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Romans;- Abraham, the father of our faith

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posted on Oct, 4 2019 @ 05:07 PM
Having a particular interest, I believe, in convincing his fellow-Jews in Rome, Paul has been explaining why the world needs the revelation of the gospel.
He’s already shown that Jews and Gentiles are judged by God on equal terms, and will find approval on equal terms.
So he now turns to considering the salvation of “our forefather Abraham” (ch4).
That “our” confirms that Paul is still addressing the Jews, in his intention. As I’ve said before, I find it hard to believe that this was merely a rhetorical device for the benefit of Gentile readers.

Where does Abraham, the acknowledged ancestor of the Jews, fit into the gospel story?
IF we are all justified by faith, as established at the end of the previous chapter, it follows that Abraham could not have been justified by works.
Had he been justified by his works, he would have achieved something to boast about, and human boasting cannot be allowed before God.
Putting the same thing another way, the man who works has earned the recompense which he receives, but this conflicts with the character of grace as a free gift.
Paul rests his case, as he did in Galatians, on the statement in Genesis;
“Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.”
So Abraham was considered righteous not because of his works, but because of his trust in God (vv1-5).

(Pursuing the course of the argument, I move on to v10)

On the subject of circumcision, the key point is that Abraham was reckoned righteous before he was circumcised.
He received circumcision afterwards as the symbol that he was already righteous.
This makes him the father of two groups of people, to wit;
Those who are circumcised and share the same faith.
And those who are not circumcised, but share the same faith.
By implication, incidentally, this dictum excludes those who are circumcised without following the example of faith. The implication is that this last group are not genuine descendants of Abraham at all (vv10-12).

(Paul has inserted a parenthesis (vv6-9) from one of the Psalms, quoting it on David’s authority, as another way of making the point that circumcision is not relevant.
The Psalm pronounces a blessing on the man whose sins are “covered” and forgiven, because God will not “reckon” his sins against him.
Since David says “the man”, meaning anyone who fits the description, this must be applicable to the uncircumcised as well as to the circumcised.)

Then Paul brings in the promise, which followed the non-sacrifice of Isaac, that the descendants of Abraham would inherit the world.
This promise, too, must work through the righteousness of faith rather than through the law.
This follows from the same reason that he gave in Galatians; any successful way of obtaining the inheritance makes other ways redundant. If it were possible to inherit through the law, the route of “faith in the promise” would be null and void. So if we believe in inheritance through promise, we cannot believe in inheritance through law.
(In v15 he offers the additional reason, that the only effect of the law is to bring wrath and awareness of sin.)

That is why the promise must depend on faith and rest on grace, being secured to all the descendants of Abraham, those who share his faith. For he is our father, in the eyes of the God in whom he believed, who said “I have made you the father of many nations”.

Then Paul develops the thought that Abraham was believing in a God who gives life, as shown in the extreme cases of giving life to the dead or creating a world (v17).
The writer of Hebrews will use that thought in connection with Abraham’s faith when he took Isaac to the place of sacrifice; “He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead” (Hebrews ch11 v19).
But Paul is focussing on Abraham’s faith in the prospective birth of Isaac, which is part of his faith in the promise of descendants.
“In hope he believed against hope”; that is, he set his godly hope (faith directed towards the future) against the limited human hope, which would have given up more easily.
He was not deterred by the fact that his body was “as good as dead” (Hebrews borrows this phrase as well), or by the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.
No distrust made him waver; he grew strong in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God would keep his promise.
And THAT was the kind of faith which was reckoned as righteousness.

The fact that our faith is in a God who gives life brings in the resurrection of Christ.
Righteousness was reckoned to Abraham, because he believed in him who gave life to Isaac.
In the same way, righteousness will be reckoned to us, if we believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord.
Jesus was put to death on account of our trespasses (which separate us from God), and he was raised from the dead for the sake of our justification (which reconciles us with God) (vv24-25).
And that is how Jesus made the gospel possible, as will be explained in more detail in the next chapter.

posted on Oct, 4 2019 @ 06:50 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

One thing I don't have shred of faith in is peace in the Middle East. Why is it if the World's greatest religion is so great then why are the people holding it dear are the most belligerent on the planet?

I think God playing favorites by having a "chosen" people has led to many innocent deaths of woman and children.

I can give my faith to the glory of God. But I have no faith in anything Abrahamic. We are born with imperfections. We will die with imperfections. We will always be separate from God until we pass through the gates of Heaven and look into the face of God.

Until then, we are all just pretending we know the mind of God when in reality no one has any idea what God thinks, wants, or desires from any facet of His creation.

It's not Christianity. It's Paulanity. There is only one true Christian that as ever lived and he died on the cross. We are all just interpreters of so called "holy" words. My interpretation is as good as yours or any other. My interpretation is no better than any other.

God is the alpha and the omega but no so much in the middle. In the middle it's up to us to find justice, peace, and heaven on Earth. As far as I can tell, based on endless human experiments, there is no amount of evil God will not tolerate in order to preserve our free-will. God is indifferent to man. Having faith is a test of faith.

edit on 4-10-2019 by dfnj2015 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 4 2019 @ 06:53 PM
a reply to: dfnj2015
As I keep pointing out, the message of Romans is that birth-Jews have no special privilege. Do you ever read the OP of these threads before you answer the titles?

posted on Oct, 4 2019 @ 06:59 PM
Are we caught in the devils bargain... . I think so!
What a long, strange life it's been.....
edit on 4-10-2019 by GBP/JPY because: IN THE FINE TEXAS TRADITION

posted on Oct, 5 2019 @ 02:08 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

I just cannot see how faith over works(law for the purposes of this OP) makes sense to anyone..

If you live by whatever code, that is better than your inner thoughts on the subject.. obviously..

Living by the Bible is the hard part.... not having faith in Jesus..

millions of people who honest to god believe in Christianity commit atrocities everyday...

How many people who live their lives that way do????

Zero.. because if your living your life that way, you can’t be committing atrocities!!!!

However if you are committing atrocities, but you still want everyone to think you are “holy”, what better way than faith>works?!?!?

There is no better way...

“Don’t judge me by what you see me do.. judge me on how I feel on the inside..”

And assigning merit based off of % of income doesn’t require faith...

You can still give the beggar who gives their whole coin purse more credit than the rich guy who donates one of his 6 estates..

Also Judaism is also structured in exactly the opposite way..

In Judaism works trumps faith..

That is a very big change... a change that doesn’t make much sense when you realize that god said “obey my laws and never accept any changes ” basically every other line..

posted on Oct, 5 2019 @ 02:13 PM
a reply to: JustJohnny
I've explained in previous threads (so I won't repeat it all here) that faith is not understood as a substitute for doing the right thing. It's just that faith comes first, in order of time. I'l link to a recent thread. I may have done this before, the last time you brought up that issue.

Yes, here we are; You last brought up this old chestnut on September the twenty-first, and I responded with these thread links;
Live a life worthy of the calling
The law is justice and mercy and faith
You're going to be doing this once a fortnight, are you?

edit on 5-10-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 5 2019 @ 02:17 PM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Also, why would Paul be more trust worthy than those who actually walked with Jesus personally while he taught???

I watched a lecture that covered the split in the early church where Paul’s faction wanted to actively recruit. While the “old school” faction wanted it to remain like Judaism where you have to beg to join..

But it has been ages..

Weren’t some of the disciples the leaders of the opposing faction??


You have Paul claiming revelation..on one hand..

The you have people who actually knew Jesus on the other..

Paul’s claim seems worse.

posted on Oct, 5 2019 @ 02:23 PM
a reply to: JustJohnny
I write threads on specific topics. "Whether Paul is a good thing" is not the topic of this thread, so I disregard attempts to drag me in that direction.

edit on 5-10-2019 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)

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