Day 5: Romans 4
In previous chapters, the Apostle Paul has gone to great lengths to show that we, as Gentiles, have as much right as the Jews to access God and receive salvation.
In chapter 4 he turns more to his heritage, talking a lot about Abraham, the founder of the Jewish nation and someone whose story would be known and hugely respected by those to whom he was writing.
Paul is saying that although Abraham was a great patriarch who obeyed God’s law, this was not what made him righteous in Gods sight. He was “counted as righteous” because of a right relationship with God that came by FAITH in God. A faith that held fast to God’s promise that he would be a father to all nations, even when, humanly speaking, that was pretty much out of the question.
So, because we learn here that righteousness comes by faith and not by strict obedience to complicated rules or keeping religious ways, we too can be counted righteous and have access to the wealth of God’s promises.
In the Message version v16 says
this is why the fulfilment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and His way and then simply embracing Him and what He does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift
As Ed said in his introduction to Romans, righteousness through faith is basically the Apostle Paul’s main topic in this letter and he certainly takes time to drive it home in this complex chapter!
If you’re still struggling, try reading the whole chapter in the Message version.
But what a life-changing, freedom bringing, joyful truth to hear, believe and live in! Even if we obeyed every religious rule in the entire world, that couldn’t make us righteous in God’s sight. Only by believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by accepting Him into our life and by having faith in God, can we live with hope, peace and purpose, accessing all of God’s promises for us.