Romans 4 “Faithful Father”

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Every good point needs an illustration; Romans chapter 4 is just that, an illustration. The Jewish people often look to their past for examples on how to live.  Great people like David, Joshua, and Moses would be people they would seek to emulate. There was, however, no one in their history quite like Abraham. Apart from being the father of their nation, Abraham’s legacy is one of unrelenting faith in God.

Many Jewish people would have pointed to Abraham’s works of obedience or the fact that he was circumcised as reasons for his righteousness before God.  Paul, in illustrating his argument for justification by grace through faith in chapter three points out that Abraham believed God which led to obedience and all this before he was ever circumcised.  Genesis 15 says that this posture of faith is what God credits to Abraham as righteousness, which is the very same grace we see given through Jesus Christ.

Questions to take home:

  1. Last week Evan talked through Romans 3:21-31.  How would you, in your own words, explain “justification by grace through faith” (3:22-25)?
  2. Paul appeals to the timeline of Abraham’s life as an argument for the priority of faith and its relationship to grace.  God called Abraham, he believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness, and then he was circumcised. What implications does this have in your walk with God?
  3. There is a relationship between faith and obedience that Paul is working out here.  They are intimately related to each other and both are important. What do you think their relationship is?  Which comes first? How does one impact the other?