Romans 4:13-17 (ESV)
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
The Jews wanted to inherit the promise of God to Abraham but weren’t sure how to do it. They thought that by following the law, by doing what they were supposed to do they would be in right relationship with God. However, it is impossible for us to follow the law completely, we will always fall short because we are sinners.
Paul wanted the people to understand that it was by faith that they could be in right relationship with the Lord. God’s promise to be in relationship with His people is not dependent upon anything we can do but WHO God is. He knows we cannot be perfect and that is why He has blessed us with the gift of His amazing grace. It is not something we can earn, but a free gift from our loving Father.
There are two words for promise in the Greek language: one is a type of promise that is entered into with conditions, and the other is made out of the goodness of one’s heart unconditionally. It is the second word for promise that is used in these verses. God’s promise to be in relationship with His people is unconditional, and it rests on His free gift of grace. All that is required of us is faith—to believe that God is who He says He is.
It is the grace of God that sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a cross for our sins. Jesus took on our sinfulness so that we could be seen righteous before God. We are to put our faith in Jesus and who He is and what He did for us in order to be His heirs. As His heirs, we are guaranteed eternity with both the Son and the Father.
Heavenly Father, today we simply thank you for your amazing grace and that you keep your promises to your people. In Jesus’ name, Amen.