Preaching Points From Romans #3
Dr. Ronnie Wolfe – Romans 4:1-5
I. ABRAHAM’S FORTITUDE, 4:1-2
We all know that Abraham was a faithful man, a man of fearless fortitude to do what God called him to do. He followed God when called from Ur to go to an unknown place. He wandered through the land that God promised to him expecting God to produce a great blessing of a land for God’s people. He was willing to sacrifice his son, Isaac, his only son, to God. He also did many other wonderful and marvelous things.
In our modern day, this would be sufficient for anyone to prepare himself for Heaven and the blessing of God and eternal assurance of life with God. Abraham could have gloried in his flesh for all the things he did even as Paul hypothetically gloried in his flesh.
Philippians 3:4-6 "Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."
But Abraham and Paul could glory only in the flesh but not before God (verse 2). All of man’s righteousnesses are but dung to God, and we should consider them dung before God, as did Paul in Philippians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”
II. ABRAHAM’S FAITH, 4:3
Romans 4:3 “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
He did what? He believed! All the fortitude, attitude, and gratitude were worthless to Abraham in the presence of God. This is true faith, not a head faith or a cultural faith but a true, surrendering, dependent faith upon God, his Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
This faith is given by grace according to Romans 4:16 “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,”
Galatians 3:9 “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Yes, Abraham was blessed of God, and all who believe in Jesus Christ by grace are blessed with him.
Remember: Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
III. ABRAHAM’S FAILURE, 4:4-5
Abraham failed to measure up to God’s demands in his works, but God’s demands were met by God himself in grace through faith. What an awesome and wonderful God who will not only render all of our works as dung, but he will also bring his people to the Gospel to hear God’s word and believe.
Acts 20:32 “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
Abraham did not, however, fail to believe. Many think that “faith only” is too cheap, too easy, too mundane, etc., but nothing could be further from the truth. Faith is powerful enough to bring true and complete righteousness to every believer in Jesus Christ, turning from sin and self and turning to God in Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 9:30 "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith."
We have all failed to meet God’s standard of righteousness, for our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6); but faith is substance and evidence (Heb. 11:1). Grace is the divine jewel that makes this pearl of truth of great price (See Matthew 13:46).
"Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed life?
Please your hand in the nail-scarred hand;
Are you weary and worn from its toil and strife?
Please your hand in the nail-scarred hand;"
These lyrics direct our hearts to faith in Jesus Christ. Even so, may God’s grace be active today to bring you to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and may you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ that you might be saved.