Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #18
Posted: October 7, 2004

A Study of Positional Truths

Romans 4:17-24

We continue our studies of Positional Truth this week.  We are looking at the declaration of righteousness in the life of Abraham.  Not in Abraham only is there a declaration of righteousness, but to all that believe in Jesus Christ.  (Romans 4:24)   

There are three great truths mentioned in Abraham’s life of righteousness.  Righteousness will first of all involve the resurrected life.  In verse 17 it says, “As it is written, I have made thee a Father of many nations before him who he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead.”  This phrase tells us we were a corpse (Dead in need of life) when our Lord saved and declared us righteous. (Holy, without spot, sinless) How could a dead man will himself righteous?  How could a dead man choose to be holy, without spot, and sinless?  It is simple.  He cannot choose or will it to be so.   

Another great truth of the righteous life of Abraham is the faith life.  Paul said in verse 17, “...he calleth those things which be not as though they were.”  What a great ability of faith, righteousness gives to the child of God.  Abraham, in sacrificing his son Isaac said in Genesis 22, “I and the lad will go and worship and I and the lad will come again.”  The worship would involve killing his son as a burnt offering.  He had the faith to believe God would raise him again from the dead when he said, ‘I and the lad will come again’.   

The third area involved in the declaration of righteousness is the justified life.  The justified life is God’s ability for forgive our sin, forget our sins, and to act as if they never happened.  There are several statements in our text that overwhelms us with the justified life.  One such phrase is in verse 19. “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead...”  In Genesis 12:10 the Bible says, “And there was a famine in the land and Abram went down into Egypt...”  While there, he lied to the king about Sarah.  This is certainly a picture of weak faith yet Paul said, ‘and being not weak in faith...’ 

Is the Abraham of Moses’ writings and the Abraham of Paul’s writings the same?  Paul said in verse 20, ‘...he staggered not at the promise...but was strong in faith...’  In Genesis 15:3 Abraham says, “Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and lo, one born in my house is mine heir.”  Here Abraham  staggered at the promise by offering the Lord the servant of his house to bring a great nation from.  Paul said in verse 21, ‘...and being fully persuaded...’

In Genesis 16, Sarai, said ‘...the Lord hath restrained me from bearing children, go in unto my maid and Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.’  This relationship produced Ishmael.  When confronted about the nation coming from Sara not Hagar, Abraham said, ‘O that Ishmael might live before thee...’  Abraham staggered, was weak in faith, and was never fully persuaded about anything yet Paul said he was.  How can this be?  Righteousness has been imputed to him.  Calvary has covered it all.  What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood.   

The greater truth of righteousness is in verses 23 and 24.  “Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him.  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe in Him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”