Why God Honored Abraham

Posted in Romans 4

Why God Honored Abraham

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Romans 413 (Holman) For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that

he would inherit the world was not through the law, but

through the righteousness that comes by faith.

YHWH promised Abraham his influence would spread through all the earth for all time. Muslims, Jews, and Christians all revere this patriarch. Their homage to him fulfills Gods promise to Abraham.

The question is why did God choose Abraham for this honor The answer is Abraham did what was necessary to please God. The patriarch provides us an excellent example of how to be saved. One obvious lesson we learn from Abraham is that keeping the Law did not save him. This would have been impossible, because he lived 430 years before God gave the Law at Mt. Sinai (GL 317). Abraham did nothing to merit the blessing of God. It was a gift.

Everything Abraham received from God came through the channel of a righteousness based on faith. The same is still true of Gods salvation today. It is offered to us apart from the Law and any good works we might do. Verse 14 will tell us why we should be grateful for this fact.

Romans 414 If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the

promise is canceled.

If salvation depended on keeping the law, there would be two disastrous results. One, faith would be

Abraham Father of the Gentiles

Posted in Romans 4

Abraham Father of the Gentiles

Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall

Romans 49 Holman Is this blessing only for the circumcised, then Or is it

also for the uncircumcised For we say, Faith was credited to

Abraham for righteousness.

Even if the Jews accepted Pauls teaching of justification by faith, they would still be tempted to think it could not provide salvation for Gentiles. The Jews had trouble yielding to any method of salvation that would be universally offered. Even Christian Jews in the early Church struggled with this.

The most radically exclusive Jews did not truly believe in a human race. They only believed in a race of Jews. This attitude resulted in the Gentiles feeling excluded from the God of the Jews. Gentiles often expressed interest in Judaism, but they were usually kept at arms length.

Hence, Paul found himself rebuking and welcoming. He had to rebuke the narrowness of some he had to encourage the timidity of others. To Jews he had to say, Be quiet and learn humility. To Gentiles he said, Be comforted a light has risen in your darkness.

Romans 410 How then was it creditedwhile he was circumcised or

uncircumcised Not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised.

The Jews felt circumcision, a rite given by God to Abraham, was essential for salvation. Even some Christian Jews in the first century felt Gentiles