ISSL Reflections May 12 2024 Romans 4:13–25 Post 2

This passage begins with the claim that “the promise to Abraham [came] through the righteousness of faith.”

Take that as your starting point and as the lens through which you view this passage. Then ask yourself, “How can Paul make such a claim?”

Romans 4:13-25 (NRSVue)

For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law, neither is there transgression.

For this reason the promise depends on faith, in order that it may rest on grace, so that it may be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (who is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”), in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), and the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore “it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

In this passage what we are told about faith?

What does it mean that others (maybe us?) can “share the faith of Abraham”?

Why would Paul write that Abraham was “Hoping against hope”?

Paul suggests that Abraham was “… fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

Can you think of a time or situation in your life when you were “fully convinced that God was able…”?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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