Let’s continue our study of the topic of faith as found in Romans 3:21-6:23. If you collect what is said about faith in this section and identify what each reference says about faith you’ll find a number of things emphasized. Using those points you can then correlate the information into an outline.
When I did this I felt the points in the outline could be: 1. the essence of faith – what it is. 2. the action of faith – what it does. 3. the object of faith – what it believes. 4. the outcome of faith – what happens when one believes.
Let’s now amplify each of these points, using the information collected from Romans, chapters 3-6. What is the essence of faith? It’s the opposite of what we accomplish by relying on our own efforts. It’s not based on performance, which leads to merit or reward. It’s dependent on what someone else promises and provides. The essence of faith is to look at what is impossible and be persuaded that God has the power to do what He promised, in spite of our being convinced that humanly it is not possible.
Abraham is the great example of this. Romans 4:19-21 reads, “He faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about a hundred years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.”
Faith understands that God’s provision of salvation is not earned, but is a gift to be gratefully received.