.  Strengthen our faith that we may be unwavering in our walk with You.  We have no bragging rights.  We give you all the glory.  In Jesus' name.  Amen! 

 

The Reign of Grace - Romans 5