Paul shows that Abraham was Justified by Faith Alone
Romans 4:1-4 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has 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. NKJV
The Jews held Abraham in such high regard that they often spoke of him as being more than just a mere man. Throughout our Lord Jesus’ earthly ministry, He was constantly being reminded by many of them that they were descendants of Abraham and spoke of that fact as being the primary thing that made them right with God. Before our Lord Jesus even began His earthly Preaching and Teaching Ministry, the forerunner John the Baptist admonished many of the Jewish common people and religious rulers as they came out to his baptism at the Jordon River with these words, Luke 3:7-8 Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” NKJV John the Baptist as the Spirit of God informed and instructed him revealed these Jewish people (who boasted in their lineage going all the way back to Abraham) as mere professors and pretenders to connection to the True God. They wrongly assumed that to be merely born a Jew meant they belonged to YAHWEH, but the Spirit of God revealed to John that they actually belonged to the devil.
Our Lord Jesus tried on numerous occasions to reveal the truth to these Jewish people, but they were as brother Steven said of them, Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.” NKJV Our Lord Jesus spoke often to them trying to get them to understand that Abraham entered into covenant with God by faith alone and not because of him being good or a superior human being above the other people on the earth. When our Lord Jesus on one occasion was trying to explain to them the enslaving grip that sin has upon the heart and soul of every person who practices it and only in abiding in His Word could a person be made free from sins enslavement, this was the response from the Jews, John 8:33 “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” NKJV Abraham had lived some 2,000 years earlier than this generation of Jews our Lord Jesus was speaking to and they had so elevated him to being above just a man.
Somewhat similar to what many in the Catholic Church do today and have done for many centuries of so elevating dead Catholics. The term the Catholics use is Canonize which means to treat someone as a sacred person and declare them to be a saint. Catholics today and for many years all over the world pray to these dead people believing somehow that their life on earth was so pleasing to God (that they were so special to God) that they are now able to answer prayers for those still living (1 Timothy 2:5). This is the same level the Jews so elevated Abraham that he was almost equal to God in their hearts. Surely none of them would have outwardly said such a thing (because it would have been blasphemy) but they sure appeared to feel that way about Abraham. Abraham did not have such a spirit, he knew that he was nothing before God and had nothing of any value or worth in himself to present to God. Abraham was an idol worshiper along with his father and the rest of his family in Ur of the Chaldeans and later Haran until the Lord God spoke to him and told him to leave and get away from his family and that land in Haran and Abraham obeyed the Word of God. Abraham was not looking or seeking after the truth or the True God, but God chose him not because of any goodness found in him but strictly by His Sovereign Will. The only thing that made Abraham right with God was that he believed God and obeyed God.
Abraham like every man of every generation did not obey God perfectly (that only is reserved for us in heaven), but he believed God’s Words spoken to him and ordered his life by God’s Word. God spoke to Abraham and told him to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains. Abraham did not question God. Abraham obeyed Him and went with his son Isaac believing God’s earlier promise to him that his descendants would be as many as the sands of the seashore or the stars in the sky and this Abraham believed from God and knew God would raise his son from the dead in order to keep His Word spoken to him. Abraham proved his faith in God by believing and trusting God’s Word to him no matter the consequences. A monkey today can be taught sign language and in so doing the monkey can be taught to say “I believe God” in sign language, but we all know that the monkey is just signing letters which mean nothing to it internally for the monkey is incapable of knowing God. Likewise the man, woman, boy, or girl who says they believe God and live every day of their earthly lives in stark contradiction and opposition to the revealed Word of God does no more believe God than the monkey spoken of earlier.
For example this is what the Word of God says the will of God is for the child of God, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God. NKJV It is obvious that a monkey could never obey this revealed word, but if any human being declares to know and love God, but does not believe this word and lives a lifestyle as a lesbian, sodomite, adulterer, masturbator, pornographer, adult film actor, prostitute, pedophile, or fornicator then their words of saying they believe God are no better that the signing ability of a monkey to say the same thing. God did not make Abraham believe Him by supernaturally overpowering his will nor did God accept any righteous works, deeds, or actions from Abraham.
What simply happened was God spoke and because of Abraham’s fear of God he acted in the affirmative to God’s Word spoken to him as it is written, Genesis 22:10-12 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” NKJV This was none other than the Pre-Incarnate Christ Jesus our Lord who spoke to Abraham. Our Lord did not need to see Abraham’s faith (for He already knew what Abraham would do), but Abraham needed to see his own trust, faith, assurance, and confidence in God proven for and to himself (Exodus 20:20 & Deuteronomy 8:2 & Psalms 26:2 & Romans 12:2 & 2 Corinthians 8:8 & 2 Corinthians 13:5 & Galatians 6:4).
Isaiah 51:1-2 “Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD: Look to the rock from which you were hewn, And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him.” NKJV
Galatians 3:6-8 Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. NKJV
James 2:21-23 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. NKJV
“The truth is that, though we were justified by faith alone, the faith that justifies is never alone (it always produces fruit, ‘good works,’...a transformed life).” J. I. Packer
“Nothing in the afterlife of the believer adds in the smallest degree to his title of favor with God, nor to his perfect security. Through faith alone this standing before God is conferred, and before Him the weakest person, if he be but a true believer on the Lord Jesus Christ, has precisely the same title as the most illustrious saint.” C. I. Scofield
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reader, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…
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