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Paul has put his lawyer hat on and is making his case as to why God’s righteousness is available to both Jews and Gentiles. He calls two expert witnesses to the stand – two witnesses that the Jews trust. Witness #1 is Father Abraham and witness #2 is King David. He goes on to make his point that this righteousness is available not through the keeping of the law but by faith. Those who walk in the footsteps of Abraham’s faith (verse 12) will likewise be justified. Hebrews 11 gives a good picture of what that faith looks like in real life. Here are a few things that this chapter says about Abraham’s faith:
Abraham obeyed God’s voice even when he had no idea where this “blind obedience” would lead him (11:8)
Abraham’s obedience was fueled by hope in the promises that he had received from God. (11:9-10) He was willing to leave the life he had built for himself behind in order to pursue a new life orchestrated by the Life Giver.
Abraham was even willing to make a sacrifice he considered greater than death – the killing of his own son – because his trust in God was so complete (11:17-19).
So to sum up, authentic faith, the kind that pleases God and that He rewards is 1) always marked by obedience, 2) is never mired in the things of this world but is fortified by a great hope anchored in the promises of God, and 3) is willing to risk everything dear to us in order to demonstrate our allegiance and our fidelity.
There is a lot in that sentence. Think on these things.
Next Week’s Passage: Romans 4:13-25
Memory Verses: Romans 8:1-9