Read: Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
The Promise to Abraham: Paul’s use of “Law” capitalized in the CEB, does not mean the same as our current notion of lay: enacted by legislatures and enforced by judicial action. Rather, the whole Torah (the first five books of our Bible) was in Paul’s day called the Law. We might better say “rules for living>’ So Paul is saying here that even observing those rules for living is not sufficient to be considered righteous by God.
Paul says the reason this is important is that only the children of Israel will inherit the Law. We Gentiles who call ourselves Christians because we are followers of Jesus can still inherit righteousness through faith which he traces back to Abraham. Abraham then is our father through faith. Furthermore by faith, one admits dependence on God’s grace. One might add that because Abraham is our father through faith, the children of Israel are our ancestors in faith.
This suggests a Lenten exercise in devotion: let us throw ourselves on God’s mercy so we might receive his grace.
Father, please help us to know your grace and mercy even though we don’t deserve it. Amen.
(from 2018 Lent Devotional Book)