Summary: A study of faith in the Old Testament
I. Abraham Was Justified by Faith, Not Works (4:1-8)
A. Salvation is not of works nor has it ever been, and is only by faith.
B. It should be clear that man can not contribute anything to his salvation. It is all of God, all of grace.
C. Ephesians 2:8, 9
D. Hebrews 11
E. Thomas Watson (C. 1557-1592) - God does not justify us because we are worthy, but by justifying us makes us worthy.
F. There are only two kinds of religion in the world ... You can list every "ism," every cult, every religion in southern California under one category. They all say, "Do, do, do." Only Christianity says, "Done." Christ has done it all.
II. Abraham Was Justified While Still a Gentile (4:9-12)
A. Technically, then, Abraham was saved as a Gentile, and not as a Jew, for he did not enter Judaism by circumcision, nor did he have the Law to keep.
B. What a blow to the Jew who maintained that one could not be saved without becoming a Jew by circumcision and keeping the Law (Acts 15:1)!
C. Sacraments do not convey grace.
D. Romans 3:20 "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
E. Romans 3:28 "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
F. Zig Ziglar "On the planet earth there are many kinds of people. But in God’s sight there are only two kinds. Not rich or poor, old or young, tall or short, fat or thin, black or white -- only saved or lost. In God’s Kingdom the mighty and the humble join hands when all of them become the children of God.
III. God’s Promises Are Realized by Faith, Not by Law-Keeping (4:13-16)
A. Faith is the only way of receiving God’s blessing. Paul not only tells us that salvation is by faith, but also God’s blessings come only by faith.
B. I Peter 1:3-4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,"
C. Galatians 3:18 "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise."
D. Romans 8:16-17 "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
E. Faith in God will not get for you everything you may want, but it will get for you what God wants you to have. The unbeliever does not need what he wants: the Christian should want only what he needs.