Summary: Too many people assume that the process involves going to church, learning to cite particular creeds or observing certain rituals. However, Paul teaches the Romans in this passage how Abraham was justified (established as right before God and acquitted fr
How To Be Justified By Faith (Rom. 4:1-8)
Illustration:God does not expect us to submit our faith to him without reason, but the very limits of our reason make faith a necessity.
1. Have you ever considered how to explain to another person the process of being justified by faith? Too many people assume that the process involves going to church, learning to cite particular creeds or observing certain rituals. However, Paul teaches the Romans in this passage how Abraham was justified (established as right before God and acquitted from guilt) by faith apart from works. When a person is justified they are freed from blame, absolved and declared guiltless.
Abraham became exonerated in the eyes of God as a result of being justified by faith. Someone has said when you are justified it is "Just as if you’ve never sinned." Paul shows that both Abraham and David recognized that they could not be justified by works or by keeping the commandments. Neither one of these spiritual giants rested on their own righteousness, but in the grace and mercy of God.
Paul wrote, "Abraham believed in and trusted in God and it was credited to his account as righteousness (right living and right standing with God)." (vs. 3) Ask the Lord to help you pray with others showing them how to place their faith, reliance and trust in Christ’s righteousness to be justified in the eyes of God.
2. Abraham proved that faith is a confident persuasion that God will do what He says and acting on that conviction. Contrary to some misconceptions, faith is not an abstract intellectual assent to what we cannot see. Faith is the complete trust, reliance and dependence on God to do what we cannot do for ourselves. One man has said, "Faith is trusting God’s word and taking God’s way." Here was a seventy-five year old man who listened and obey God’s directive to go to an unknown country and away from his earthly security. How many people today are willing to go to Sumatra, Guinea or Bakasssi with the gospel? There is declining numbers of young people who are willing to go to the regions beyond. Most people are just content to watch the starving babies on the evening news and say, "That is not a place for me." Faith prompts a person to do what is pleasing in God’s eyes more than human perspectives. Ask the Lord to help you demonstrate more of Abraham’s faith in a God who never fails.
3. Abraham’s faith made him acceptable to God. Many people spend much of their lives trying to be acceptable. When they are children they try to be acceptable and pleasing to their parents. When they are youth they bend over backwards to be acceptable to their peers. When they are in college they try to be acceptable to the their professors. When they are employed they try to gain the acceptance and approval from their boss. When they are married they try to maintain the acceptance and love of their spouse. When they have children they try to teach their children socially acceptable behavior and the cycle begins all over again. Saving faith makes a person acceptable through the righteousness of Christ. Ask the Lord to help you live more in light of the assurance that you are accepted in Christ’s love, grace and righteousness. Learn to live without fear of estrangement.
4. Abraham’s faith allowed him to realize that what God has promised He was able to deliver. When a person grows in faith they are able to fully realize that God is able to deliver them from any problem. Failure to believe in God’s power to rescue us from difficulties leads to fear, anger or disobedience. Ask the Lord to help you grow in faith to a point where you can persuade others of God’s almighty power to deliver from any challenge.
5. Abraham believed in the certainty of God’s word. This magnificent saint of God knew that heaven and earth might pass away, but His word would never fade away. The truth of the scripture is a precious, unchangeable and powerful weapon that few learn how to utilize. Abraham learned how to rely on God’s truth as he wrapped his loins with truth and used the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God to develop great faith.
Challenge others to hear, read, study, memorize and meditate on the scriptures to become more obedient to God. God blesses us as we grow in faith and deeper intimacy with the Master.
Conclusion:Hudson Taylor, the outstanding founder of the China Inland Mission had Abraham like faith when he wrote, "God’s will done in God’s way will not lack God’s support."
Ask the Lord to help you become so confident in God’s word that you act in full anticipation that every truth is worth staking one’s life choices upon. Abraham’s faith is worth imitating.