Abraham's Test
My Policy Statement on Apologies

An Outline for Romans 4

Solid faith

A Lesson or Sermon Starter on Faith.

This is just the outline. You will have to do the hard work.

From Romans 4, An Outline for Preaching or Teaching

 First – Consider the Giver - We Must Believe God

 1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." (Gen. 15:6; also in verse 22)

The Message puts it this way: "Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own."

 Second -  Consider the Gift - We Must Stop Counting on Our Works and Count Only on God’s Gift.

 4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

The Message puts it this way: “If you're a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don't call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it's something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. “

Third – Consider the Cost – The cost is forgiveness and forgiveness is costly.

"Blessed are they
      whose transgressions are forgiven,
      whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
      whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” (Psalm 32:1,2a)

Fourth – Consider Your Response – There is a twofold response.

 9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

 A Two-Fold Response

  • Take the Seal.
  • Walk in Faith.

 Fifth – Consider the Benefits

 13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. 16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

  • Great Promise
  • Great Possibilities

 Sixth - Consider Two Great Examples

 18Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."[d] 19Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 23The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

  •  Abraham demonstrated faith.
  • Jesus died, in faith, for all who would come by faith.

Footnotes:                                                                                                                        

  1. Romans 4:3 15:6; also in verse 22
  2. Romans 4:8 Psalm 32:1,2
  3. Romans 4:17 17:5
  4. Romans 4:18 15:5

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