Part 1 – What Abraham Discovered
Paul anticipates the question that the Jewish believers in the Church at Rome would naturally bring up considering what Paul has been sharing on the inability of people being justified by following the works of the Law: He brings Abraham – the Father of the Jews – into the picture.
Paul wants them to understand that Abraham was justified – made right before the Lord – declared righteous, NOT because of things that he did or how well he followed the dictates of the Lord God (works of the Law), but rather that he was justified by faith – by believing or trusting in what the Lord God had asked of him.
But before you might think that Abraham was wise or made the good decision on his own to ‘believe God’, we have to remember that thinking that way then allows Abraham (and anyone else) to take credit or boast in their ability to have faith. Faith itself is a gift from God, graciously given to sinners so that they can trust the Lord. This gift of faith is the presence of Christ within the heart of the believer that the Lord imparts within us when He regenerates us by His grace.
A worker is due his wages; but we aren’t to work for our salvation because the ‘paycheck’ we have received - forgiveness, eternal life, peace, contentment, the Holy Spirit’s presence, etc. - can never be worked for or earned – it is simply received by faith.
The patient doesn’t assist the surgeon when he needs a heart transplant. The patient trusts the doctor to do what needs to be done. The doctor knows what he/she is doing, and the best thing the patient can do for their physical/(spiritual) health is rest in the care of the Great Physician.