Romans 4 The Example of Salvation
Romans 4:1-15-Paul uses Abraham as an example of the principle of faith. Righteousness was “reckoned” (applied) to him as the result of his faith in God...then he was circumcised. Paul was making it clear that circumcision was a sign of righteousness, not a cause. Paul says that this is to show that both those who are circumcised and those that are not circumcised...all must come to God the same way, through faith. The promise that Abraham and his descendants would be heir of the world was not the result of his keeping the Law, but believing in faith.
Romans 4:16-25-Paul shows how Abraham's faith operated specifically by referring to his faith that he would have a child even though he and Sarah were past that time in their life. His faith in God was simply that God could and would do whatever He said He would do. Notice the order of Paul’s argument (cf. Genesis 15-17)…
4:1-8 Abraham’s faith was not dependent on his performing good works
- righteousness is the result of God’s “favor” (:21), what God “reckoned/reckons” (:3,4,5,6), God’s “blessing/blessed” (:6,7,8);
- righteousness is not the result of man’s “works” (:2,5,6), his “wage…due” (:4);
- Abraham’s responsibility was that he “believed/believes” (:3,5);
- As a result, Abraham’s “lawless deeds, sins, sin” (:7,8) have been “forgiven, covered, not taken into account” (:7-8; cf. Psalm 32:1-2).
4:9-12 Abraham’s faith was not dependent on his being circumcised
413-15 Abraham’s faith was not dependent on his keeping of the Law/law
4:16-17 Abraham’s faith was dependent on God extending His grace
4:18-21 Abraham’s faith was dependent on God’s ability to perform what He had promised (verse 21 is a great definition of what faith is)
4:22-25 Abraham’s faith is the model for our faith
Prayer: Father, help me to believe in You even when I cannot figure out on my own how something is possible. Help me to be like Abraham and to be fully assured that whatever You say, You can do...You can do. Don't let me trust in what I can mentally, or emotionally figure out...but to simply trust You, completely.