Romans 4:16
Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on 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.
Faith not Meritorious, But EffectualT. Chalmers, D. D.Romans 4:16
How is Salvation ReceivedC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 4:16
Obtaining an InheritanceS.r, Aldridge Romans 4:16
Salvation by GraceChristian TreasuryRomans 4:16
Salvation by Grace Through FaithW. Griffiths.Romans 4:16
Salvation by Grace Through FaithJ. Lyth, D. D.Romans 4:16
Salvation of Faith, that it Might be by GraceB. Beddome, M. A.Romans 4:16
The Promise Made Sure -- Grace and FaithR. S. Candlish, D. D.Romans 4:16
A Crucial CaseJ. Oswald Dykes, D. D.Romans 4:1-25
Abraham Justified by Faith AloneR.M. Edgar Romans 4:1-25
Abraham, the Model of FaithR. Newton, D. D.Romans 4:1-25
Abraham's FaithJ. Browne, D. D.Romans 4:1-25
Abraham's FaithH. F. Adeney, M. A.Romans 4:1-25
Abraham's FaithC.h Irwin Romans 4:1-25
Believing GodChristian World PulpitRomans 4:1-25
Difficulties Overcome by FaithRomans 4:1-25
Folly of Self-RighteousnessC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 4:1-25
Lessons from the Case of AbrahamT. Chalmers, D. D.Romans 4:1-25
No Room for GloryingJ. Spencer.Romans 4:1-25
The Bible AloneR. W. Dibdin, M. A.Romans 4:1-25
The Christian OraclesF. Perry, M. A.Romans 4:1-25
The Faith of AbrahamT. Robinson, of Cambridge.Romans 4:1-25
The Faith of AbrahamProf. Jowett.Romans 4:1-25
The Nature of Faith as Illustrated in the Case of AbrahamBp. Lightfoot.Romans 4:1-25
What Saith the ScriptureBp. Williers.Romans 4:1-25
What Saith the ScriptureJ. W. Burn.Romans 4:1-25
All Things are of FaithT.F. Lockyer Romans 4:9-22

An honourable lineage is not to be despised. Many advantages accrue from the law of heredity, by which progenitors transmit distinguishing qualities to their descendants. But the text invites to an unusual course of begetting an ancestry and thus winning a noble inheritance - nothing less than claiming Abraham as our father. The qualification is to exhibit like faith with the father of the faithful. Faith is thus like the horn of Egremont Castle -

"Horn it was which none could sound,
No one upon living ground
Save he who came as rightful heir."


1. Each has God as its supreme Object, and rests on some promise of God. As the patriarch had respect to the word and power of the Almighty, so the Christian's faith regards the wonder-working might of him who "raised up Jesus from the dead." That in the latter case we look back, not forward, makes no difference as to the essence of faith, and this resurrection becomes itself the ground of believing expectancy in relation to our own future salvation.

2. The subject of faith thereby differentiates himself from his fellows. Out of a world in a condition of rebellion and distrust, Abraham stood forth a monumental pillar of faith. Sin first entered in the guise of a doubt of God's Word, and faith is the throwing off of all suspicion and the adoption of a right attitude before God. Men find it hard to trust God's assurance of pardon and life.

3. The effect of faith is the same. The believer is justified, for God rejoices in the altered state. The implicit credence honours him, and is for his creatures' lasting good. Christ's mission was to show us the Father, revealing his displeasure at sin, and his self-sacrificing sympathy with the sinner.


1. That the inheritance is won by faith involves the absence of valid merit on the part of the recipient. He receives not the wages of a workman, but the free donation of his King. Pride is pulled up by the roots in this manifestation of the kindness of God. Justification is an exercise of clemency for established reasons.

2. The same truth is recognized in the use of the term "promise." We are entitled to claim the heritage on the ground of God's own declaration, not on the score of our personal worthiness.

3. Only by such a method could the promise to Abraham be fulfilled, that is, "made sure to all the seed." If dependent on physical connection, who but the Israelites could hope for the inheritance? If dependent on obedience to the Law, neither Jew nor Gentile could show conformity to the conditions. A world-wide blessing means the removal of both local and universal restrictions.

III. THIS DIVINE PLAN JUSTIFIED BY ITS RESULTS. Complaints of arbitrariness and indifference vanish before this apprehended scheme of mercy. Faith tends to produce a righteousness of life which the stern threatenings of Law could never effect. The despairing criminal begins to see that past transgressions and failures need not debar him from hope of the prize, and with the entrance of this thought, new energy is infused into his soul. The greater contains the less. If God promise to save, he will not withhold minor temporal blessings. Let us, like Abraham, view the land of promise, look away from all in our surroundings that would check faith in God, and say, "I will trust, and not be afraid." - S.R.A.

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace.

1. It is of faith. And what is faith? It is taking God at His Word, and acting upon that by trusting in Him. Some of the Puritans used to divide it into three parts.(1) Self-renunciation, which is, perhaps, rather a preparation for faith than faith itself.(2) Reliance, in which a man trusts, and leaves his soul in the Saviour's hands.(3) Appropriation, by which a man takes to himself that which God presents in the promise. We shall, however, better understand what faith is as we consider —

1. Abraham's case.(1) He believed the promise of God firmly and practically. He was in Chaldea when the Lord promised to give him a land and a seed, and straightway he went forth, not knowing whither he went. When he came into Canaan he had no settled resting place, but still believed that the land wherein he sojourned as a stranger was his own. God promised to give him a seed, and he waited till he was a hundred years old and Sarah ninety when Isaac was born. Nor did he doubt when the Lord bade him take Isaac and offer him up as a sacrifice.(2) He had an eye to the central point of the promise, the Messiah. When the Lord said that He would make him a blessing, and in him should all the nations of the earth be blessed, I do not suppose Abraham saw all the fulness of that marvellous word; but our Lord declares, "Abraham saw My day and was glad."(3) He considered no difficulties whatever (vers. 18, 19). These were terrible difficulties; they were for God to consider, and not for him.(4) He gave glory to God (ver. 20). God had promised, and he treated the Lord's promise with becoming reverence. He knew that Jehovah is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. Abraham glorified the truth of God, and at the same time he glorified His power. It belongs to puny man to speak more than he can do; but is anything too hard for the Lord?(5) He rested upon the Lord alone (ver. 21). There was nothing whatever in his house, his wife, himself, or anywhere else, which could guarantee the fulfilment of the promise. He had only God to look to, and what could a man have more? And this is the kind of faith which God loves and honours, which wants no signs, evidences, or other buttresses to support the word of the Lord. Dictum! Factum! These twain are one with the Most High.

2. The faith of every man who is saved must be of this character. When we are saved —(1) We take the promise of God and depend upon it.(2) We believe in God over the head of great difficulties. If it was hard for Abraham to believe that a son should be born unto him, methinks it is harder for a sinner to believe the hopeful things which the gospel prophesies unto him.(a) Can the gospel message be true to such a worthless rebel as I am? Despite the trepidation of the awakened spirit, the Holy Spirit enables it to quiet itself with the firm persuasion that God for Christ's sake doth put away its sin.(b) Another miracle is also believed in, namely, regeneration. This is quite as great an act of faith as Abraham to believe in the birth of a child by parents who were advanced in years. The faith which saves believes in Jesus and obtains power to become children of God and strength to conquer sin.(c) Does it not seem incredible that such feeble, foolish creatures as we should continue in faith? Yet this we must do; and the faith which saves enables us to believe that we shall persevere, for it is persuaded that the Redeemer is able to keep that which we have committed unto Him.(d) We believe, according to God's promise, that we shall one day be without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing." "Without fault before the throne of God." But how is this to be? Surely our confidence is, that He who has promised it is able to perform it.(3) This saving faith rests in the power of God as manifested in Jesus (vers. 24, 25). It is not to us a thing incredible that God should raise the dead; we therefore believe that because God has raised the dead He hath raised us also from our death in sin, and that He will raise our bodies too.

II. THE FIRST REASON WHY GOD HAS CHOSEN TO MAKE SALVATION BY FAITH, "that it might be of grace." He might have willed to make the condition of salvation a mitigated form of works. If He had done so it would not have been of grace. As water and oil will not mix, and as fire and water will not lie down side by side in quiet, so neither will the principle of merit and the principle of free favour. Grace and faith are congruous, and will draw together in the same chariot, but grace and merit pull opposite ways, and therefore God has not chosen to yoke them together.

1. In Abraham's case, inasmuch as he received the blessing by faith, it is very evident that it was of grace. No man thinks of Abraham as a self-justifying person, saying, "God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men." His name is not "the father of the innocent," but "the father of the faithful."

2. Inasmuch as we are saved by faith, every believer is made to see for himself that, in his own instance, it is grace. Believing is such a self-renunciating act that no man who looks for eternal life thereby ever talked about his own merits. He cannot get away from simple faith, for the moment he attempts to do so he feels the ground going from under him.

3. Through the prominence given to faith, the truth of salvation by grace is so conspicuously revealed that even the outside world are compelled to see it, though the only result may be to make them cavil.

4. Moreover, faith never did clash with grace yet. When the sinner comes and trusts to Christ, and Christ saith to him, "I forgive thee freely by My grace," faith says, "O Lord, that is what I want." "But if I give thee everlasting life it will not be because thou deservest it, but for Mine own name's sake." Faith replies, "O Lord, that also is precisely as I desire."

5. Faith is the child of grace. The believer knows that his faith is not a seed indigenous to the soil of his heart, but an exotic planted there by Divine wisdom; and he knows too that if the Lord does not nourish it his faith will die like a withered flower. Faith is begotten and sustained by a power not less mighty than that which raised our Lord from the dead.

III. A FURTHER REASON. "To the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed." For —

1. It could not have been sure to us Gentiles by the law, because we were not under the law of Moses at all. The Jew, coming under the law, might have been reached by a legal method, but we who are Gentiles would have been altogether shut out. Therefore grace chooses to bless us by faith in order that the Gentile may partake of the blessing of the covenant as well as the Jew.

2. The other method has failed already in every case. We have all broken the law already, and so have put ourselves beyond the power of ever receiving blessing as a reward of merit. What remaineth, then, if we are to be saved at all, but that it should be of faith?

3. It is of faith that it might be sure. Under the system of works nothing is sure. Suppose you were under a covenant of salvation by works, and you had fulfilled those works up till now, yet you would not be sure. But after all you have done for these long years you may lose everything before you have finished your next meal. But see the excellence of salvation by grace, for when you reach the ground of faith you are upon terra firma.

4. If the promise had been made to works there are some of the seed to whom most evidently it never could come. If salvation to the dying thief must come by works, how can he be saved? but he believed, cast a saving eye upon the Lord Jesus and said, "Lord, remember me," and the promise was most sure to him, for the answer was, "Today shalt thou be with Me in Paradise."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. Because FAITH IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not the recompense of any previous desert. Were it otherwise, all would live and die in unbelief; for no one could deserve the gift, and no one would believe on whom it was not bestowed. Faith is a coming to Christ for life; but this coming is alone the effect of Divine influence (John 6:65). The habit, the exercise, and the increase of faith, are all from God.

II. FAITH IS A SUPPLIANT GRACE, sensible of its own poverty and inefficacy (Proverbs 18:23). One of the most modest, and yet importunate suppliants was the woman of Canaan; and our Lord attributed her importunity to the strength of her faith. The prayer of faith is the least assuming, the most submissive. Its language is, Lord, save, or I perish. God be merciful to me a sinner.

III. FAITH RECEIVES ALL FROM CHRIST; it is the empty hand extended towards Him for a full and complete salvation. Love may be said indeed to give, but it is the office of faith only to receive. Faith receives the truths and blessings of Christ Himself; and is constantly receiving out of His fulness, even grace for grace. It is also of the nature of faith to receive all with humility and self-abasement (Psalm 115:1; Romans 3:27).

IV. THE ENTIRE DEPENDENCE OF FAITH UPON THE WILL OF GOD. Its language is, Let Him do with me as seemeth good in His sight. If I am condemned, the sentence will be just; if saved, it will be owing to a multitude of tender mercies. Its hand is laid, not upon the duties it performs, but upon the head of the great atoning sacrifice. When it asks it is in the name of Jesus; what it expects is alone for His sake, both grace here and glory hereafter.

V. THERE IS AN IMPERFECTION IN FAITH, WHICH SHOWS THAT IT CAN HAVE NO MERITORIOUS INFLUENCE ON OUR SALVATION. If faith has any strength, it arises not from itself, but from its object; it needs continual support, and is often ready to sink under the weight of objections and oppositions. It may in this respect be said of graces as it is of persons, God hath chosen the things that are weak and despised (1 Corinthians 1:28, 29; 1 Corinthians 12:24).

VI. FAITH IS HUMBLE AND SELF-DENYING. Its language is, after all its laborious exertions, "Yet not I" — I can do nothing. It is Christ that has done, it is He that must do all. "I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof," says the centurion. "I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel," replied the Saviour. It puts on the robe, but it did not weave it; it shows the debt paid, but did not discharge it. We are said to live by faith; yet faith says, It is not I, but Christ liveth in me.

1. If salvation be of faith, what will become of unbelievers (John 3:18-36).

2. If salvation be of faith, that it might be by grace, then it is no wonder that Satan employs his utmost endeavours to prevent faith, and also to destroy it (2 Corinthians 4:4).

3. Let his malignant activity excite us to watchful. Less and diligence, and to beware of his devices.

(B. Beddome, M. A.)


1. That it might be by grace, or pure favour and goodwill. Coming thus —(1) It honours God as an act of royal beneficence.(2) It honours man as making him the object, not of Divine justice and wisdom merely, but of Divine charity.(3) It blesses the recipient by culturing humility and gratitude.

2. That the promise may be sure to all —(1) Were it by works, however, some may fancy themselves able to gain it, the mass of mankind must despair.(2) Were it by works the original purpose of its provision could not be fulfilled, for the promise was to all nations.(3) Faith in a condition which all may fulfil; the feeblest as the strongest, the most guilty as the least guilty, the debtor of ten thousand talents as the debtor of an hundred pence.

III. THIS FAITH IS EXEMPLIFIED IN ABRAHAM. He is the father of all who believe, as Tubal is the father of iron workers, and Jubal of musicians. His faith is exhibited as —

1. A faith that regarded God as the quickener of the dead and Creator of things not existing — as a God with whom nothing was impossible.

2. A faith that looked for fulfilment of the promise when there was no probability of that fulfilment; as when he believed in his possession of Canaan.

3. A faith that expected when fulfilment seemed impossible; as when he believed the promise of a son to himself and aged, barren Sarah.

4. A faith that failed not when fulfilment seemed to be stopped by the acts of God Himself; as When the whole promised seed lay doomed to death upon the altar.

5. A. faith that staggered not — a full persuasion of heart.

6. A faith that practically confided: as when he went forth from his father's house, and when he bound Isaac for death; thus a faith made perfect by works. His seed are all who imitate his faith.

(W. Griffiths.)


1. A deliverance.

2. Effected for us.

3. Through faith.

4. In Christ.

5. Without merit.


1. Received.

2. Felt.

3. Recognised.

4. Enjoyed as grace.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Christian Treasury.
In a period of religious awakening, Sammy thought himself a subject of the work, and, with others, presented himself for admission to the Church. The office bearers hesitated, on the ground that he might not have sufficient capacity to comprehend the doctrines of the gospel and the evidences of conversion. They concluded, however, to examine him, and began with the subject of regeneration. "Do you think, Sammy," said the pastor, "that you have been born again?" "I think I have," was the answer. "Well, if so, whose work is that"? "Oh! God did a part, and I did a part." "Ah! what part did you do, Sammy?" "Why, I opposed God all I could; and He did the rest." The result of the examination was, that, so far as they could judge, the Holy Spirit had been Sammy's theological teacher, and had indeed created him anew in Christ, "not of works, lest any man should boast."

(Christian Treasury.)

It does not stand in the place of obedience, as the terms of a new bargain, that has been substituted in room of an old one. It is very natural to conceive that, as under the old covenant we had salvation for our works, so, under the new, we have salvation for our faith; and that, therefore, faith is that which wins and purchases the reward. And thus Heaven's favour is still looked upon as a premium, not for doing, it is true, but for believing. And this has just the effect of infusing the legal spirit into our evangelical system; and thus, not merely of nourishing the pride and the pretension of its confident votaries, but of prolonging the disquietude of all earnest and humble inquiries. For, instead of looking broadly out on the gospel as an offer, they look as anxiously within for the personal qualification of faith, as they ever did upon the personal qualification of obedience. This transfers their attention from that which is sure, even the promises of God — to that which is unsure, even their own fickle and fugitive emotions. Instead of thinking upon Christ, they perpetually think upon themselves. They ought surely to cast their challenged and their invited regards on Him, who calls them to look upon Him from all the ends of the earth and be saved! But no! they cast their eyes with downward obstinacy upon their own minds; and there toil for the production of faith in the spirit of bondage; and perhaps, after they are satisfied with the fancied possession of it, rejoice over it as they would over any other meritorious acquirement in the spirit of legality. This is not the way in which the children of Israel looked out upon the serpent in the wilderness. They did not pore upon their wounds to mark the progress of healing there; nor did they reflect upon the power and perfection of their seeing faculties; nor did they even suffer any doubt that still lingered in their imaginations, to restrain them from the simple act of lifting up their eyes. And when they were cured in consequence, they would never think of this as a reward for their looking, but regard it as the fruit of Heaven's gracious appointment. Do in like manner. It will make both against your humility and your peace, that you regard faith in the light of a meritorious qualification; or that you attempt to draw a comfort from the consciousness of faith, which you ought directly to draw from the contemplation of the Saviour. If salvation be given as a reward for faith, then it is not of grace. But we are told in this verse that it is of faith, expressly that it might be by grace. In the one way, you can only be as sure of the promise as you are sure of yourself; and what a frail and fluctuating dependence is this! In the other way, you are as sure of the promise as you are sure of God; and thus your confidence has a rock to repose upon. And in the very act of leaning upon God, man is upheld not only in hope but in holiness. It is in the very position of standing erect upon the foundation of the promises that the promised strength as well as the promised righteousness is fulfilled to him. It is in the very act of looking unto Jesus, that the light of all that grace and truth which shine from the countenance of the Saviour is let in upon the soul; and is thence reflected back again in the likeness of this worth and virtue from his own person.

(T. Chalmers, D. D.)

To the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed.
I. THE END IN VIEW — that "the promise may be sure to all the seed." Every promise of God is sure in the sense of being trustworthy. But the fulfilment is not necessarily sure to any, for they come short of its stipulations. The certainty here is the opposite of what is deprecated in ver. 4: "the promise being made of none effect," i.e., falling short of its full accomplishment. Let us think of the origin of the promise.

1. Let us behold the Father taking up the question of the inheritance. It is the heirship of the world (ver. 13). Who are ultimately to inherit? That must be settled before anything about it can become the subject of promise at all. And in settling that, there must be sovereign choice.

2. The Son has from everlasting an interest in the promise. The inheritance which it conveys is in the first instance destined to Him (Hebrews 1:2). He is the one seed; and others are included in the seed only as being one with Him. Through what a ministry on His part they are to become fellow heirs with Him He all along knows full well. He is to "bear their griefs and carry their sorrows"; to be "made sin," to be "made a curse" for them. Through such sore "travail of His soul" in their stead He is to obtain the fulfilment of the promise: to "see" in them "His seed"; the seed that being one with Him is to be the heir of the world, to inherit all things in Him.

2. The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and the Son; as in the essence of the Divine nature, so also in this covenant of peace. He is a party to it. The seed who are to be heirs are to be put into His hands, to be made one with the Son in His heirship, and one with one another in the Son. That the promise may be sure, He must put forth His soul-subduing power. Is He to do so otherwise than on the footing of its being "sure to all the seed"?

II. THE TWO STEPS BY WHICH ALONE IT IS TO BE REACHED. But why should there be any steps? Why may not the mere fiat of Omnipotence at once secure the end in view? God has but to speak, and "Out of these stones He is able to raise up children unto Abraham." Yes! And if it were "stones" that He had to deal with, the old creation formula — Let it be — would suffice. The voice might go forth, not only figuratively, "Thy seed shall be as the sand," but literally, "Let the sand by thy seed." And if the seed could be as stones, or as sand, ever after, to be managed as stones or sand, the problem of securing that the promise should be sure might be easily solved. But it is not so. For the materials are not stone or sand, but beings who have possessed and abused the faculty of free will. The problem is solved, however, when we take into account the two steps here indicated as securing the result.

1. It is "by grace." The whole economy is alive and instinct with grace.(1) Its origin is very gracious. It has its rise in the favour which the Son ever finds in the Father's right from everlasting. What but this grace moves the Father to "appoint the Son heir of all things" (Hebrews 1:2)? And that is at once the source and pattern of all subsequent exercises of the same grace in time.(2) It is by the same grace that, in virtue of His being "appointed heir of all things," the Son is the agent "by whom God made the worlds," and "who upholdeth all things by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:3). It is for the grace He ever has with the Father that, as the Lord of creation and providence, and now the Lord of the economy of redemption, He has "in all the preeminence" (Colossians 1:16-18).(3) For very specially this grace appears in His having constituted the Saviour of men. When He comes into the world on His errand of redemption He finds grace and favour in the Father's eyes (Matthew 3:17). When He leaves the world, His work being finished, He finds grace and favour still (Romans 1:4). It is because the Father graciously accepts Him as the righteous one (Isaiah 53:11), that He "sets Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 1:20). This grace, love, on the Father's part, how gladly does the Son always own (Proverbs 8:30, 31)! How willingly does He welcome the task that is to cost Him so dear (Psalm 40:7, 8)!(4) And now it may be seen how the Father's treatment of those who are the Son's seed, is simply an extension of the favour which He bears to the Son Himself. They are embraced or comprehended in the grace which the Son ever finds in the Father's sight. It is on this principle that the Father proceeds in pardoning, acquitting, justifying, glorifying them (Ephesians 1:6).

2. It is "of faith." Why? Simply, that it may still be all "by grace." We have seen that it is by grace alone that any are admitted into fellowship with the Son in His gracious work and ministry of substitution. Let us now see what grace there is in the terms, or the manner, of their admission, Freely, unreservedly, unconditionally; if they will; when they will. Ah! but does not this really destroy all certainty? If they will! Does it not cast doubt on everything? When they will! When will they? Will they ever? Of what avail then is all this grace to them? And yet how can the thing be otherwise? How can any enter into union with the Son, so as to have the promise made sure to them in Him, otherwise than by its being freely left to their own free choice? If the grace is to be free, it must be not only freely given, but freely taken. There can be no coercion. There must be cordial and congenial consent. No otherwise can the promise be sure to beings capable of choice. Their free, unforced yes must be got. And if that yes be got, all is safe. Hence the necessity of faith, which is simply that free affirmative response. This may be seen more clearly if we consider —(1) Faith. The whole virtue of faith lies in its being your actual appropriation of the benefit. Its charm consists in dealing with what is presented to it as its object, not through anything, even itself, coming in between, but directly and immediately, without any regard to itself at all. Now the object with which it has to deal is the promise, or rather the Son, to whom, in the first instance, the promise belongs, and is sure. The only use of faith is that it embraces Christ.(2) With its office, the nature of faith corresponds. Our entire moral nature is concerned in it. Every faculty and feeling is taken up with Christ. There is no unoccupied power of the mind within at leisure to take cognisance of the rest.(3) But how shall this full, simple, direct, straightforward faith spring up in any soul? Plainly it is not natural to man. Witness the extreme difficulty of getting men to comprehend it. A Divine teacher is needed to purge the inward sight, and open the eye of the soul. And if, for simply lodging a clear idea of this Divine method of grace in the intellect, the agency of the Divine Spirit Himself is needed, how much more when we are asked to approve of it, to go along with it and become parties to it? Thus "by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God."

(R. S. Candlish, D. D.)

David, Paul, Romans, Sarah
Abraham's, Acceptance, Accordance, Act, Adherents, Cause, Depends, Descendants, Faith, Grace, Guaranteed, Law, Offspring, Order, Principle, Promise, Pure, Reason, Rest, Seed, Share, Sure
1. Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness;
10. before he was circumcised.
13. By faith only he and his seed received the promise.
16. Abraham is the father of all who believe.
24. Our faith also shall be credited to us as righteousness.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Romans 4:16

     5329   guarantee
     6609   adoption
     7021   church, OT anticipations
     7024   church, nature of
     7512   Gentiles, in NT
     8112   certainty

Romans 4:1-16

     8022   faith, basis of salvation

Romans 4:1-22

     6678   justification, Christ's work

Romans 4:1-24

     6674   imputation

Romans 4:1-25

     5078   Abraham, significance

Romans 4:9-24

     8020   faith

Romans 4:13-16

     5110   Paul, teaching of
     5467   promises, divine

Romans 4:13-17

     5701   heir

Romans 4:13-21

     5724   offspring

Romans 4:14-16

     6669   grace, and salvation

Romans 4:16-18

     7142   people of God, NT

September 24. "He Calleth Things that are not as Though they Were" (Rom. Iv. 17).
"He calleth things that are not as though they were" (Rom. iv. 17). The Word of God creates what it commands. When Christ says to any of us "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you," We are clean. When He says "no condemnation" there is none, though there has been a lifetime of sin before. And when He says, "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds," then the weak are strong. This is the part of faith, to take God at His Word, and then expect Him to make it real.
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

October 17. "Abraham Believed God" (Rom. Iv. 3).
"Abraham believed God" (Rom. iv. 3). Abraham's faith reposed on God Himself. He knew the God he was dealing with. It was a personal confidence in one whom he could utterly trust. The real secret of Abraham's whole life was that he was the friend of God, and knew God to be his great, good and faithful Friend, and, taking Him at His word, he had stepped out from all that he knew and loved, and gone forth upon an unknown pathway with none but God. Beloved, are we trusting not only in the word of God,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Waiting Faith Rewarded and Strengthened by New Revelations
'And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before Me, and be thou perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold, My covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Free Grace
To The Reader: Nothing but the strongest conviction, not only that what is here advanced is "the truth as it is in Jesus," but also that I am indispensably obliged to declare this truth to all the world, could have induced me openly to oppose the sentiments of those whom I esteem for their work's sake: At whose feet may I be found in the day of the Lord Jesus! Should any believe it his duty to reply hereto, I have only one request to make, -- Let whatsoever you do, be done inherently, in love, and
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Justification by Faith
"To him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness." Romans 4:5. 1. How a sinner may be justified before God, the Lord and Judge of all, is a question of no common importance to every child of man. It contains the foundation of all our hope, inasmuch as while we are at enmity with God, there can be no true peace, no solid joy, either in time or in eternity. What peace can there be, while our own heart condemns us; and much more, He that
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Hooker -- the Activity of Faith; Or, Abraham's Imitators
Thomas Hooker, graduate and fellow of Cambridge, England, and practically founder of Connecticut, was born in 1586. He was dedicated to the ministry, and began his activities in 1620 by taking a small parish in Surrey. He did not, however, attract much notice for his powerful advocacy of reformed doctrine, until 1629, when he was cited to appear before Laud, the Bishop of London, whose threats induced him to leave England for Holland, whence he sailed with John Cotton, in 1633, for New England, and
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Vol. 2

Of Self-Surrender
Of Self-Surrender We should now begin to abandon and give up our whole existence unto God, from the strong and positive conviction, that the occurrence of every moment is agreeable to His immediate will and permission, and just such as our state requires. This conviction will make us resigned in all things; and accept of all that happens, not as from the creature, but as from God Himself. But I conjure you, my dearly beloved, who sincerely wish to give up yourselves to God, that after you have made
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

Abandonment to God --Its Fruit and Its Irrevocability --In what it Consists --God Exhorts us to It.
It is here that true abandonment and consecration to God should commence, by our being deeply convinced that all which happens to us moment by moment is the will of God, and therefore all that is necessary to us. This conviction will render us contented with everything, and will make us see the commonest events in God, and not in the creature. I beg of you, whoever you may be, who are desirous of giving yourselves to God, not to take yourselves back when once you are given to Him, and to remember
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents

God's Way of Peace
GOD'S WAY OF PEACE A BOOK FOR THE ANXIOUS BY: HORATIUS BONAR, D.D. "To him that worketh not, but believeth." Rom. iv.5 PRESBYTERIAN PUBLICATION COMMITTEE 1334 CHESTNUT STREET PHILADELPHIA, PA. This volume is stereotyped and perpetuated by a donation from the late Mrs. E. K. Smith, of St. Louis, Missouri as a tribute of respect and affection to the memory of her mother, Mrs. Matthew Kerr.
Horatius Bangs, D.D.—God's Way of Peace

Moreover He Fulfilled the Promise Made to Abraham, which God had Promised Him...
Moreover He fulfilled the promise made to Abraham, which God had promised him, to make his seed as the stars of heaven. For this Christ did, who was born of the Virgin who was of Abraham's seed, and constituted those who have faith in Him lights in the world , [149] and by the same faith with Abraham justified the Gentiles. For Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. (cf. Rom. iv. 3) In like manner we also are justified by faith in God: for the just shall live by faith.
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

Its Nature
Justification, strictly speaking, consists in God's imputing to His elect the righteousness of Christ, that alone being the meritorious cause or formal ground on which He pronounces them righteous: the righteousness of Christ is that to which God has respect when He pardons and accepts the sinner. By the nature of justification we have reference to the constituent elements of the same, which are enjoyed by the believer. These are, the non-imputation of guilt or the remission of sins, and second,
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification

Its Instrument
"Being justified freely by His grace" (Rom. 3:24); "being now justified by His blood" (Rom. 5:9); "being now justified by faith" (Rom. 5:1). A full exposition of the doctrine of justification requires that each of these propositions should be interpreted in their Scriptural sense, and that they be combined together in their true relations as to form one harmonious whole. Unless these three propositions be carefully distinguished there is sure to be confusion; unless all the three are steadily borne
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification

Its Basis
In our last chapter we contemplated the problem which is presented in the justifying or pronouncing righteous one who is a flagrant violater of the Law of God. Some may have been surprised at the introduction of such a term as "problem": as there are many in the ranks of the ungodly who feel that the world owes them a living, so there are not a few Pharisees in Christendom who suppose it is due them that at death their Creator should take them to Heaven. But different far is it with one who has been
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification

Faith the Sole Saving Act.
JOHN vi. 28, 29.--"Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." In asking their question, the Jews intended to inquire of Christ what particular things they must do, before all others, in order to please God. The "works of God," as they denominate them, were not any and every duty, but those more special and important acts, by which the creature might secure
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

"But if the Spirit of Him that Raised up Jesus from the Dead Dwell in You, He that Raised up Christ from the Dead, Shall Also
Rom. viii. 11.--"But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." As there is a twofold death,--the death of the soul, and the death of the body--so there is a double resurrection, the resurrection of the soul from the power of sin, and the resurrection of the body from the grave. As the first death is that which is spiritual, then that which is bodily, so
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Now this Election the Apostle Demonstrating to Be...
17. Now this election the Apostle demonstrating to be, not of merits going before in good works, but election of grace, saith thus: "And in this time a remnant by election of grace is saved. But if by grace, then is it no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace." [2672] This is election of grace; that is, election in which through the grace of God men are elected: this, I say, is election of grace which goes before all good merits of men. For if it be to any good merits that it is given,
St. Augustine—On Patience

Christ is represented in the gospel as sustaining to men three classes of relations. 1. Those which are purely governmental. 2. Those which are purely spiritual. 3. Those which unite both these. We shall at present consider him as Christ our justification. I shall show,-- I. What gospel justification is not. There is scarcely any question in theology that has been encumbered with more injurious and technical mysticism than that of justification. Justification is the pronouncing of one just. It may
Charles Grandison Finney—Systematic Theology

In Process of Tithe, that is to Say, in the Tenth Generation after the Flood...
In process of tithe, that is to say, in the tenth generation after the Flood, Abraham appeared, [120] seeking for the God who by the blessing of his ancestor was due and proper to him. [121] And when, urged by the eagerness of his spirit, he went all about the world, searching where God is, and failed to find out; God took pity on him who alone was silently seeking Him; and He appeared unto Abraham, making Himself known by the Word, as by a beam of light. For He spake with him from heaven, and said
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

Our Status.
"And he believed in the Lord: and he counted it to him for righteousness." --Gen. xv. 6. The right touches a man's status. So long as the law has not proven him guilty, has not convicted and sentenced him, his legal status is that of a free and law-abiding citizen. But as soon as his guilt is proven in court and the jury has convicted him, he passes from that into the status of the bound and law-breaking citizen. The same applies to our relation to God. Our status before God is that either of the
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

Its Objects
We have now reached a point in our discussion of this mighty theme where it is timely for us to ask the question, Who are the ones that God justifies? The answer to that question will necessarily vary according to the mental position we occupy. From the standpoint of God's eternal decrees the reply must be, God's elect: Romans 8:33. From the standpoint of the effects produced by quickening operations of the Holy Spirit the reply must be, those who believe: Acts 13:39. But from the standpoint of what
Arthur W. Pink—The Doctrine of Justification

Introductory Note to the Epistle of Barnabas
[a.d. 100.] The writer of this Epistle is supposed to have been an Alexandrian Jew of the times of Trajan and Hadrian. He was a layman; but possibly he bore the name of "Barnabas," and so has been confounded with his holy and apostolic name-sire. It is more probable that the Epistle, being anonymous, was attributed to St. Barnabas, by those who supposed that apostle to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and who discovered similarities in the plan and purpose of the two works. It is with
Barnabas—The Epistle of Barnabas

The Doctrine
OF THE LAW AND GRACE UNFOLDED; OR, A DISCOURSE TOUCHING THE LAW AND GRACE; THE NATURE OF THE ONE, AND THE NATURE OF THE OTHER; SHOWING WHAT THEY ARE, AS THEY ARE THE TWO COVENANTS; AND LIKEWISE, WHO THEY BE, AND WHAT THEIR CONDITIONS ARE, THAT BE UNDER EITHER OF THESE TWO COVENANTS: Wherein, for the better understanding of the reader, there are several questions answered touching the law and grace, very easy to be read, and as easy to be understood, by those that are the sons of wisdom, the children
John Bunyan—The Works of John Bunyan Volumes 1-3

Justification by Faith --Illustrated by Abram's Righteousness
Referring to the chapter before us for a preface to our subject, note that after Abram's calling his faith proved to be of the most practical kind. Being called to separate himself from his kindred and from his country, he did not therefore become a recluse, a man of ascetic habits, or a sentimentalist, unfit for the battles of ordinary life--no; but in the noblest style of true manliness he showed himself able to endure the household trouble and the public trial which awaited him. Lot's herdsmen
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 14: 1868

"Who Walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit. "
Rom. viii. 1.--"Who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Christ is made to us of God both righteousness and sanctification; and therefore, those who are in Christ do not only escape condemnation, but they walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh. These two are the sum of the gospel. There is not a greater argument to holy walking than this,--there is no condemnation for you, neither is there a greater evidence of a soul having escaped condemnation, than walking according
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

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