As we continue with our study in Romans, we come to Romans chapter 4, which talks about the faith of Abraham. Before we get into Romans chapter 4 though, let’s review chapter 3.
Paul has shown that it is neither the obedience to the Law for a Jew nor the obedience through conscience, for the Gentile that will enable them to meet the requirements of God. Paul clearly states “all have sinned and come short of the glory (righteousness) of God” There is nothing man can do. Not works. Not his own righteousness. As 3:28 says. “For we maintain that man is justified by faith apart from thee works of the law”
Abraham was not made righteous by the Law
In Romans chapter 4, Paul brings Abraham into the picture. We find out that it wasn’t by the law or by circumcision that allowed him to be seen righteous. The Law didn’t even come until 400 years later. Circumcision came after Abraham was “reckoned” righteous and was a sign for future generations.
Abraham believed God
It was Abraham’s belief in what God said that enabled him to be reckoned righteous. God told him he would have a son. This was when Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah’s womb was dead. Yet, he believed God. Believed that He who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist was able. Abraham hoped beyond hope and did not waiver in unbelief. Instead he grew strong in faith and gave glory to God. Abraham was “fully assured” that when God promised him a son that He would be able to perform the task. And, because he believed, it was reckoned to him as righteousness.
How many of us would have believed?
Righteousness through Jesus Christ
This righteousness of God is also given to those who believe God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. This Jesus who was delivered up because of our transgressions and was raised because of our justification. The sacrifice of Jesus, on the cross, is sufficient so that those who believe in Him will be justified and given the righteousness of God.
Belief in God or Jesus Christ
You will notice in Chapter 4 that it was because Abraham believed in God that he was deemed righteous but in Chapter 3 we are told that all those who by faith believe in Jesus Christ will have the righteousness of God. How can this be. Colossians tells us that Jesus is all the fullness of God in bodily form. When we look at Jesus, we are looking at the Father. Hebrews also tells us that Abraham was looking forward to Jesus, even though Jesus had not yet come in the Old Testament. Today, since Jesus had come, it is faith in Him … which is faith in God! There is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved!
What type of belief
The faith of Abraham, to believe God was able to perform what he promised, notwithstanding the physical reality is the faith we need today. So often we ask people to say a little prayer of salvation and tell them are saved. What we need is to have the same faith as Abraham. Even though we are dead in our sins, we need to be “fully assured” that the sacrifice of Christ, on the cross, was sufficient to cleans us from all unrighteousness. And that we now have eternal life.
I used the New American Standard Version of the Bible for this lesson
attached is the YouTube link for this study.