Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 2 Study # 3
October 11, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<166> Thesis: Sonship is only by the most fundamental characteristic of the "father". Introduction: In our studies of Romans 4 we have seen that Paul is adamant about the fact that the discovery of Abraham was that the blessedness of being in the position of being uncondemned by God was by faith apart from any personal performance issues. One of the "sleeper" issues within our studies is the fact that Paul raised the question of Abraham's discovery as "our father". I have called it a "sleeper" issue because, up to this point, it has not been clear what it means for Abraham to be a "father". But, in Romans 4:11-12 Paul makes this point: the entire scenario is designed around the issue of Abraham's ability to be "father". In Romans 4:16-17 Paul goes so far as to say that the promise Abraham "believed" was that he was to be a "father of many nations". In support of this thesis is the fact that the Genesis 15:6 declaration of justification by faith was immediately upon the heels of the promise that his "seed" would be as the stars of heaven. What this boils down to is this: God has always had a plan for a vast kingdom made up of many nations and His plan was for Abraham to be the "father" of those who make up that kingdom. So, for our study this evening, we are going to jump into what I have called this "sleeper" issue so that we may understand Paul's reasoning regarding our relationship with God on the basis of faith apart from performance issues.