We indeed are looking at Romans chapter 4 again tonight, and while it may seem that the Apostle Paul and this preacher is somewhat belaboring the point, it is necessary for us to capture all the beautiful magnificent nuances of this great doctrine of justification, and that is why the New Testament gives us so much very, very careful detail about it. The message of the Christian gospel is that salvation comes through faith alone, not works. That is the message of the Christian gospel, that for a sinner to be made right with God, it requires only the sovereign grace of God and the willing faith of the sinner.
Now in order to illustrate to us what real faith looks like, Paul in Romans 4 picks a model of faith and somewhat surprisingly the model that he picks is an Old Testament man and somewhat surprisingly perhaps not even a Jew but a Gentile by the name of Abraham. Before there ever was a Jewish people, there was Abraham. Jewish people, you know, preceded from him and so here is a man that transcends the Jewish people, here is a man of the world, a man from among the nations, from among the Gentiles who is the model of the faith that saves. This, of course, would be especially surprising to Jewish people since the Jews believe that salvation comes by works, law-keeping, ceremony, ritual. They would be surprised to find out that salvation comes by faith and even more surprised that Abraham is the model of salvation by faith.
Now we've looked at this chapter down to verse 17, so let me read you verses 18 to 25 and we'll focus in on this section. "In hope against hope, he believed so that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, so shall your descendants be. Without becoming weak in faith, he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb. Yet with the respect of the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform. 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 as 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."...