God’s Saving Word: Hope
Romans 4:1-12: Using the example of Abraham, Paul describes how we are accepted as righteous by God.
The Example of Abraham
4 What shall we say, then, of Abraham, the father of our race? What was his experience? 2 If he was put right with God by the things he did, he would have something to boast about—but not in God’s sight. 3 The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 4 A person who works is paid wages, but they are not regarded as a gift; they are something that has been earned. 5 But those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself. 6 This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of the person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything that person does:
7 “Happy are those whose wrongs are forgiven,
whose sins are pardoned!
8 Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!”
9 Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 10 When did this take place? Was it before or after Abraham was circumcised? It was before, not after. 11 He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his faith God had accepted him as righteous before he had been circumcised. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised. 12 He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of faith that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised.
Today’s Key Verse: Romans 4:5
Those who depend on faith, not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this faith that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself.
What does Paul say about Abraham (verses 1-3)? Reread verses 5-8. In verses 7 and 8 the apostle Paul is quoting from Psalm 32:1-2. What do these verses teach you about God?
Loving and merciful God, thank you for forgiving the wrongs I have done and for pardoning my sins. I rejoice that I have now been made right with you. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
Romans 4:13-25: God’s promise is received through faith.