Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
St. Paul takes us back to the blessing of Abraham and Sarah. This couple did not gain the blessing of God through their work or merit. The promise of blessing rests in God's grace (Romans 4:16). That should be good news to each one of us. In fact, we trust and believe in the God "who justifies the ungodly!" That is why the good news in Jesus reaches out to everyone.
This is the God who gives a promising future and hope so that, like Abraham and Sarah, we walk in faith. The stunning promise is that the God revealed in Jesus "gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist." This means we will be continually surprised by new grace every day. We live in anticipation of how God will be active in our lives. Keep a tight grip on this promise.
Gracious God, we know that you promise new mercies every morning. Help us hold tight to the promise of your blessing. Amen.
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 (NRSV)
1 What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh?
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
3 For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
4 Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due.
5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.
15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us,
17 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.