Summary of passage: Abraham was righteous because he had faith in God. He was not righteous through works. This is the truth for all men: trust God–be righteous. Rely on works–not gain righteousness through works alone.
3) Abraham believed God. He obeyed God in all he was told to do (except with regards to Hagar). He moved. He circumcised his kids.
4) Because people have to work to earn those wages. Gifts are free. Wages are earned.
5a) Salvation/eternal life. Death/hell.
b) Personal Question. My answer: One of faith. Reliance on Him for everything. I have expectations but only because I have faith in God to answer and provide. I expect Him to show up because He says He will. I expect Him to answer prayers because He says He does. I don’t expect anything of God that He doesn’t already promise.
Conclusions: Good passage by Paul and analogy of what our relationship is supposed to be: faith. All of us can relate to working for others. Great clarity!
End Notes: Paul is answering his question from Romans 3:31 and he uses Abraham (the George Washington of the Jewish faith and one who is undeniably justified) as his example. Abraham was accounted as righteous (Genesis 15:6). He did not earn righteousness. No one can earn it. It’s a gift from God as a reward for faith in Him. The Jewish leaders of the day taught that Abraham earned righteousness. Before God, Abraham earned no credit.
Remember righteousness is the right relationship with God and the life one leads because of this. Through faith this righteousness justifies us and we live according to God.
Grace (ancient Greek word charis) means the unmerited favor of God toward sinners who through Jesus Christ provides us with redemption. Grace maintains Christians throughout their earthly life.
Grace is given. Works are earned. Works connotes the idea that God owes us because we are good.
God justifies the wicked/ungodly.
All are credited as righteous through faith. This was not just for Abraham.
There are NOT two ways to salvation – saved by works through law-keeping in the Old Testament and saved by grace through faith in the New Testament. Paul is saying (using Abraham as an example) that everyone who has ever been saved – Old or New Testament – is saved by grace through faith, through their relationship of a trusting love with God. Because of the New Covenant we have benefits of salvation that Old Testament saints did not have but we do not have a different manner of salvation.
Fun Fact: Paul uses the Greek word for “credited” 10 times in Chapter 4 alone.