3 What does Scripture say? Go To Romans Index . She replies, “Because I have devoted my life to serving Him. 1What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? 38A (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), Gaventa, Beverly R. in Brueggemann, Walter; Cousar, Charles B.; Gaventa, Beverly R.; and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV — Year A (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), Knox, John and Cragg, Gerald R., The Interpreter’s Bible: Acts and Romans, Vol. “As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations‘” (Greek: ethnon—can be translated “nations” or “Gentiles”) (v. 17a). Rather, you believe God’s promise to declare righteous any sinner who trusts in Jesus and His shed blood as the propitiation for his sins (3:25). Paul’s point is that Gentiles were spiritually dead, but the God who gives life to the dead has breathed life even into the Gentiles. He does not say that God justifies the godly (those who are righteous by their own merit), but that God justifies the ungodly. In Romans 4:5, Paul makes one of the most outrageous claims in all Scripture: “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” What a staggering verse! Since Adam, humans chose to live sinful and selfish lives. And we  boast in the hope of the glory of God. The key personalities in the book of Romans are the … Finally (4:23-25), Paul applies the lessons of Abraham’s faith to his readers. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about” (v. 2a). God graciously justifies the ungodly sinner who does not work for salvation, but believes in Jesus Christ. Is it fair (just) for God to forgive an evil murderer who trusts in Christ, but to condemn a loving person who didn’t trust Christ? Some commentators argue that the phrase, “according to the flesh,” should not modify “forefather,” but rather, “has found.” Thus Paul would be asking whether Abraham found some way, according to the flesh apart from God’s grace, to be justified. “This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were” (v. 17). 16For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace (Greek: charin—from charis), to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed (Greek: to spermati—the seed), not to (Greek: to the seed)that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham (Greek: to the seed of the faith of Abraham), who is the father of us all. So the artist found the man and told him that he would pay him well if he would come down to the studio so that he could paint him. The passage in Genesis raises the question, “What did Abraham believe and why did God credit it to him for righteousness then?” We know that he had believed God previously, when he left Ur and set out for Canaan (Heb. However, Paul has already stated that God is the God of Gentiles also, since he “will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith ” (3:29-30). God justifies only one kind of person: the ungodly. What is wrong with the idea that good people deserve salvation, while evil people deserve hell? Faith is not a work that merits righteousness. That sweet, selfless old nun deserves to go to heaven! 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