Unlimited: What Did Abraham Discover?
Jul 4, 2022 128
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God (Romans 4:1–2).
Paul wants to make the lesson very clearly to the Jewish members of his audience. That’s why now the apostle Paul turns to an example that every Jew knew very well: the experience of Abraham. Long ago, Abraham had made an amazing discovery!
Abraham was revered as the forefather of the Jewish people and their faith. They called him their “father” (John 8:39). Paul knows that the example of Abraham will carry a huge weight in making his case about the Gospel.
Abraham discovered that he was made right with God not through his own efforts, but by simply putting his trust in God.
What Abraham discovered, and it was in fact a lesson that took him an entire lifetime to learn, was that when God said something, all that Abraham could do was to trust that God would do it. Abraham discovered that he was made right with God not through his own efforts, but by simply putting his trust in God.
We know that Abraham performed some impressive deeds. But he also failed many times.
If Abraham thought that he had been made right with God through his own works, Paul is saying that he might have something to boast about, but not before God. If not before God, then before whom? His works might have been impressive to other people, but they would mean nothing before God, for,
…all our righteous acts are like filthy rags… (Isa. 64:6.)
In Romans 4:1–2, we are told about the exciting discovery that Abraham made about salvation. What is the greatest discovery that you have made about your own salvation? How has it changed your life?