As Paul carefully weaves his argument for righteousness by faith, he provides an extended illustration designed to put any objections to rest. Chapter four of Romans involves the person of Abraham, the father of all those who believe. According to Paul, we have more in common with Abraham than we might think. He, too, was declared righteous by faith and not by obedience. God created the “justification by faith” mold, and He used Abraham to do so. Abraham trusted God and His promises prior to the giving of the Law, prior to his circumcision, and prior to God making good on those promises. Thus, he was declared righteous by faith alone: Sola fide.
For next week, read Romans 5:1-11.
PP. 543-545 in the Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary (or equivalent in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Abridged Edition)
PP. 132-138 in the New American Commentary