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April 15 - By Faith Alone (Romans 4:1-12)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.

Adult Education

We will continue with our new members class this coming Sunday at 10:00 in the Choir Room. This is for those who are interested in learning more about our understanding of church membership.  Please pray that the teaching would be helpful for those who are considering joining Christ Covenant Church.

Nik Lingle will continue his class called Talking Points this Sunday at 10:00am in the youth room. This class will briefly address a variety of current issues in our society, applying a Christian worldview to each of these topics. 

Bryan Launer will continue his class on Understanding the Heart in Adult 1 at 10:00am. This class explores what Scripture says about the heart, why it's so important, and how you can better understand your own heart and help others. The remaining weeks of the class will examine fear of man by discussing a case study and the change process. 

Romans 4:1-12

1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Sermon Summary

At the end of Romans 3, Paul concluded an argument, a cohesive flow of thought, that he had started in Romans 1:16-17. The gospel is God’s power for salvation, which is something that we are all in need of, regardless of whether or not you’re a Jew. God has provided this salvation through the blood of Jesus, to be received by faith and not on account of our works. Now at the beginning of chapter 4, Paul shows how even Abraham, the father of Jews, conformed to this pattern. Abraham was obedient to God (specifically in the matter of circumcision), yet he was counted right with God not because of his obedience, but because of his faith. Abraham is an example of the argument Paul has just made, and thus establishes the pattern for all of us: God accepts people not on account of their obedience, but on the basis of faith in the purifying blood of Jesus. 

Review and Apply

1. In Romans 4:6 and 4:9, Paul refers to “the blessing.” What is the blessing that Paul is describing in 4:1-12? 

2.  In Romans 4:9, Paul basically asks, “Who gets this blessing?” And how does Paul answer his own question in these verses?

3. In Romans 4:11-12, Paul refers to receiving the blessing by faith. But what is the object of faith that saves…faith in what (cf. Rom 3:23-25)?

4. When you think about your relationship with God, do you think primarily about pleasing him through obedience, or do you think primarily about depending on him for forgiveness? How are these two dynamics related to one another?