Romans 4 (Justification by Faith: The Example of Abraham)

Rom 4:1-8    What was the importance of Abraham to the Jewish nation?  See Rom 4:1, Gen 12:1-3, Mat 3:9, John 8:33.  How is that important to Paul’s argument that the righteousness of God is from faith to faith and to the Jew first (Rom 1:16-17)?  What does it mean “to reckon”?  Note: this is the word often translated by the KJV as “impute” (see Rom 4:6, 8, 11 and 22-24); the NASB translates it as “take into account” in Rom 4:8 and “regard as” in Rom 2:26.  What was it that was credited to Abraham as righteousness?  See Rom 4:3.  What is the difference between a person’s wages for which he has worked being reckoned to him and his faith being reckoned to him as righteousness?  See Rom 4:4.  What would be our standing with God if he reckoned to our account the wages for our works?  See Rom 6:23.  What other important person in the Jewish nation’s history recognized this truth? See Rom 4:6-8.

Rom 4:9-12   What blessing does Paul refer to in Rom 4:9?  See again Rom 4:6.  Paul’s Jewish opponents supposed that God’s blessing upon Abraham extended only to those who were united to their covenant community through circumcision; however, what important fact had they overlooked in making this assumption?  See Rom 4:10; cf. Gen 15:6, 17:10.  What is the purpose of a seal?  See 1 Kings 21:8, Est 8:8-10, Mat 27:66.  What was the purpose of circumcision?  See Rom 4:11.  What does this teach us about the purpose of good works in a Christian’s life?  See James 2:14,17-18.  The Jews took great pride in the fact that Abraham was their father according to the flesh; how does Paul use this to challenge them with the truth of the gospel?  See Rom 4:11-12, 2:29-29; see also Mat 3:9, John 8:39.

Rom 4:13-17 What promise does Paul refer to in Rom 4:13?  See Gen 17:4-6, 22:17-18.  What does it mean for Abraham and his descendants that he would be “heir of the world”?  See Gen 28:14, Ps 2:8, 37:9,11,22,29,34, Mat 5:5.  For what reason did those Jews who opposed the gospel suppose they would receive the blessing of God’s promise?  What two reasons does Paul give in Rom 4:14-15 against this understanding?  Does trying to be justified by obeying the law bring a blessing?  What does it bring, and why?  See Rom 4:15, 3:20, Gal 3:10.  How does one inherit the blessing of God’s promise, and why?  See Rom 4:16.  What is the significance to Paul’s argument that part of God’s promise to Abraham was that he would be the father of many nations?  Was he the physical father of many nations?  In what way is he a spiritual father of many nations?  See Rom 4:16b.

Rom 4:17-25 What words in Rom 4:17 contain the essence of the gospel?  How did Abraham’s physical circumstances and the manner in which God fulfilled His promise to Abraham exemplify the state of man’s spiritual condition and the manner in which He fulfills His promise of salvation?  See Rom 4:18-22.  How does Paul apply Abraham’s example to us as Christians?  See Rom 4:23-25.  Note: as God gave life to the deadness of Abraham’s physical body and reckoned righteousness to Abraham for believing that He could, so did He raise Jesus from the dead, and so will he reckon righteousness to us who through faith in Christ trust Him with the faith of Abraham to give life to our mortal bodies by delivering us from our sins.  What two aspects of Christ’s work and our salvation are mentioned in Rom 4:25?  Why are both necessary and important?  If Christ the perfect man had only died for the forgiveness of our past sins without being raised to deliver us from the power of our sins, would we truly be saved?  See Rom 6:15-16, 1 Cor 15:17.  If Christ had not died for our sins but only supplied power for our deliverance from them, could we ever, even through our own perfect works, atone for our past sins?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *