Summary: Just what did Abraham discover about Faith?
Abraham¨CAn Example of Faith
¡ñ It is my firm belief that, more than just a timeless letter to Christians about the gospel, Romans was an attempt by Paul to unify a divided church in Rome.
¡ñ Paul would use two points to stress to these Christians the reason they should be united in fellowship.
¡ñ 1. The Promise of God to provide a common salvation. Romans 1:16¨C17
¡ñ 2. The Condemnation of sinners by God extends to all mankind. Romans 3:9, 23
¡ñ In Chapter 1 Paul discusses The Promise of God¨Csalvation to All.
¡ñ In Chapter 1 & 2 Paul discusses The Common Bond of Sin¨CAll are condemned sinners.
¡ñ In Chapter 3 Paul discusses Righteousness through Faith
¡ñ As a way of explaining to both the Jews and the Gentiles this concept of being declared righteous through faith, Paul uses Abraham as An Example of Faith.
¡ñ Why Abraham? Genesis 15:1¨C6
¡ñ Abraham was the father of the Jewish Nation The Promise would come through him.
¡ñ The question is asked in Romans 4:1 ¡°What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?¡±
I. Abraham: Justified by faith or by his own merit? Romans 4:1¨C8
A. Romans 4:3 ¡°What does the Scripture say? ¡°Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.¡±
1. Abraham believed God.
2. His faith was credited to him AS righteousness.
B. A woman works in a restaurant all week. At the end of the week she is handed her paycheck. She has earned her reward. She has contracted with her employer to give up her time in exchange for a predetermined wage. Thus, when presented with her paycheck, no thank you¡¯s are required. She has earned her pay and her employer is obligated to pay her for her services. Her employer has also received something of benefit out of the arrangement.
C. The very opposite of this would be the same woman still employed at the restaurant but after showing up for work becomes sick and goes home. On the 2nd day, her child is sick and she cannot work. On the 3rd day, her other child is sick. On the 4th day she goes to work and receives a phone call, her mother has died. On the 5th day, the funeral for her mother is held. When payday rolls around this woman is in desperate need of money but she has done nothing to earn her check. Yes she is still considered an employee but she was not able to do enough work that week to earn her pay. As the paychecks are being handed out her employer presents her with a check. This time the paycheck was not earned, she has received a gift.
D. This is the kind of gift Paul is talking about.
1. In chapters 1 & 2, he explains clearly that everyone is a sinner and needs salvation.
2. In chapter 3, he shows without doubt that no one can live up to the law in order to be declared righteous. Because no one can do enough to earn their salvation.
3. This gift, Paul says, is talked about in Psalm 32:1¨C2 (Romans 4:7¨C8) ¡°Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.¡±