The Illustration of Righteousness (Romans 4:1-25)


Faith is something every Sister Disciple should give a second thought.

In Habakkuk 2:4 it reads … the righteous will live by his faith. In chapter 4 of Romans, Paul gives us a clear picture of one man’s faith and how that faith is our greatest example of assurance, undoubtedly. Such faith marks a believer’s maturity.

Isaiah 7:9b reads … If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.” Standing firm in our faith separates us from the shallow among us.

Deep calls to deep.

The God of the Bible, in contrast to all manmade religions, is the only Living God who in Christ Jesus has become the Author and Finisher of our faith. The “with God life” comes from knowing God and knowing Him intimately.

“This is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

John 17:3

Knowing God is eternal life, and we cannot truly know Him apart from loving Him. We love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength. To love Him is to know Him. To know Him is to trust Him, and to trust Him gives us the confidence to obey.

We do not obey a stranger.

We were made to know God and live a life of faith. The Christian life, with God, is the true life that God created for us. We do not need to work for it, be circumcised, or follow the law to live a life of faith.

Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.” Abundant life is not possible without faith in God and His Son, Christ Jesus.

Faith is weak without knowledge of the Holy, and such knowledge comes from the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of truth.

We’ve learned something real: Sin leaves our souls wasted and withered, and life with God makes our souls bloom. The Holy Spirit is illuminated with the love of God, and in turn, He strengthens our faith.

God shows Himself faithful to the faithful.

Paul points out in Chapter 4 of Romans that this faith life is not a new principle, but as ancient as Abraham. Right standing with God comes to those who live by faith.

Abraham was justified by faith, King David celebrated it, and Abraham was justified by faith before circumcision. Abraham believed God!

For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.

Romans 4:3

Abraham did not have the laws given later to the Jews, but He had a personal and intimate relationship with God. He did not work for it or do anything to win God’s favor.

Abraham did not enter into this right relationship with God by working. He trusted God and trusted Him completely. This is a heartfelt trust as deep as the ocean. God did not owe Abraham His favor, but God gave Abraham a place of a place of favor because He took God at His Word.

The Jews regards Abraham as the founding father of all Jews and a pattern to emulate. Paul reveals that Abraham is truly the founder of our faith – an example to follow.

Out of every human alive during the time of Abraham, God chose Abraham. Why? What made Abraham different?



Faith, to our human abilities, is abstract. But God was in the heart business then, and He’s still in the heart business. The heart that beats for God beats faithfully.

Abraham abandoned his country, life, and family to go where God told him to go. He believed God when God shared with him that he would be the father of many nations. He believed in God for the promised son. When God asked him to sacrifice the son that he loved, Isaac, Abraham obeyed with knife, wood, and fire.

Faith brought Abraham to that mountain, and his faith was rewarded. He believed that if God wanted to kill the promised son, then he would bring him back to life.

Abraham’s faith came from trusting God’s Word, and God’s Word strengthened his faith. Faith not by works, by circumcision, or the Law.

Faith is of great value to God and without it, we cannot please God it.

Faith is loyal to God, it is belief in something for which there is no proof, it is marked by complete trust. Our faith is based on strong conviction, no doubt or question.

Trust, on the other hand, is assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, and truth of God. Our confidence is in Him and His word. God is Trustworthy because He is worthy of our trust.

Our future is dependent on Him. We have entrusted our lives to Him, to His care, and to His faithful love. We rely on Him and wholeheartedly believe in the truthfulness, authority, and accuracy of God’s Word.

The ”with God life” is a life of faith.

We are steadfast in affection and allegiance. We trust God for His promises and know that He is true to His word. Furthermore, we are confident that God breathes His Word and watches over it to accomplish it. We are loyal, steadfast, and resolute in our faith.

If it was good enough for Abraham, then it’s good enough for us.

But what about the faithless – the long distant believer? Sadly, they are disloyal to God’s trust. There is no true allegiance to them. They lack complete faithfulness in thought or words or actions. They are unfaithful.

Furthermore, they are faithless because they do not know God. A heartfelt relationship, marked by a with-God life, is foreign to them.

We trust God with our hearts, so we may celebrate Him with all our hearts.

This is us

This is us:

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trust in Him; and I am helped. Therefore, my heart celebrates and I give thanks to Him with my song.

Psalm 28:7

The Sister Disciple who enters into a heartfelt relationship with God will rejoice and celebrate. Blessed is the soul that knows her God!

Faith is the healing salve for the soul, and in it, we will be blessed.

Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the person the Lord will never charge with sin.

Romans 4:7-8

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 4:11

Abraham is the father of all believers.

So let us walk in the steps of Abraham, who by faith alone believed in God. The sign of the Old Covenant was physical circumcision, but the sign of the New Covenant is the circumcised heart.

It is true that we are not recognized by Jewish blood running through our veins, but we stand faithfully in the blood of Christ that washes away all our sins.

Rise up, Oh Sister Disciples, as one who belongs to the Lord. Show the watching world that you are in a love relationship with God by faith alone.

Right standing with God comes by faith to the faithful.

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring – not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations” – in the presence of the God in whom he believed who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

Romans 4:16-17

Abraham did not waver in his faith but was strengthened to glorify God. God is never more honored and glorified than when we believe with pure confidence and faithfulness.

The privilege of God’s blessing and immunity from His wrath are ours by faith. Right standing with God comes by faith to the faithful.

Believe! Believe in the God who makes the impossible possible.

Therefore, it was also credited to him as righteousness. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited to those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

Romans 4:22-25

Justification is a gift of grace and the saving faith is faith in the Giver of miraculous life – demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ.

In Conclusion:

Abraham took God at His word. It is this trusting faith that established the relationship between God and the believer. God makes the impossible possible.

And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.

Hebrew 11:6


  • What’s your biggest take away from this lesson?
  • How would you describe your faith?
  • How would someone else describe your faith?


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Christine Malkemes, Founder of Words Whispered. Used with permission.

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