Scripture Reading: Romans 4:1-25
Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the faith chapter, using both definition and examples to define what faith is. Romans 4 states Abraham as an example of someone who used his faith, not his inheritance or circumcision, to accomplish much and obey God without question. We sometimes feel hopeless, facing situations that appear beyond hope. Our natural response during such times is often despair and even depression. Abraham knew what it meant to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He could have felt hopeless, yet somehow found a renewed reason to hope. It was through the power of faith that Abraham overcame these obstacles and continued to obey God. We can have that same power in our lives.
- Briefly describe a situation in which you felt hopeless. What helped you to overcome this feeling?
- According to Romans 4:1-8, how did Paul say that the saints such as Abraham and David were justified? According to David, in what three ways is the person of genuine faith blessed? Was there anything that Abraham did of his own that caused him to receive benefit from God?
- From Romans 4:4-8, is there any difference between justification by faith and justification by works?
- Romans 4:9-12. Of what benefit to future generations was the fact that Abraham was not yet circumcised when he received the seal of righteousness of the faith and became the father of all those who believe? Today we sometimes state that unless you be baptized (similar to the Jewish claim concerning circumcision) we have no hope of being saved. How does Abraham’s experience refute this belief?
- In Romans 4:13-17 Paul states that God promised that Abraham and his offspring would inherit the world. Who are Abraham’s offspring and what is it that they inherit? Does it make any difference whether this promise to Abraham and his offspring is fulfilled by law or grace?
- Why can men never be saved by keeping the law? Romans 4:15-16.
- How strongly did Abraham believe in God’s word (Romans 4:18)?
- Comment about the quality of Abraham’s faith in Romans 4:19-22. Why did Paul recount these qualities to the Romans at this time?
- How does Abraham illustrate our own hopeless predicament as non-believers and the solution provided in Jesus Christ (Romans 4:18-25)?
- Why did Christ die on the cross, and why was He raised from the dead (Romans 4:25)?