January 14 - Romans 4:18-25

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Romans 4:18-25 – Abraham – Hope and Faith

Against 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.” Without 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. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

The word ‘hope’ is used more in the book of Romans than any other book in the New Testament. The hope that Christians know is different than that in the world because it is grounded in the work God has done through Jesus Christ.

Paul tells us that when Abraham had nothing in the world, he still had hope. There was nothing in the world that could justify the hope he had … it came from God. Much like faith, hope is a blessing given to us by God and Paul links the two of these in this passage.

When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was too old to have children, Abraham believed God could do what He said. When he had no basis for hope, Abraham still believed in God. This is faith. This single belief … this hope … this faith not only brought one child into the world, but was the foundation for the truth that Abraham would become the father of many nations.

Then Paul, In Romans 4:24, turns to contemporary believers. God will credit righteousness to us because of our faith in Jesus Christ, because we believe in God who raised Jesus from the dead.

Romans 4:25 anchors the gospel. Jesus died for our sins and rose again for our justification. All of the work is done for us. Our sins are forgiven, salvation is given to us. Hope and faith come from God. All we do is believe.