Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results
©Michael Player

Chapter 4:13-25 (ESV)

Posted on December 18, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 4:13-25 (ESV) - For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

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. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Question to consider: Why did it take faith for Abraham to believe God’s promise to make him a father of many nations?

God’s word comes to pass. God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. Jesus said, “Lazarus come out,” and a dead man came to life and walked out of the tomb. God’s word to Abraham was, “I have made you the father of many nations”.

Because God is the one who gives life and calls into existence the things that do not exist, Abraham believed God— even though he and his wife, Sarah, were knock, knock, knockin’ on heaven’s door. Paul’s argument in today’s passage was that since Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, so does God credit us with righteousness who express the same faith. Otherwise, if God’s promise was only true for those who kept the Law perfectly on their own, Abraham would only have been the father of one person: Jesus of Nazareth.

However, Jesus, who was raised from the dead, gave the following word, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:25-26) If Jesus had stayed dead, these words would be meaningless, but His resurrection from the dead means that His word will come to pass for all who believe.

Believe it or not, the Law was also considered the “ten words'' of God. “You shall have no other gods'' was not merely a command for us to follow, but it was as declarative a statement as Jesus telling the paralyzed man by the pool of Bethesda, “Take up your mat and walk.” The man could only obey the command of Jesus because Jesus had taken away his infirmity. In our own fallen, paralyzed state, we cannot keep the ten words of God. However, Paul argued that Jesus, the true seed of Abraham, was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification so that we can be among the many nations who call Abraham our father.

Paul’s letter may have started out obliterating any hope we have of being found righteous by God through the Law, but Christ “delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” is the good news for which Paul was not ashamed and believed was the power of God for our salvation.


Dear heavenly Father, You are the author and perfecter of our faith. You are the One who gives life and salvation. Thank You for accepting Christ’s work on our behalf and giving us the promise of new life through Him. Amen.