Romans 4:1-3: The Difference Between Obedience and Legalism

by Dale Partridge

What does the Bible teach about obedience? Is our obedience something we do in order to justify ourselves? What do we learn from Abraham about his faithfulness to God? As we continue through the book of Romans, Paul is slowly revealing to us that our works of obedience do not make us righteous before God. In Romans 4, he unpacks this by explaining that it was Abraham’s faith in God and belief in His promises that justified him.

So, how does this look for us today? Since we are on the other side of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, we are looking back at all of the promises that God has fulfilled. But, this doesn’t change the fact that our faith in God and belief in His promises is also what justifies us. The difference for us is that we now know it is the righteousness of God in Christ that we can rest in as our justification.

In this episode of Real Christianity, pastor Dale Partridge walks us through the difference between obedience and legalism, as Paul explains in Romans 4:1-3 how our faith is counted to us as righteousness.

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Scripture References

  • Romans 4:1-3

    ‘What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” ‘

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After watching or listening to this episode, what is your opinion? Do you have any questions or comments? Maybe you have something to add to the discussion? If so, let us know in the comments below.

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