Romans 4: Abraham’s Faith – Scriptural Harmony
Chapter 4 is a very powerful theological chapter. In it, Paul recounts some sacred history to remind the Romans of a fundamental principle that was in place from the beginning but was easy to overlook: that God’s unmerited, undeserved gift of grace comes not from adherence to the law or from our good works but rather, simply, in response to our abiding faith.
In Romans 4:22–25, Paul begins to illuminate a clear nexus between the faith of Abraham and the new covenant in the atonement of Jesus by saying, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” The return to the Old Testament justification by faith reiterates that there is one God and that all Scripture is in harmony. Before and after Christ (God incarnate), justification is always based on faith.
Abraham was justified and declared righteous by faith alone. He possessed an unconditional faith in God’s promise to make him the father of many nations, despite seemingly insurmountable odds and being alive many centuries before the life, death and resurrection of Christ. He was reckoned righteous by God on no basis other than his faithfulness. Today our faith is founded on our belief in Jesus Christ as the risen Son of God.
A Moment to Reflect:
If by your faith you are justified (i.e., acquitted or declared righteous) by God, what does that suggest for how you live your life from this point forward? If you are declared righteous by your faith, does that necessarily imply that you will experience moral transformation as well?