SUBJ: The operations of grace
displayed in the faith of Abraham and the conclusions the Paul drew from
these things and in which we rest as we see the realization of the faith
of Abraham in Christ our Lord. The hope of Abraham is our hope as well.
AIM: That we may know the
strengthening of faith as did Abraham and truly be identified as the
just who walk by faith.
INTR: The fourth of Romans is
essentially on justification by faith and that of Abraham in particular
and from the things we read here we may arguably state that Abraham is
the most significant figure in the bible next to our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. The unusual call of Abraham has ever arrested our attention as well
as the amount of scripture that is centered around the Lord's dealings
2. The unquestioning obedience of Abraham is the
certificate of authenticity in his life (notwithstanding that there were
times when he ventured into self-determination).
3. The ultimate
display of faith in the offering of Isaac his and the distinction
divinely given him as the "Father of us all."
THESIS: All other religions in the
world and many perverted forms of Christianity look to men or themselves
for justification and salvation. Only in the faith of Abraham and thus
God-given faith looks to the righteousness of Christ and believes that
it is He alone who has accomplished salvation.
I. The hope of
Abraham embraced (vv. 18-22)
1. In verse 17, the belief of Abraham is
characterized in two ways: that it is he who quickens the dead and who
calleth those things which be not as though they were.
experience of Abraham in believing God produced a most valuable
commodity � the ability to believe when there is no reason to hope.
1) Webster's definition: "A desire for some good, accompanied with as
least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is
obtainable." This differs from wishing in that expectation is a factor.
2) Thus, we are reminded of: Now faith is the substance of things hoped
for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
3. The thing hoped
for here was huge that he would be the Father of many nations and all
that he could see pointed to anything but that.
1) He was living in a
strange land with no hope of conquest beyond its borders.
2) He had
been rebutted at his own attempt to assure that he would have progeny.
3) Now both the physical condition of he and Sarah rendered childbirth
4) (A thought here in v. 19 as to the consideration of his
"body now dead" is that the word not shouldn't be there is a moot point
if we see that either way it is his faith that prevails).
thought of "staggering" is connected with the idea of doubting which
Abraham did not (compare: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.
For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and
tossed. James 1:6).
5. The thought is rather that he "waxed strong"
or grew strong in faith to the point that hope was now a reality to him
and so in v. 21 he is found fully persuaded that God would fully and
completely act on His promises. He was, and we must be fully vested in
the promises of God!
6. And so should we grow in His grace an
knowledge (2 Peter 3:18).
7. This is the nature of faith by which the
imputed righteousness of Christ is received!
II. The faith of
Abraham applied (vv. 23-24)
1. We might well read with great interest
many accounts in Scripture without having a sense of direct involvement.
(Joseph is a wonderful picture of Christ and we might at best be
identified with his brothers). It is important to us, but we are not
going to become a ruler in Egypt.
2. But, here our identity with
Abraham is asserted most emphatically.
1) It was not written for his
sake alone; that is, Abraham would not be the only one so justified by
2) It is for us also! The importance of all the manifestations
of grace to Abraham are important to us as we consider that we are not
unlike him as to both call and salvation.
3. We would not lose sight
of the fact that we must believe what and who Abraham believed
resurrection of Christ is an essential to repentance and believing the
Gospel in that
i. If He was raised, He must have been dead and
If He was dead, there must have been a connected reason
iii. It is
thus that we are brought to repentance in realizing that it was for us
and Abraham that He died and rose again.
4. And so, in verse 25, the
precious testimony of Abraham and that which he believed comes to
fruition in Christ:
1) Who was delivered
i. Into the hands of men,
to justice, unto death
ii. By Judas, by the Jews, by Pilate, into the
hands of the Romans to die.
iii. By the Father unto divine justice to
do with Him as it must if He is there for me (and he was not spared one
iota of the suffering I deserve. Him, being delivered by the determinate
counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands
have crucified and slain: Acts 2:23.
2) Who was raised again for our
i. Having obtained satisfaction completely"By the
Father and by His own power
ii. He emerged from the dead to assume
the role as their head being legally discharged, acquitted, and
iii. And as those for whom He died we are given
the same release!
3) The resurrection of Christ did not justify us;
that was accomplished in His obedience and death.
4) It did most
certainly confirm that on our behalf eternal righteousness has been