An Exegesis of Romans 4:1-25 Rev. Peter Gutierrez Faith and Works With this exegetical rep

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An Exegesis of Romans 4:1-25 Rev. Peter Gutierrez Faith and Works With this exegetical report, I will relate my interpretation of the meaning of the fourth chapter in Paul's letter to the Romans. I believe that the central theme of this chapter is the importance of having faith in God. Paul makes it very clear that by faith in God and not by one's works (deeds) will one become right with God (4:5). Paul uses the example of Abraham to get his ideas across to the Romans. "Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous" (4:3 and Genesis 15:6). Paul continues by saying that this is the happiness David spoke of when God accepts a person as righteous for his faith. Starting in the ninth verse, Paul writes that the promise that God offers is not exclusive to Jews, but that it is for all people who believe. Again Paul uses Abraham as an example. Paul wrote, "Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those that are circumcised (Jews)? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised..." (4:9). By this Paul meant that both Jews (who are the circumcised) and Gentiles (who are not) are able to receive the promise of God. Paul continues to make his point by stating the fact that Abraham was considered righteous by God for his beliefs before he was circumcised. Starting in verse thirteen, Paul says that God promised Abraham that the earth would belong to him and his people. This was promised to Abraham not because he obeyed the Law (work), but because he believed in God (faith)(4:16). Again Paul expresses the importance of faith. Work must be performed to earn pay; however, faith is all that is required to receive God's free gift (4:16). The rest of the chapter repeats the central theme: faith - especially Abraham's. Paul writes, "Abraham believed and hoped, even when there was no reason hoping..." (4:18). By this Paul is telling the Romans that they should never lose faith in what they believe. He also writes, "He was then almost one hundred years old; but his faith did not weaken when he thought of his body..." (4:19). I believe Paul was saying that the body is not one's strength - it is one's faith. Paul continues to use Abraham's example of faith through the entire chapter. The chapter closes by repeating another claim, that the gift promised to Abraham is available to all. "The words 'he was accepted as righteous' were not written for him alone. They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death" (4:23-25). In this chapter, it is certain to me that Paul aimed to show that Abraham was considered righteous by God, not because of his works, but because of his faith in God. And that if all men, Jews and Gentiles, followed the example of Abraham, they too would be considered righteous by God. PDG 1988 Rel 1005-N.T. Louisiana State University Published and distributed by CompuChurch (tm) International Headquarters (504) 927-4509 (C) 1988 -- All Rights Reserved Permission to electronically display and transfer this textfile without charge to reader is granted subject to inclusion of complete copyright/source statement.


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