Scripture reading – Romans 4-7
Today’s Scripture reading is infused with some of the great doctrines of our faith. In Romans 4, for example, (which will be the limit of today’s devotional), we find the following doctrines: Salvation, Justification, Faith, Grace, Redemption, Righteousness, Circumcision and Uncircumcision, the Law, Death and Resurrection. I fear the list of theological terms might discourage some from digging deeper in the Scriptures. Do not let that happen. Begin your study today, and even if it takes a lifetime, you will be so much richer for it!
We are Saved and Justified by Faith Alone (Romans 4:1-8).
Did you know when it comes to faith, that Abraham, the great patriarch of the Old Testament, is your “spiritual father” (4:1)? The majority of my readers are familiar with Abraham, his covenant with God (Genesis 12), and the command for him to offer Isaac (Genesis 22:1-9), whom God promised him in his old age.
Abraham obeyed God; however, it was his faith that God could raise Isaac from the dead that God rewarded and “counted unto [Abraham] for righteousness” (4:2-3; Hebrews 11:19). God honored Abraham’s faith, and commanded him to circumcise his son Isaac as a sign of God’s covenant with him and his lineage (4:9-12). Abraham obeyed God, and circumcised his son as an outward testimony of his faith in God’s promises.
A believer’s spiritual kinship with Abraham is not founded upon the physical rite of circumcision, but like Abraham, on his faith in God’s Word and His promises. In other words, a sinner is saved from the curse of sin and death, by his faith in God. If you are a believer, Abraham is your “father in the faith,” whether you are physically circumcised or not (4:11-12). The basis of your spiritual kinship with Abraham is your faith in God’s promises.
How Important is Faith? – It is Essential! (Romans 4:15-22)
Because Abraham believed God, and had faith in His promises, he obeyed God’s command (Genesis 12:4). God promised Abraham a son; however, he was old, and his wife Sarah well past her childbearing years. Nevertheless, God promised a childless man (Abraham), whose wife (Sarah) was physically incapable of bearing a child, that he would be made “a father of many nations” (4:17).
We read that Abraham hoped, and believed God (4:18). He was “strong in faith” (4:19), and believed “what [God] had promised, He was able also to perform” (4:21). How did God respond to Abraham’s faith? God “imputed to him for righteousness,” meaning He credited and honored Abraham for his faith and declared him righteous and justified in His sight (4:22).
What does this mean to us?
Abraham had faith in God’s covenant promises (4:20-21), and his faith moved the LORD to accept and declare him righteous (4:22). It is that same faith, believing God’s Word, that moves a sinner to believe Jesus Christ died for his sins, and was raised from the dead (4:23-25).
We are saved, not by good works or keeping the law, but by faith that God will put (i.e. impute) the righteousness of Jesus Christ to our account, and mark the debt of our sin as paid in full.
Romans 5:1–2 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Won’t you turn from your sinful pride and works, and accept Jesus Christ’s death for your sins, believing God raised Him from the dead? (Romans 4:24-25)
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith