Lesson Overview: Romans 4:1-25
This is lesson 5 of 6 in By Grace Through Faith.
- Main Point of the Passage: Paul explained to the Christians in Rome that not even Abraham was justified by following the law; justification has always been through faith.
- Main Point of the Lesson: Righteousness has always come through faith in God, never through the law.
- Main Application of the Lesson: Participants will stop depending on their obedience, their religious acts or their heritage for righteousness.
- Key Verse: Romans 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.”
- Word Studies: counted/credited in Romans 4:5
To prepare for this lesson, write your own answers to each of the questions below. You will share some of your answers with the group, but make it your goal to talk less than 20% of the Bible study time. Ask the questions, listen to your group, and let them carry the Bible study. You’ll be amazed.
Once everyone in your group is sitting in a circle, say, “Here’s the first question. Everyone answers the first question, and it’s just for fun.” Then read the first question, pause, and listen to your group’s answers.
Smile Question: What’s your family’s most valuable family recipe?
Share Question: What are some of the ways Christians might answer this question: “How were people saved in the Old Testament?”
Introduce the Passage: Righteousness has always come through faith–never through the law. In Romans 4:1-25, Paul explained to the Christians in Rome that not even Abraham was justified by following the law. Justification has always been through faith.
- Optional:Have a member of your group either recite the passage from memory or give a detailed summary of the passage from memory.
- Optional: Have a member of your group present their word study on the following word(s): counted/credited in Romans 4:5
Study Question: As we read this passage, let’s look for answers to this question: How does Abraham’s story confirm that righteousness has alway (and will always) come through faith, not obedience to the law?
Possible answers include: Read the passage in the following segments: 1-8, 9-12, 13-15, 16-2
Genesis 15:6 says “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.” (v. 3)
Abraham was credited with righteousness before he was circumcised. (v. 10)
If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the promise is canceled. (v. 14)
- If the promise God made to Abraham came through law, it can’t be by grace. (v. 16)
- If the promise God made to Abraham came through law, it would be limited to the Israelites and unavailable to “many nations.” (v. 16-17)
Connect-the-Dots Question: Paul quotes several passages from the Old Testament in this chapter. How do each of these verses support Paul’s point that Abraham was justified by faith?
Possible answers include:
- “Abraham believed God,and it was credited to him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3 quoting Genesis 15:6)
- “How joyful are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered! How joyful is the man the Lord will never charge with sin!” (Romans 4:7-8 quoting Psalm 32:1-2)
- “I have made you the father of many nations.” (Romans 4:17 quoting Genesis 17:5)
- “So will your descendants be.” (Romans 4:18 quoting Genesis 15:5)
Count-the-Cost Question: If you were tempted to depend on anything besides Christ for your salvation, what would you be tempted to depend on?
Let’s-Do-It Question: What changed (or what would change) in your life when (or if) you stopped depending on your own goodness for right standing before God?
Prayer: Father, thank you for providing a way for us to be counted righteous. Teach us to depend only on your mercy for our salvation.