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Romans 4:1,2 – Abraham’s boasting 

30-11-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

What then, shall we declare that Abraham, our forefather, according to flesh has found? For if Abraham was justified by acts, he has something to boast in, but not toward God.

From here on, Paul is going to prove his claim that he does not invalidate the law, but confirms it (3:31). And so he takes his readers to the first book of the law (the Torah): Genesis. There we read about “Abraham our forefather”. Later in this chapter, Paul will argue that Abraham is not only the physical father of the circumcised but also spiritually of all believers (4:12; Gal. 3:29).

The question Paul submits is this: Did Abraham find after the flesh? According to the sequel, by “found” he means righteousness. Was Abraham justified “according to the flesh” that is “by works”? Did he himself do or accomplish anything for it? If so, he would have reason to boast. In that case, the fame would go to himself: he delivered the feat. But that would also mean that fame does not go to GOD.

GOD only receives all credit when He both promises and also fully guarantees the fulfillment of that promise (4:21).