Daily Devotions


Day 69

"If Abraham was justified by works..."

Text: Romans 4:2


Despite the fact that Paul had already “concluded” his arguments (Cf. Romans 3:28), the apostle found himself drawn in to discuss further his doctrine of justification by faith. One could almost hear the murmurings of those who were discontented with Paul’s line of reasoning. Could the doctrine of justification by faith be applied to Abraham, the founder of the Jewish race?

“What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found
according to the flesh?”
Romans 4:1

1. The significance of making reference to Abraham

a) It was Abraham who was given the Covenant.
b) He was the father of the Jews.

2. If Paul’s theology could not include Abraham

a) His theology would be rejected outright.
b) He would offend the Jewish quarter so deeply that he could never have a ministry with them.

3. Paul was more than willing to examine Abraham’s example

a) His theological system was essentially sound.
b) It could bear any amount of scrutiny.


This was the main issue. Paul was more than willing to discuss this matter.

“For if Abraham was justified by works,
he has something to boast about, but not before God.”
Romans 4:2

1. Argument of justification by the deeds of the law

Paul had already effectively proven that by the deeds of the law, no flesh would be justified before God (Cf. Romans 3:20).

2. What about Abraham who antedated the law?

Historically, Abraham lived long before the law was given. Could Abraham not have been justified by his works? To Paul, the answer was obvious! A careful study of the life of Abraham would reveal that he too would be adjudged guilty because of sin!