Abraham: Father of Faith

Today we are studying from Romans 4:1-12.   

Does doing good works justify us?   NO! 
We are told this clearly.  Abraham believed God and IT (his belief) was counted as righteousness.  It was his FAITH that mattered. 

 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

Does that mean that doing good works is meaningless?  Of course not.  It's part of what is due to God.   He made a way for us to be righteous.  Should we not then live according to the law that he has painted on our hearts?

 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.

What matters is the belief in the saving work of Jesus Christ.  God provided the way for us. All we have to do is believe it!  That faith makes us righteous.   Pretty cool eh?
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Again Paul raises the question.  Is this determination only for the circumcised (ie... only for the Jewish people).   Abrahman's faith was counted BEFORE he was circumcised.   His circumcision was only the sign of his faith. 

Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.

Circumcision's point with Abraham was a seal of his faith.  His faith, was counted as righteouness before he was circumcised, making Abraham then the father of those who believe without circumcision, AND the circumcision made him the father of the believers who are circumcised. 
 The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Abraham, father of faith for all.  Circumcised or not, as long as you have faith, Abraham is our father in the faith.   

I have to admit I've not really thought about this before.   Like it's not that I don't KNOW that Abraham is a father in the faith.  But it's more that I've never really sat and pondered what that means for me personally.  Abraham is MY father in the faith.  He's part of the line that leads all the way back to the first covenant God made with his people.  Of Jewish origin or not, he is out father of faith. 

To follow along with the rest of this devotional series in Romans Click Here

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  1. Walking in the footsteps - I think we often miss this part of the Bible. We look for God's love and blessing but we don't look back often enough and really see where the footsteps are that we need to be walking in.

    1. The stories of those who have gone on before give great pictures of God in action


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