“It 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” (Romans 4:13)
Paul stresses that nothing Abraham did is what earned him this promise from God that the world would be blessed through him (Gen. 12:2-3).
It’s also important to remember that the “law” Paul refers to was given to Moses 430 years after Abraham. Therefore, this promise had to come by another way.
This isn’t a one-time decision. Instead, this is a daily choice to trust in God’s faithfulness toward us.
Paul goes on to say in the next verses that it’s a good thing the promise came by faith, otherwise if those who lived by the law are heirs, then the promise is worthless! (Rom. 4:14) Because the law only unleashed God’s wrath on mankind (Rom. 4:15), not His blessing.
“And 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.” (Romans 4:12)
Growing up in the Church, I’ve heard a lot of testimonies over the years. It’s easy to celebrate the depth of God’s grace when we witness the transformation of a person steeped in addiction, sin, or recovering from abuse and trauma, or just living his or her own way far from God. However, sometimes we don’t fully celebrate the faithfulness of the many people who have followed God all of their lives—and that’s a disconnect.
Where today can you celebrate the faithfulness of someone who has encouraged your faith walk?
Paul just made a marvelous statement that Abraham is the father of everyone who is uncircumcised (or living outside of the promise God made to Abraham and the Jewish nation) but who still have the faith of Abraham. He explained that they, too, are credited with righteousness (Rom. 4:11).