Read Romans 4:18-25
In this section of Romans 4 there are two ideas which Paul teaches. The first is the character of our faith. To explain this Paul continues with the example of Abraham. Abraham’s faith was known by all of the Jews. His faith was seen as an example to all of the people of God to follow. Yet it is not just for the Jews to emulate the faith of Abraham but also us as Christians as well.
Abraham’s faith was strong. When you think of something that is strong, who or what do you think of? Why? What comes to mind myself it is that of an hippo. A hippo is one of the strongest creatures on earth. It’s jaw can snap a grown man in half. Our faith must be like that strong and can withstand any doubt.
We see in Romans 4:18-22 that Abraham’s faith was more than just strong but it was it was determined. It says in verse 18 that “in hope he believed against hope” meaning that even though everything told him that the promise that God made to him would not come true he still believed anyway. The promise that a old man (almost 100 years old) would not only have a son but that Abraham would be the father of many nations. This would be hard to anyone to swallow. Even though it seemed impossible Abraham believed and trusted in God.
What is trust? How can you have trust in someone who you cannot see? Why is that harder than in someone you can see? What do you know about Abraham? What was his faith like? How can you have faith like Abraham?
The second idea which Paul teaches us in Romans 4:18-25 is about the validity of our justification. In Romans 4:23-25 Paul shows us that God gave Abraham confidence in the validity of His promises that He would fulfill them even though the promises seemed impossible. This confidence that Abraham had in the promises of God is for us as well. We can and must feel confident in the promises of God that we are justified in our whole self, that if we confess our sins and have Jesus as our savior. These promises are no less viable than the day when God gave them.
We tend to think that as something gets older it gets worse, or that it always becomes useless. For instance on my bookshelf when I look at some of my older books they do not look as flashy or as nicely bound as others but the words are still as valid as when they were written. The promises that God has made to us are still as valid the day that He made them and we can trust in Him and have the faith like Abraham that He will fulfill all His promises to us for He is the covenant keep and never ever breaks His word.
Who do you know who has a strong faith in God? Why do you think they do? How is this demonstrated? How do you think they have the strong faith? Why don’t you? How can you have the strong of faith in God?