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Like Father, Like Son.

Romans 4:1-12

Paul followed up his explanation of justification by grace through faith with an example from Abraham. God established a pattern for connecting to humanity through faith in His promise. That’s how Abraham, David and others experienced His redemption.

Just as a son strives to be like his father, so Paul is calling all those who believe in Christ to follow God’s example with Abraham and David, our ancient ancestors in the faith.

Following God by faith in His promise was His call to Abraham, David, Ruth and for that matter all of our ancient ancestors. Vss. 1-3. Following God by faith in His promise is critical to our relationship with Him. vss. 4-5

Following God by faith in His promise was His call to Abraham, David, Ruth and for that matter all of our ancient ancestors. Vss. 1-3. What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness


That first sentence in ch. 4 was directed at the Jewish believers in the congregation. Paul reminds then that God credited righteousness to Abraham the moment he expressed faith in God’s promise. Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. What’s both interesting and beautiful is how the Scripture clearly states Abraham expressed full trust in God even before the Lord performed an ancient covenant ceremony.

Following God by faith in His promise is critical to our relationship with Him. vss. 4-5. Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.

That ceremony revealed God’s commitment to justify those who believe by faith and not our own morality. Thus, God relates to us on the basis of His love and grace, not because He’s obligated to. We’re all familiar with earning a fair grade in school or salary from work.

We could never earn enough since God requires a perfect and not good enough morality. Relying on God’s promise prevents any expressions of self-righteousness. Depending on God’s promise provides a sure and certain foundation of our relationship with the living God.


That will become especially relevant when we realize that even after we’ve believed God for salvation we still struggle and fall into sin and temptation.