- Justification is Not by Works: Two Old Testament Examples (4:1-8)
- Justification is Not by Ceremony: Circumcision (4:9-12)
- Justification (Promise) is Not by Law-keeping: Three Reasons (4:13-16)
- Justification is by Faith in the God of Resurrection (4:17-22)
- Justification is by Faith in God who Raised Up Jesus (4:23-25)
- How we are justified; on the principle of faith, vv.1-16
- Justification is not by works (2 examples), vv.1-8
- Justification is not by ceremony, vv.9-12
- Justification is not by law-keeping, vv.13-16
- Whom we believe; the God of resurrection, vv.17-25
- Abraham believed God who quickens the dead, vv.17-22
- Christians believe the God who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, vv.23-25
- The time when he believed the Word of God (v.3) and was justified.
- The time when he received the sign of circumcision (v.11).
- The time when he was promised to be heir of the world (v.13;17).
- The time when he believed in the God who quickens the dead (v.20) that Sarah would bare him a son.
Justification is Not by Works: Two Old Testament Examples (4:1-8)
- Abraham represents the positive side of justification: he gained a righteous status before God (vv. 1-5). For Christians, we go far beyond this, and are given a new position “in Christ”.
- David represents the negative side of justification: he was cleared from every charge of sin against him (vv. 6-8).
- it proved that justification by faith was far more important then the outward sign.
- it made Abraham the father of faith, rather than merely the natural ancestor of the Jews. He is the father of all those who have his faith (v.16).
- it proved that the Gentiles would be given imputed righteousness as well as the Jews, if they believed.
12 and father of circumcision, not only to those who are of the circumcision, but to those also who walk in the steps of the faith, during uncircumcision, of our father Abraham. v.12 Hence, all (including Gentiles) who walk in “that faith of our father Abraham” have him as their father spiritually! Abraham is the father of two families: (1) naturally, the father of those who have his blood, marked by circumcision; and (2) spiritually, the father of those who have his faith, marked by the steps of faith. The spiritual family is what is in view here.
- Reason #1: the Abrahamic promises pre-date the Law
- Reason #2: the principles of law and faith are exclusive
- Reason #3: the law can only result in God’s wrath on man
- Quickens the dead; has the power to give life where all was death.
- Calls the things which be not as being; His word is so faithful that you can count on its fulfillment before there is visible evidence of it! In this case, God told Abraham he would have an innumerable posterity, when at that moment they could not even have one son! It was the principle of resurrection.