Romans (08): Father Abraham Had Many Sons

Date: 8/3/2008
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Topic: Bible Romans
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Romans 4: An Exposition (08) - Father Abraham Had Many Sons
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * August 3, 2008

In our last episode, Paul explained that Torah (the Jewish Law) shows the sinfulness/fulness of sin (3:20). “But now” Jesus, the goal/end of Torah, has come. “We establish Torah” (3:31) since it “don’t make no sense” apart from Jesus. In chapter 4 Paul further proves this with the story of Abraham - the most revered “Israelite.” He was “justified” [declared to be one of God’s righteous men] while he was not a Jew - “while uncircumcised” and circumcision came years later. Thus, Gentiles may become “Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Gal. 3:29). This leads to an important implication for us: We stand in the place of faithful Israelites, with regard to the Promise. We are, like Abraham, to lead our children in fidelity to the true God (Gen. 18:19). God chose Abraham to be faithful and be a new Adam/Man. Now we have the same covenant promise. The Covenant Promise is “absolutely certain” (4:16) to the ______________________________________________[your name here] family.

Father Abraham was Justified without the ____________ ____ ______________
Romans 4:1 - What then shall we say, have we found Abraham to be our forefather according to the flesh? [No . . . ] 2 For if Abraham was declared righteous by [such] works, he has something to boast about—but not before God. 3 For what do the Scriptures say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness.” 4 But to the laborer, his pay is not credited as a gift, but due as a debt. 5 However, to him who does not labor, but believes in the One who declares the ungodly as righteous, 7 his faith is credited as righteousness. 6 Just as David says regarding the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness without works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawlessness is forgiven, and whose sins are blotted out. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never ever count against him.”

Father Abraham was the Father of Faithful __________________ & __________
9 Is this blessedness then for the circumcision or also for the uncircumcision? For we say, “faith was accounted to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 When then was it accounted to him? Was he circumcised (at the time), or not? No, he was not circumcised but uncircumcised! 11 Then, he received the distinguishing mark of circumcision, an official seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, so that he would become the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, that they too could have righteousness credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised, who are not merely circumcised, but who follow the path of the faith that our father Abraham possessed when he was still uncircumcised.

Father Abraham’s Covenant Promise is through ____________ not ___________
13 For it is not through Torah that was made the promise to Abraham or to his family to be heir of the whole world, on the contrary, it was through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if by Torah comes the means of being heirs, faith is of no value and the [original] promise is refuted. 15 Because the Law produces wrath, for where there is no Law there is no transgression either. 16 For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that this promise may be absolutely certain to all the family—not only to those who are of Torah, 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 the father of many nations.”

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more