Romans 4:16b-18

In Romans 4:16b-18 Paul reminds us that God’s promise can only be sure if it is according to grace. If law is the basis of our salvation, then our salvation depends on our performance in keeping the law – and no one can keep the law good enough to be saved by it. A law-promise of salvation can never be sure. Faith is the only way that salvation can be guaranteed because that is not dependent on what we do. “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring–not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all….”

Abraham was father of many nations both physically and spiritually. But his ability to help us find our way to God was through his faith, not his works. He was father of many nations but it was his connection to the presence of God that gives life. “…as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”–in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.” While none of us are righteous and holy in our own efforts, God knows we can become that way through faith and a relationship with Jesus Christ. That which does not exist in us through our works will become real through our faith.

Abraham wrestled with his faith and believing what God said to be true. But life-giving power was accomplished in Abraham as he believed. The power was evident naturally and spiritually.  “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” Abraham couldn’t see how, but his example helps us to understand the nature of faith. The conception of Abraham’s son Isaac was a miracle, but it was not an immaculate conception. Abraham’s faith did not mean that he did nothing and just waited for God to create a child in Sarah’s womb.

Abraham and Sarah had marital relations and trusted God for a miraculous result. This shows us that faith does not mean doing nothing, but doing everything with trust and reliance on God. Spurgeon wrote “All true believers, like Abraham, obey. Obedience is faith in action. You are to walk in the steps of the faith of father Abraham. His faith did not sit still, it took steps; and you must take these steps also by obeying God because you believe him. That faith which has no works with it is a dead faith, and will justify no one.” Faith isn’t just sitting in a chair and hoping God moves. It is walking in obedience to what we know he wants us to do and leaving the outcome to Him.

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.


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