Summary: Faith in God is critical for our salvation and also for our walk with God. Learn from Abraham and put our faith in God's Word, His wisdom, and glorify God. Faith faces the facts with an unwavering trust in God.
Is faith in God important? Does our faith in Jesus Christ matter?
Paul has been stressing to his readers that we are all justified by faith in Jesus Christ, our only way of salvation.
• This was not a new, novel idea that he came up with. It was God’s plan for all men.
• Paul highlighted in Romans 4 two respected patriarchs of the Jews, Abraham and David, to prove the point that we are all justified by faith and not works.
4:3 “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”, which is a quotation from Gen 15 when God repeated His pledge to bless Abraham.
• David too was forgiven and justified because he believed God.
• He quoted David’s psalm (4:6): “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, sins are covered, against whom the Lord will not count his sin. (Psa 32:1-2)
Abraham was declared righteous by his faith (Gen 15) BEFORE he was circumcised (Gen 17), the sign of the covenant that God instituted.
• And it was also BEFORE the introduction of the Law (Exo 20), so clearly it was not obedience to the Law that makes Abraham righteous.
• David, on the other hand, has the LAW but could not keep it. He transgressed the Law many times but repented and God forgave him.
They were both justified by faith, not works; they were justified by grace, not Law.
• Both believed God and were justified by faith.
• God justifies them, with a view of the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus.
From Abraham to David and to us today, God’s way of salvation for man has not changed. We are justified by faith in God’s provision of a sacrifice for our sin.
• We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
Faith in God is critical for our salvation and for our walk with God today.
• Paul continues to talk about Abraham’s faith in our text today. Let’s learn from him.
Rom 4:16-25 ESV Let’s read from verse 16 onwards.
16That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law [Jews] but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham [Gentiles], who is the father of us all, 17as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead [power of resurrection] and calls into existence the things that do not exist [power of creation].
18In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” [Gen 15:6] 23But the words “it was counted to him” [NIV credited to him] were not written for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Let us take a glance at Abraham’s life to appreciate his faith in God.
• It started with God giving him a promise in Gen 12:1-3.
• The Lord initiated a relationship with him asking Abram to leave his country Ur and go to the land that the Lord will show him (the promised land Canaan).
• God promised to bless him and make a great nation and all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
He travelled to the land of Palestine, then to Egypt and back to Hebron.
• Gen 15 the Lord visited him in a vision and repeated His covenant.
• Gen 15:5-6 “And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 6“And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” (quoted here Rom 4:3)
Then we have this unfortunate incident in Gen 16 when Abram and Sarai were getting too old and Sarai decided that Abram should have a child with her maidservant Hagar.
• Ishmael was born as a result but this was not God’s will.
• Abram was then 86 years old (Gen 16:16).