Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 138 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Romans 4 today and our focus is on Abraham: father of the nation of Israel. why is Abraham so important to Christians who are not of Jewish ethnicity? We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
We open with a comment from famous author Og Keep, author of the Book “The Atheists Tale,” which my wife and daughter have been fighting over this week. (until I managed to find a second copy) Og says:
If we do a word study for the word “Seat” in the Bible, we find first the Mercy seat. In Exodus we find how it was to be made, and in Leviticus how it was to be treated. Later we read, as in Romans 14, and 2 Cor. 5, that we shall stand at the judgment seat of Jesus. A judgment seat is where a judge would sit to pass down a ruling; to acquit or to condemn the one standing before it. By that understanding, the Mercy seat is a place where the Spirit of God may sit to pass down mercy, and the forgiveness of sins. Those who have stood before God at the Mercy seat need have no fear of the Judgment seat.
Well spoken, Og!
Today we are focused on Abraham – why is he so important? Think about it. Abraham was born in modern day Iraq and lived over 4000 years ago. That, my friends – is a long time! Yes, Abraham became the father of the nation of Israel, but why is that important for Christians in India, or the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland or Spain? After all, our father is God, and our savior is Jesus, right? Abraham is the father of the Jews, not really of Christians, right?
Ethnically speaking, that is absolutely true. Spiritually speaking, however, Abraham is indeed the father of believing Christians, maybe even in a deeper way than he is the father of ethnic Jews. In our passage today, Paul explains why, and in the process gives us another wonderful summary of the good news and how to stand before God guiltless.
For we say, Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness. 10 In what way, then, was it credited—while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? It was not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while still uncircumcised. This was to make him the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, so that righteousness may be credited to them also. Romans 4:9-11
So, there it is: Abraham is the father of many nations, and he is the father of all Christians too, because Abraham BELIEVED God in faith, and was credited righteousness in return. Abraham was reckoned as righteous because of his faith. We see it in succinct form in vs 3, one of the top 5 most profound verses in the Bible, and our verse of the day:
3 For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. Romans 4:3
Abraham was a bit of a scoundrel at times. Not once, but TWICE he lied and said his wife was his sister, which led to her almost marrying (or maybe even marrying) at least two other guys. He was far from perfect, but ultimately, God credited him with righteousness not because of his abundance of righteous deeds, or because of his stainless and spotless character, but because he believed God’s promise.
Let us read our passage, and then close with some wise commentary from Spurgeon:
The law claims complete obedience without one spot or speck, failure, or flaw, and Christ has brought in such a righteousness as that, and gives it to his people. The law demands that the righteousness should be without omission of duty and without commission of sin, and the righteousness which Christ has brought in is just such an one that for its sake the great God accepts his people and counts them to be without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. The law will not be content without spiritual obedience, mere outward compliances will not satisfy. But our Lord’s obedience was as deep as it was broad, for his zeal to do the will of him that sent him consumed him. He says himself, “I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea thy law is within my heart.” Such righteousness he puts upon all believers. “By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous”; righteous to the full, perfect in Christ. We rejoice to wear the costly robe of fair white linen which Jesus has prepared, and we feel that we may stand arrayed in it before the majesty of heaven without a trembling thought. This is something to dwell upon, dear friends. Only as righteous ones can we be saved, but Jesus Christ makes us righteous, and therefore we are saved. He is righteous who believeth on him, even as Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus,” because they are made righteous in Christ. Yea, the Holy Spirit by the mouth of Paul challengeth all men, angels, and devils, to lay anything to the charge of God’s elect, since Christ hath died. O law, when thou demandest of me a perfect righteousness, I, being a believer, present it to thee; for through Christ Jesus faith is accounted unto me for righteousness. The righteousness of Christ is mine, for I am one with him by faith, and this is the name wherewith he shall be called—“The Lord our righteousness.”
C. H. Spurgeon, “Christ the End of the Law,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 22 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1876), 653–654.
Bible Memory verses for the month of May: Matthew 28:18-20 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
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