Today’s reading: Romans 4
Today, Paul repeatedly makes the point that Abraham was justified by his faith in God and not the works he did. This is another verse that is often used by Protestants in the eternal faith v. works debate. However, that is not Paul’s purpose in focusing on this issue. He just told us in the last chapter that we are justified by a gift of grace from God. So why is Paul repeatedly making this point?
The answer is in verse 16:
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants – not only to adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham.
In other words, if the promise of salvation rested on something else, it would be inherently limited. If it was based on being an “adherent to the law” or Abraham’s biological descendants, it would be limited to the Jews or the old covenant. However, since it is based on faith, it is open to anyone and everyone who has the same faith in the one true God as Abraham did.
Tomorrow: Romans 5