Reading: Romans 4
Summary: Of course, those who struggled greatly with Paul’s message were Jewish Christians. They had long been taught that their justification rested upon their genealogy as Abraham’s descendants and keepers of God’s Law. Paul sets out to show that Abraham’s justification was by faith as a demonstration of the same means of justification for all men, and that was accomplished apart from the Law. Abraham responded in faith to the promise of God. That promise preceded the Law.
What is important is faith like that of Abraham’s, not blood traced back through his lineage.
Is Abraham your father?
You may wish to answer in the negative because you’re not of Jewish descent. If so, you’ve missed the point. What point? Paul’s point. He said Abraham is the “father of us all” (Rom. 4:16). By that, he did not mean “us all” Jews. Instead, it is the one who “shares the faith of Abraham.”
Exactly what kind of faith was that? The kind that believes in God as the one “who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that things that do not exist” (v. 17); the kind that “believes against hope” and does not weaken in trusting God’s promises despite apparent evidence to the contrary (vv. 17-19). “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (vv. 20-21).
That kind of faith. The kind of faith that believes and trust in Him who “raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (vv. 24-25).
Lord, may I be able to call Abraham my father!