April 22 - The Promise of God and the Faith of Abraham (Romans 4:13-25)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship using the guide below.
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. This week we will discuss how Christians should watch the news.
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 final week will discuss how to act in love toward others during the change process.
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
If justification by faith is true, what do we say about the father-founder of the Jewish people? If what Paul is preaching does not hold for Abraham, then it doesn’t hold for anyone.
In chapter 4, Paul responds to this concern by expositing Genesis 15:6, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” We find that the blessing of being counted righteous does not come through good works. It doesn’t come through circumcision. It doesn’t come through the law. It comes through faith in the God who makes promises.
God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, a promise that defied his old age and the barrenness of Sarah. But Abraham believed that God would give life to their “dead” bodies, even as we believe God gave life to the crucified Christ. Abraham’s faith is a template for ours because “the words ‘it was counted to him’ were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also” (4:23-24).
Review and Apply
What exactly did God promise Abraham?
Why is the law incapable of securing the promise?
What does faith look like practically? What can we learn from Abraham’s faith in vv. 18-22?
Can you think of ways recently that you have acted in faith when it was hard?
If you believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection has made you right with God, what are the implications for how you live as an employee? Or relate to family? Or deal with internal struggles of your own?
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