Abraham’s Faith

As Paul continues to develop his theology of salvation, he continues to remind the reader that justification is by faith and not by works.  Paul’s example is the Old Testament patriarch, Abraham.  Here are the first four verses:  “What then shall we say that Abraham our fatherhas found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.”  Abraham was given many promises by God; not because he was a good man but because God chose him.  But God’s initial promise of uncountable descendants didn’t make much sense since he had no heir. However, the Bible says in Genesis chapter 15 that Abraham believed God and God counted that belief as righteousness. Abraham’s faith led to justification by God.  Paul is reminding his reader of this.  Then Paul paints the contrast with works.  If faith came by works then there would be no grace.  Rather, works lead to debt.  Our spiritual father, Abraham, found nothing according to the flesh and neither will we.  However, by faith we will find God’s grace and His righteousness.


Leave a Reply