“Faith is the basis of all relationship and effectiveness in the Christian life.”
-Dr. Michael R. Mitchell
What is faith? According to Hebrews 11:1 (NCV) – “Faith means being sure of the things we hope for and knowing that something is real even if we do not see it.” It is with this faith that we thrust forward into the thoughts about what faith means for every individual on the planet. Have the basics of faith in Christ changed over time? Do they change based on cultural shifts or norms? Let’s take a look at Paul’s account in Romans 4 of Abraham’s faith for some clues to how this all comes together.
Faith More Than Works: The Faith Of Abraham
Paul begins his topic by addressing how Abraham was made right with God. In verses 2 and 3 Paul writes on how Abraham was made right with God not by works but by faith. Paul goes on in 14 & 15 to say that if it was the law, or works, that saved Abraham then faith in God is worthless. Paul concluded that Abraham was made right with God though his faith and not through anything he did.
It’s the same way today; we are not made right with God through our works. We are made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
Circumcision and Baptism: Outward Expressions Of Inner Faith
The other question that arises with Abraham was, “Does circumcision make you right with God.” Paul gives Abraham as an example stating that circumcision is not what made him right with God rather it was his faith in God.
A modern expression of circumcision would be baptism. Baptism doesn’t make anyone right with God. Infant baptism doesn’t save the baby. Baptism, as was circumcision, is an outward expression of inner faith.
Faith In Christ: One Death For AllFinally Paul’s examples of Abraham are not just so we can remember Abraham or to make Abraham’s name famous but so that all could know that we are made right with God through faith. Paul closes with these thoughts “God will accept us also because we believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Jesus was given to die for our sins, and he was raised from the dead to make us right with God.”
 Romans 4:24b-25 (NCV)