The Centrality of the Christian Faith

The Centrality of the Christian Faith

Abraham was saved by faith. So the question is: Do you believe in God and trust his promises, as the patriarch did? Here is what Paul says about Abraham’s faith: Abraham (1) believed God’s promise; (2) believed on the basis of the Word of God only; (3) believed in spite of adverse circumstances; (4) was fully assured that God would do whatever he had promised; and (5) acted on that confidence.

Romans 4:23-24

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Paul began Romans with an analysis of man’s lost condition. The human race is under the wrath of God for its failure to receive the revelation of God that he has made in nature, and its refusal to thank God for creation and to seek him more fully in order to worship him. Instead of following the truth, people have suppressed the truth, and in its place, they have created imaginary gods like themselves and even like animals. Having turned from God, who is the source of all good, they are on a downhill path, which they will follow until they come at last to the point where they are willing to call good evil and evil good.

No one naturally agrees with this assessment, of course. It is part of what rejecting truth is all about. So Paul next spends time dealing with the arguments of those who exempt themselves from those conclusions, including the ethically moral person and the religious person. The end of his argument is that all stand condemned before God.

Finally, Paul unfolds the gospel, showing that God acted to save sinners through the Lord Jesus Christ.

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