Romans, Lesson 9

Lesson 9


omans 4: 1-25, Justification of Abraham.

Paul used Abraham to illustrate justification by grace through faith.

VV 1-4, 1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Greek for accounted is ‘’logizomai’’ which means to credit an item into an account. Abraham is the father faith. God credited an item called righteousness into his faith account because of his faith. Abraham was justified by faith. Paul quoted Genesis 15:6, “and he believed in the Lord, and He accounted to him for righteousness”.

VV 5-8, 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 ‘’Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Abraham was justified through faith in God and not by works. Paul quoted Psalm 32:1, “blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit”.

VV 9-12, 9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

Does this blessedness (justification by faith) then come upon the circumcised only or upon the uncircumcised also?

Justification by faith is for the Jews who are circumcised and the Gentiles who are uncircumcised, because Abraham was justified before he was circumcised.

VV 13-15, 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

God’s promise of heirs to Abraham was not through biological descents and law keeping, but through those who are justified by faith in God. The law’s purpose is for salvation but for revelation of sin. Law brings sin and death, faith brings justification and life.

VV 16-17, 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

Justification is by grace through faith in God. Abraham is the father of faith. His true spiritual descendants are those who are justified by faith in God.

Ephesians 2: 8-9, ‘’for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’’.

Romans 10:9, ‘’if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’’.

VV 18-20, 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

Against all odds Abraham believed and became the father of many nations. He and his wife Sarah was already too old to have a son but believed God at his words, giving glory to God. He received God’s promise at the ripe old of age of 86, circumcised at the age of 99 and had Isaac at the age of 100.

VV 21-25, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification

God’s imputed His righteousness to Abraham through faith was a foreshadow of Christ’s imputed righteousness to us through faith. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our offences and resurrected to life on Easter for our justification.


Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are Almighty God. We confessed that we are sinners. We asked for Your mercy and forgiveness of sin. We claim the promise of justification and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.