We ended our last study on a high note. We don’t have to remain living in the dark. We are made right with God when we place our faith in Jesus. This is good news since we know that we fall short of God’s standard because of sin. Today, Paul shows us what faith looks like through a man named Abraham. Go ahead and read Romans 4.
We read how Abraham is the founder of the Jewish nation. Go to Genesis 17:5 and see what God says about Abraham, “You will be the father of many nations.” God accepted Abraham and He gave him a great promise for his future.
Paul tells us that God’s standard for faith has nothing to do with doing good deeds.
ASK YOURSELF: What is God’s standard then; see verse 3? You find this same verse in Genesis 15:6 too.
Look at verse 5 and see how are we counted as righteous. God forgives sinners. This is why the Gospel is called the Good News. David, another faithful follower of God, is referred to saying that there is happiness for those who are declared righteous without working for it.
ASK YOURSELF: What does David say in verses 7-8? Also, look at Psalm 32:1-2. What similarities or differences do you see? What is God saying to you?
Verses 9-12 talks about circumcision. It is helpful to understand that God used this procedure for male babies as a sign of the covenant God made with Abraham. It is the cutting away of one’s flesh to make room for God.
ADDED INSIGHT: Taken from gotquestions.org, “What is the Abrahamic Covenant?” It is a covenant which can either be conditional, meaning each party fulfills their part of the bargain or unconditional, meaning there is an agreement from both parties but only one of the parties has to do their part. The other party simply enjoys the benefits from the agreement.
Jesus made an unconditional covenant with us.
We see from these verses how God accepted Abraham before He was circumcised. Because of this, God accepts people based on their faith, not on any outward religious actions. Go ahead and look at Galatians 5:1-4.
ASK YOURSELF: What is Paul saying in these verses? Do you find this helpful in understanding how God makes us right with Himself?
ASK YOURSELF: In verse 13, what is God’s promise based on? If it was based on obeying the law only, outward religious actions, what does Paul say in verse 14? What does the law bring about when it’s not obeyed, See verse 15?
“So, the promise is to receive by faith. It is given as a free gift.”
Abraham became “the father of many nations because he believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.” (verse 17)
ASK YOURSELF: Do you believe God? Do you believe that He is creating you with an amazing future with hope, joy and love? Look at verse 18. Even during hopeless times, what did Abraham do?
God spoke to Abraham and he believed Him. He held on to every word that was spoken to him. “Abraham’s faith did not weaken.” You see, Abraham and his wife Sarah were really old. They were past child-bearing years but God told him that he would be the father of of many nations. For this to happen, they needed to have a child. Physically speaking, this had become impossible.
ASK YOURSELF: What has gotten you down and out? What has you disappointed and tired? Have you lost hope in ever seeing your circumstance change around? Look at verses 20-22, describe Abraham’s faith. What did God do for Abraham?
God walks with us like He did with Abraham. We can trust Him when He speaks to us.
ASK YOURSELF: Check out verses 24-25. What does God do for us? What is our part?
This is Good News! May you experience the love that God has for you. May you discover God’s faithfulness, the same faithfulness that was shown to Abraham. Abraham found God to be true to His word. We will too.