Paul has made three statements which were directly opposite to the Jewish interpretation of Scripture.
The first was in 3:20, that by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified;
the second in 3:30, that God would justify the Gertiles through faith without circumcision;
and the third in 3:19 and 28, that salvation is given independently of the law. Paul proceeds, therefore, in chapter 4 to show that Scripture supports these propositions. He bases his argument mainly on Gen.15.
- Abraham, and David also, were men pre-eminently in the favour of God (cf e.g., Is. 41:8; Acts 13:22).
On what basis, then, according to Scripture, was righteousness reckoned to them?
See verses 1-8.
- At what time in Abraham’s life was his faith reckoned to hum as righteousness?
How does this vitally affect the question at issue regarding the admission of Gentiles?
See verses 9-12.
- Verses 1, 2, 9-11. What blessings does justification bring with it?
List the things which are now ours to enjoy. Note how much is covered by these statements.
What ought such awareness to make us do?
- Someone, however, may say: ‘But what of the sufferings attending the Christian life?
Do they not detract from its blessedness?’
What is Paul’s answer to this?
See verses 3-5. What is the value of suffering, and how can we be sure that our hopes are not mere wishful thinking?
- Verses 5-8. By what evidence can we be doubly sure that God loves us?
Notice the importance of having at least two witnesses.
Cf. Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1. In what ways are the witnesses mentioned here different and complementary?