Romans 4:19-25

In Romans 4:19-25 Paul helps us understand just how far Abraham stretched his faith. He considered his body as good as dead, and Sarah wasn’t far behind. “He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.” But Abraham chose to focus not on the circumstances which were bleak and doubtful at best. Instead he chose to focus on the promises of God and how he was to be part of God’s plan. It is a matter of what we choose to focus on that helps us live out life in faith.

Abraham’s faith did not waver, even though it looked impossible. He stayed the course believing that what God had said would come true. “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.” Though it was a huge challenge, Abraham remained steadfast in faith. He knew God was able to perform. “That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” This kind of faith sees the work of God done. It sees the work of God done in the immediate and in the eternal.

It wasn’t only for Abraham’s benefit that God declared him righteous through faith; he is an example that we are invited to follow – it is also for us. Paul’s confidence is glorious: It shall be the same for us who believe; this wasn’t just for Abraham, but for us also. “But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” When we talk about faith and saving faith in Jesus, it is important to emphasize that we mean believing that His work on the cross (delivered up because of our offenses) and triumph over sin and death (raised because of our justification) is what saves us.

It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” There are many false-faiths that can never save, and only faith in what Jesus accomplished on the cross and through the empty tomb can save us:

  • Faith in the historical events of the life of Jesus will not save.
  • Faith in the beauty of Jesus’ life will not save.
  • Faith in the accuracy or goodness of Jesus’ teaching will not save.
  • Faith in the deity of Jesus and in His Lordship will not save.
  • Only faith in what the real Jesus did for us on the cross will save.

The resurrection has an essential place in our redemption because it demonstrates God the Father’s perfect satisfaction with the Son’s work on the cross. It proves that what Jesus did on the cross was in fact a perfect sacrifice made by One who remained perfect, even though bearing the sin of the world.

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