A Test Case
Romans 4:1-8
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found?…

Abraham was their father (John 8.) - this they were proud to acknowledge; but what was his relationship to God?

I. ABRAHAM'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. Righteousness must be either absolute or imputed; e.g. a servant in employ, on the one hand tried and true, on the other hand false, but penitent and received again. Which was Abraham's?

1. If of works, it was absolute, and therefore he was in a position of proud integrity before God. Was it so? The whole history proved the contrary. Humble dependence.

2. If imputed, it could only be as he accepted God's promises, and lived by faith in them. And so saith the Scripture (ver. 3).

II. ABRAHAM'S FAITH. What was the faith which was reckoned to him for righteousness?

1. Renunciation of self. (Genesis 15., 17.) He could do nothing.

2. Reliance on God. (Genesis 15., and implied in 17.) God could do all things. Such the general principle: faith is the laying hold of all God's mighty love. Hence the spring of all righteousness. In Abraham's case, faith in promises for the future pertaining to the kingdom of God. Virtually, it was the faith of his spiritual salvation. Was not David's case the same? There are iniquities, sins; man can never undo them; God can cover them. So with us. Not of debt, but of grace - on God's part; therefore, not of works, but of faith - on man's part. And hence no arbitrary condition; the appropriation of all the wealth of good offered in God and by God. Well is it said, "Blessed are they," etc. - T.F.L.

Parallel Verses
KJV: What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

WEB: What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh?

A Crucial Case
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