Romans 4:13-25

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 30, 2015 2 comments
by Katie Erickson

“It was not through the 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. For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

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 have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 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 into being things that were not.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.' Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old —and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why 'it was credited to him as righteousness.' The words 'it was credited to him' were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” (Romans 4:13-25)

To start off this week’s post, I encourage you go to read last week’s, since this is a continuation of it. Last week, we discussed who Abraham is and why Paul is using him as an example for faith. Romans 4:1-12 told us how faith is very different from works (verses 3-8), and how faith doesn’t depend on a religious observance like circumcision (verses 9-12).

Continuing on to this week’s passage, we see how faith is unrelated to the law (verses 13-17). Abraham didn’t receive the promise of salvation through the law, but through faith. The same is true for us; the law is useful to show us our sin and keep us on the right track, but we can’t be saved by it. We can only be saved by faith.

Further, our faith is on a promise that often goes against what seems normal to us (verses 18-22). Abraham was 100 years old when God promised that he would have a son, and his wife Sarah was no spring chicken either. How many people do you know in that age range, and how many of them are having babies? That definitely goes against what seems normal to us! But Abraham still had faith that God’s promise would come true, and it did. Faith does not always seem normal, but it is essential.

There is a theme in this section of Romans that focuses on God’s promises. The promise is based on faith, not the law (verses 13-15). Because of this, God’s promise is the same for the Jews as it is for the Gentiles - we all have the same promise (verses 16-17). Abraham’s faith in God’s promise was firm and unwavering (verses 18-22), thus giving us an example to strive for in our own faith.

What has God promised you in your life? If you don’t know, look in your Bible. God’s promises to the people in His Word are promised to us today as well. The most important promise is that of salvation, which God has already made good on! He promised thousands of years ago that He would send His Son Jesus to die on a cross for each one of us, so that if we have faith in Him we will be saved. That promise was, is, and always will be true. Do you believe it?

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Bill said...

I always found it interesting that the Bible talks about Abraham's faith that he would have a son while when Sarah heard this news she laughed (Gen 18:12ff). But I trust that she eventually believed.

Charlie said...

One thing I will add to what kind of faith Abraham had. He did not merely believe that God would give him a son. He believed to the point that he ACTED upon the promise being true. Without getting too graphic, for Abraham and Sarah to have a child, they had to do the act. I always say that faith requires action as though what you believe is true. If not, then it's not faith.