Romans   (Today's New International Version unless otherwise noted)

Romans 4

Abraham Justified by Faith

1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”a

Oh Jesus, what can be greater than this?  To be asked to make up for my sins would doom me to depression and death, for it would be impossible.  But You only ask that we believe You, and You take care of the rest.  I am overwhelmed by the thought of what You have forgiven me.  And yet, You have chosen to do so, and I am both silenced by the incomprehensible depth of my indebtedness to You, and exploding with shouts of joy for having the weight of my sins taken from me.  Glory!      

4Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. 6David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

7“Blessed are they

whose transgressions are forgiven,

whose sins are covered.

8Blessed is the man

whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”b

Lord Jesus, I am blessed indeed.  My sins are too many to count, and You wipe them all away.  Thank-you so much Lord.  I am so blessed.  For I have lost all hope of being good in my own strength.  I have learned in my old age just how weak I am.  But You choose to just cover it all and stand with me.  You have chosen to champion the underdog, and now I cannot lose, because no one and nothing can stand before You Lord.      

9Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

You make it so clear Father.  Your call is for faith.  You do give us signs and rituals, but they are only pointers.  You know our hearts and it is only faith that matters.  Father, see my heart and change me as you see fit.  Do not pass me by or allow me to be idle.  My faults are many and I need to change so much.  Probe me, see how my faith is lacking, and change me.  Help me to walk by faith moment after moment.         

13It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

16Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”c He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

18Against 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.”d 19Without 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. 20Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

I do not think I could ever trust You so much Father.  I should, for You have never broken a promise.  But I need to have that kind of faith.  Life can throw many problems at us.  Help me to have more faith Lord.  Help me to be fully persuaded that You can do what You promise, and help me to know Your promies.         

 22This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Jesus, it is so simple.  You died for our sins and rose for our justification.  No we too are alive forever in You.  You are alive, and that makes all the difference.  Nothing can stand against our faith, for You are alive!          

a 3 Gen. 15:6; also in verse 22
b 8 Psalm 32:1,2
c 17 Gen. 17:5
d 18 Gen. 15:5