Summary: Faith in the reality of Messiah Jesus Christ is the same as Abraham’s faith in the Promised Messiah.
We noted last week from Romans 4:1-12 that Abraham is the “father” of faith. Faith, belief and trust in God with his heart, made Abraham righteous in God’s sight. Please open your Bibles to Matthew 8:11……….
Abraham will be in heaven! The Israelites of old were so sure that Abraham will be in heaven that they called heaven, Abraham’s Bosom. What about the Israelites from the Old Testament, will they all be in heaven? Who of those who died before Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead will go to heaven and why? God answers this question in Romans Chapter 4; please open your Bibles there and let us learn together. But before reading our text this morning, let us together pray our commitment to God’s Word…….
Verse 13 is of course the key verse in this passage. “It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
Abraham and his offspring received a promise from God. Can God keep a promise??
Absolutely, God can keep His promises!
God is the absolute Promise Keeper!
But remember what we noted a few weeks ago from Romans 2:3-4? God gives promises to people because He loves people! God gives and instructs because He loves people and whatever people do with God’s provisions will not nullify God’s love for people. The problem is never with God but people’s choice to either believe or not believe in this Holy God! You either have faith in God or not!
You either believe in God’s Promise or not, but our choice will never nullify who God is! And simply, if we don’t believe
in the promise then don’t expect to have it!
You see, this is what happened with Abraham. God gave Abraham a promise but it didn’t become real until Abraham believed with his heart! And of course, true belief, which is faith, results in actions! In general, faith can be defined as a decision to believe and trust in something so complete, that actions result from it!
What did Abraham believe and trust in?
v17……. Abraham had faith in the Almighty God who gives life to the dead!
v19………. Abraham had faith in the God who can do the impossible.
v21…….. Abraham had faith in the God who will do what He says.
Did Abraham pick a good God?? I think Abraham would say, “If you’re going to pick a god, pick a good one!” And the God who says “I Am” is not only a good God, He is the One and Only True God; all other gods are false!
Do we have other gods in our lives today?
Watch out! There is Only One True God, the God of the Bible. All other gods we worship are false gods!
And because Abraham had faith in the One and Only Holy Almighty God, Abraham received the promise of not only blessings on earth but was made right before God forever! Abraham’s complete faith in who God is and what God said made him acceptable to heaven!
But let us not forget what we learned from the Book of Genesis; Abraham did not do everything perfectly; Abraham sinned against God; only because of his faith in God was he made righteous! Ephesians 2:8-9 affirms this truth: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.
Now, was the promise of righteousness for Abraham alone? Look again at v16-17 of Romans 4…………
The promise, which is guaranteed grace, was not only to Abraham but also is to “those who are of the Law” and to those who are of the faith of Abraham.
Remember that God’s Law was given after the Promise!
God’s promise to Abraham and his offspring actually preceded God’s Law by several hundred years!
And so, when God talks about “those who are of the Law”, God is not talking about the people who obeyed the Law but to the people who were given the Law. “Those who are of the Law” are the people of Israel in the Old Testament.
And so, how are the people of the Old Testament going to be acceptable to heaven? People who died before Jesus Christ will go to heaven if they had faith like Abraham. People of the Old Testament will go to heaven if in their hearts they completely believed and trusted who God is and what He said. And what did God say in the Old Testament about being made righteous?
We read in Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.