Bible Commentaries

Romans 4

Verses 1-25

The apostle now dealt with another difficulty that might arise in the mind of the Jew, showing that the method of grace, namely, imputing righteousness in response to faith, is in harmony with the whole history of Israel. As an illustration of this the apostle took the case of Abraham, father and founder of the nation, and showed how he was accepted and rewarded through faith, and not through works, both by his personal acceptance by God, and by his position as recipient of the promise of a coming deliverance. In this connection was made the declaration which must have been astonishing indeed in the ears of a Jew-that Abraham was the father, not merely of circumcised men according to the flesh, but of all who believe, even though they be in uncircumcision.

The Messianic hope came to Abraham, not through law, for it burned in his heart, and was the center of the nation of which he was the founder at least 400 years before the law was given. The apostle shows the value of this history. It bears testimony which strengthens the faith and confidence of those who look to, and believe in, Jesus. Resurrection life which follows the settlement of the question of sin by our justification is the bestowment of God on those who believe in Jesus.