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Romans 4:1-12 Abraham Believed God

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Abraham Believed God

Abraham Believed God when God spoke to him, telling him that he would be the father of many nations. Paul gives us insight into Abraham and his relationship with God.

Romans 4:1-12

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

1. Abraham has found something.

He is our father, as pertaining to the flesh.

If Abraham is our father, then he is a relative.

What did he find?

“Abraham has found that Abraham’s works according to the flesh did not produce boasting but produced shame and confusion.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 670)

2. Justified by works.

“Declared righteous on the basis of human effort.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1515)

“These good works were not the ground of salvation but were the reason of his salvation and the result of being justified by faith.” (McGee, 670)

Man’s justification is by faith not by works.

Counted as Righteousness

3. “Paul appeals to the Scripture as final authority. He even personifies it here—the Scripture is God speaking.” (McGee, 670)

“When a man works, he earns a salary and this money is put into his account. But Abraham did not work for his salvation: he simply trusted God’s Word. It was Jesus Christ who did the work on the cross, and His righteousness was put on Abraham’s account.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 524)

Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6

“Abraham believed in his heart that God told the truth. There was no effort here. Abraham’s faith was not an act, but an attitude. His heart was turned completely away from himself to God and His promise.” (McGee, 971)

“Faith was neither a meritorious act by Abraham, nor a change of character or nature in Abraham; he simply believed God would accomplish what He had promised: ‘In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed’ (Genesis 12:3).” (McGee, 971)


4. Rather than attempting to earn God’s favor by meritorious deeds, they simply trust. They are accepted by God as righteous because of their faith.” (Mounce, Robert H, The New American Commentary, Volume 27, Romans. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995] 123)

If you work your reward is not of grace, but of debt.

5. Those who believe on God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

“There is nothing that you can do that will merit salvation.” (McGee, 671)

Attending church, visiting the sick, teaching religious classes or even cleaning the church are works that do not count for righteousness. One must place their faith in Jesus.

Verse 5 in AMP

6. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man,

unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

“Christians do sin, and these sins need to be forgiven if we are to have fellowship with God (1 John 1:5-7), but these sins are not held against us.” (Wiersbe, 524)

Verse 6 in AMP

“Paul turns for support of his argument to Psalm 32:1,2, a penitential psalm written by David after his adultery with Bathsheba and his murder of her husband (2 Sam. 11.) In spite of the enormity of his sin and the utter absence of personal merit, David knew the blessing of imputed righteousness.” (MacArthur, 1516)

Read Verses 6-8 in a modern translation.

8. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

God keeps no record of sins of those who believe in Him.

Circumcision or Uncircumcised

Can we relate this to Baptism? Or something else?

9. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also?

For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

“Is this blessedness only for the Jews, or does God intend it for the Gentiles as Well?” (Mounce, 125)

10. “Abraham was declared righteous when he was in the state of uncircumcision. From the Jewish point of view, Abraham was a gentile. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised (Gen. 17:23-27).” (Wiersbe, 525)

11. “Then why was circumcision given? It was a sign and a seal. As a sign, it was evidence that he belonged to God and believed His promise. As a seal, it was a reminder to him that God had given the promise and would keep it.” (Wiersbe, 525)

12. “Those who consider baptism as the New Testament equivalent of circumcision should take note that the comparison undermines, rather that supports, any doctrine of baptismal regeneration. If circumcision by itself was powerless to alter a person’s relationship to God, the same would be true of its counterpart baptism.” (Mounce, 126)

Circumcision or Uncircumcision will not get us to heaven; nor will being baptized or not.

Only belief in Jesus will!

Want to know how to Accept Jesus as your personal Savior?



In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.


McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Mounce, Robert H, The New American Commentary, Volume 27, Romans. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Righteousness of God                                                     Promise

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