Today's Bible Study Lesson
“The Faith of Abraham”
difference between faith and works as manifested in the life of
the knowledge and wisdom of Paul as seen in his understanding of the
Old Testament, and Identify
we rely on our faith for a relationship with God.
what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was
accounted to him for righteousness.” Romans 4:3 NKJV
was identified as the father to the Jewish Nation. His relationship
with God was of a key interest to the Jewish believers of the day.
Paul opens our study of Romans 4:1-12 with a rhetorical question how
did Abraham come to be in a right relationship with God? Paul
immediately argues that if it had been Abraham’s good works, he
would be in a position to boast; however, Paul quickly denounces
that as being God’s Will or Way. Abraham believed and trusted God
and that was enough for God to advance Abraham with righteousness
because of his faith.
goes on to contrast a gift with that of wages earned. When one
works, he/she expects to receive wages in exchange for one’s labor
which have been earned. On the other hand, when one receives a gift,
he/she is the benefactor of the generosity of the giver. In the case
of those who believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior, they/we are credited with righteousness not because it has
been earned but because their/our faith in God who forgives our
sins. In other words, we are guilty, but God grants us a Full
Pardon for our sins.
Paul references King David’s joy in being declared righteous by
God as a gift from Him because He forgives one who has sinned.
King David was a direct recipient of God’s gracious forgiveness
for disobedience to God’s Law. David only had to admit his guilt
and ask God for forgiveness. Not only did King David receive
forgiveness, but separation from his transgression. (“As
far as the east is from the west, [so] far hath he removed our
transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12 KJV)
We need separation from our forgiven sins so that they will not
haunt and hamper us. This is the equivalent of receiving a clean
asks a second rhetorical question, “… is this blessing
[forgiveness and righteousness] only for the Jews or is it also
available for Gentiles?” Circumcision was a ritual for all Jewish
During this stage of the Gospel sharing with the Gentiles, many Jews
believed that circumcision of a Gentile believer was a requirement.
Paul argues that Abraham was granted righteousness because of his
faith, which incidentally occurred prior to his circumcision. His
argument follows that if Abraham was granted righteousness prior to
circumcision because of his faith, likewise Gentiles were eligible
for the same righteousness without circumcision.
explains that circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith
in God. And if Abraham is the father of those who have faith, is he
the father of those who have faith whether they are circumcised or
uncircumcised. The only requirement to be in the Household of Faith
was possessing the faith in God and in Jesus Christ as Lord and
Savior. From another perspective those who were circumcised, but did
not possess faith were not granted righteousness by God. Similarly,
the argument over faith and works is settled. Yes faith without
works is dead; however, one does not work to be saved, but works
because one is saved!
like Abraham are granted righteousness (right relationship with God)
by our faith in God and in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
must be careful to not elevate our religious customs and rituals to
the level of God’s Law and Teachings. (e.g., how we dress when we
come to worship, etc.)
must realize that the Gospel is available to everyone not just to
those with whom we associate.
Verses to Keep in Mind:
he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
Genesis 15:6 KJV
“If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 KJV
“For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every
one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
Romans 1:16 KJV
“The Lord is not slack concerning
his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to
us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come
to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 KJV
without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh
to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them
that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 KJV