Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Advent Archive: Romans 4:16-25

What is true faith? True faith is defined in the character and actions of Abraham. He is the great patriarch “friend of God.” He truly pleased God, not simply because of his doing, but because of his reliance on God for all things. In Romans 4, faith is laid out plainly in verses 18-21. Notice the phrases there, “who against hope believed in hope,” “being not weak in faith…he staggered not at the promise of God,” “being fully persuaded that what He [God] had promised, He was able also to perform.” This is the same theology as Hebrews, “for those that come to God, must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
“He is” – His existence, and “He is a rewarder of faith” – His omnipotence and His providence. This is faith. This is the faith of Abraham, who “against hope”, (meaning “when circumstances seemed contrary to having any hope”) still had hope that God had promised something, and that therefore God was going to do it, no matter how impossible it seemed. God has everything under control. God is strong enough to do all things. “For with God, nothing shall be impossible,” was the resounding assurance for Mary in her time of doubt over her pregnancy with Jesus. This now can be our solace and assurance: that when it seems impossible, God can accomplish it. Glory be to His great name!

Food for Thought: Romans 4:16-25. How does this passage describe Abraham’s faith? Give a few key phrases that explain his faith.