Readings for the Day
2 Chronicles 6-7; Psalms 135, Romans 4
Verses for the Day
Abraham Justified by Faith
4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Paul is speaking to new believers in Rome, who were once Jewish. Importantly he connects the faith of Abraham to the new Christian community. The key verse comes from Genesis 15:6 where its says, "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness." Abraham trusted in the promise that through he and Sarah, God would bless all nations. There was only one problem, Abraham was 86 and Sarah was 76.
But one step at a time Abraham moved his family by faith, and eventually Issac was born, the child of the promise. And in the Old Testament we see Solomon fulfilling the promise God made to his father David in completing the temple, where God's name and presence would dwell. God consistently showed mercy to His people if they would turn away from their sin and follow God. Although Israel, including King Solomon, would stray from the covenant God made with them, God's love would endure forever.
This is the problem with trusting in works. When are they are enough? What about when we don't do the works we are supposed but do the very opposite? If our future relies solely on us, what role does God play? But God revealed himself to Abraham and gave him the opportunity to trust God to do what He said he would do. Remember Abraham listened to Sarah and had Ishmael. He wasn't without his own sin, or lack of trust in God. But in the end Abraham was known as the Father of faith.
This would help the Jewish Christians in Rome from the attack of the other Jews in Rome, who were persecuting them. They would understand how what they believed in was the fulfillment to their father, Abraham who like them trusted in God in faith. The new Christians believed in the new covenant God made through His Son Jesus who came to earth to show humankind that God was faithful to his promises.
Where is God calling you to trust in His promises? Abraham, against all hope, trusted in God's promises and it was credited to him as righteousness.