In a bankrupt economy this chapter has been good news. Credit.
Where the chapter began, so now it ends… soon to give way to the more famous and more catchy verses to come. But Paul's profound closing comments to this chapter are not to be over-looked. He has woven an airtight argument, threading a thought-process that ends where it was headed.
- Yes, the chapter may have started with Abraham… but he never was the point. Abraham was merely an example.
- Yes, the chapter may apply directly to the readers in Rome (and to readers now also!)… but neither are any of them the point. They are merely beneficiaries.
- Yes, the chapter was about obtaining good credit in a bad economy (so to speak)… but that was merely the topic.
- This chapter was ultimately pointing to Jesus.
The chapter ends with Jesus… the reason Paul talked about Abraham. And Jesus is the reason Paul wrote this whole letter for the Roman Christians in the first place.
Paul can't neglect the fact that Jesus did something amazing. Jesus changed everything with what He did. As Abraham's life demonstrates, Paul reminds us that Jesus made it possible for people to "be credited".
Even though every one has broken the law, any one can still be "credited" with righteousness. That's how Abraham experienced faith in God… and that's how people today (at the time of the writing of Romans) and people tomorrow (like us) experience faith in God. God's grace through Jesus on the cross taking for us the consequence of our law-breaking.
And then Jesus rose out of prison with life. Just to celebrate with us.
Romans 4:23-25 (NIV) The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.