Summary: Using Abraham's life as an example, we explore the Apostle Pauls teaching about faith in Romans chapter 4
Faith Like Abraham
CCCAG June 29th, 2020
Scripture- Romans 4 (Chris Reading)
Today we're going to be looking at Romans chapter 4 as part of our series on the book of Romans. These chapters we are in really nail down the idea of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and as Paul is using a legal argument, it is building on itself using multiple examples.
In Romans chapter 4, the focus and example used is a man that we talked about in 2016 when we went through our heroes of the Old Testament series. His name is Abraham.
In it we discussed what made Abraham so special that God would use him to be the spiritual father of roughly ½ to 2/3 of the people on earth today.
Three of the world's largest religions look back to this man and call him the father that launched their religion or faith system.
Islam looks back to Abraham but counts Ishmael, his first-born son through his wife's slave Hagar, as their link back to him.
Judaism counts their link back to Abraham through Isaac being the son of the promise that God had given to Abram and Sarai before they decided to take matters into their own hands and did the Hagar thing.
Christianity of course is the natural progression of Judaism and that we believe that the Messiah has already come in the person of Jesus the Christ . Therefore, we also trace Abraham back through Isaac.
Just for clarity, in this message I may refer to Abraham as Abram, and Sarah as Sarai. The reason for that is that Abram and Sarai were their names before God’s promise was fully manifested in their lives in Genesis 17, and is significant so please don’t be confused as we look at this couple.
So who was this man? What made him so special that so many people today follow his example of what it means to be a person who God is pleased with?
Most importantly for us- why did Paul use one of the oldest examples in the Old Testament to demonstrate the New Testament’s Gospel’s message to this new group of believers, and to us today?
That’s some of what we will be looking at this morning, and how this man who lived 4000 years ago is still one of the most influential men who has ever lived.
Before we do that, we are going to have (Chris) read our section of scripture this morning-
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about — but not before God. 3 What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 "Blessed are they
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord will never count against him."
9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 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. 14 For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15 because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring — not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed — the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.