Abraham Our (nearly) Perfect Example of Faith in the Gospel Romans 1:1-2; Galatians 3:8 and Romans 4
Romans 1:1-2 • Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
Galatians 3:8-9 • And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. • So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
The gospel is a glorious promise from God that anyone who places their faith in the Person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ—to the exclusion of everything else—will be saved.
Drowning = Sinning The body of Christ is a multitude of people being saved from sin.
The Gospel—A Promise from God Anchored to the cross of Christ, in eternity past, there is a promise (rope) of salvation from God that men and women have been believing (trusting) in from the beginning of time.
Why do we need to study Abraham’s conversion? Matthew 7:22–23: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
74 NT references to Abraham Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter
Turn to Romans 4
Abraham Believed Since “believed God” is all it says, we need to know what that means. • Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, James 2:23 • For what saith the scripture? • Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Romans 4:4-5 “doing anything” “not even a prayer” • Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. • But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
What must I do to be justified? Believe on Him that made a promise of justification.
Galatians 3:8 • And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
Just (Justify, Justification) • The judicial status handed down to a criminal that warrants his treatment as a truly “law abiding citizen”—not because the judge is a poor guardian of justice, but rather because the judge was faithful to be sure the penalty was paid. Bill Sturm
Abraham Believed Or obey the law. God came through on the promise He made to Abram and Sarah; He created the life in her womb. • Abraham did NOT have to: • Pray or Ask • Accept the gift • Open the gift • Open his heart • Receive the promise
The desperate cry of “save me” Is not what saves. It is faith in the One who can save.
King David understood the Gospel Romans 4:6-8
Romans 4:6-8 (Psalm 32) • Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth [counts] righteousness without works, • Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. • Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute [count] sin.
Look at Romans 4:9-12 Footsteps of Faith
Romans 1:17 • For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. • Faith • Believe, trust, rely, depend, lean
Application The promise of God is so secure that the saved man can plunge head first toward hell and have no fear that the promise of God is not sufficient.
The Promise • Romans 4:13 • For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, wasnot to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Question Where did Paul get this understanding of “the promise and faith” from?
Genesis 15:18 Faith is the linkage between Abraham’s Covenant and the New Covenant • In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
Abraham’s Promise • Genesis 18:19 • For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken [promised] of him.
Psalm 105:38-42 • Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night. The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
Stephen’s Final Sermon • Acts 7:17 • But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
Hebrews 6:13-15 That’s us; we are patiently enduring. • For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, • Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. • And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Romans 4:14 A hybrid of faith and works nullifies the promise. • Romans 4:14 • For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
Romans 4:16 • Romans 4:16 • Thereforeit is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; • not to that only which is of the law [the Jews], • but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
Commentary • Paul’s point is clear. • If I have to keep the law, reform my life, say certain words, or petition God; then salvation can subtly move away from grace into a joint effort between man and God. • All cults and world religions have a joint or man effort.
Application Every parent, teacher, worker, evangelist, coach, counselor and gospel witness must be able to clarify what it means to put your faith in the Jesus, the Son of God, and the redemptive work of Christ.
Romans 4:17 Two Points. • (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Romans 4:17 • whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 1 2 Two Points!
How can God in His Court of Law treat me as though I don’t sin when I do? Through Christ’s redemptive work of the cross.
Abraham: Our Example Romans 4:18-20-24
Romans 4:18–24 (AV) 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Question Are you trusting in the salvific promises of God to the exclusion of everything else?
Understanding the Gospel The gospel is a glorious promise from God that anyone who places their faith in the Person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ—to the exclusion of everything else—will be saved.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 • Look for • Gospel • Saved • Believed • Redemptive work of Christ