Why do you think that Paul looks to Abraham as a case study to examine how he was justified? How does Romans 4 support and strengthen the case that Paul has been making in Romans 1-3?
How does Paul contend that Abraham was justified before God? (4:1-6) How does he argue his case on this matter?
How can we reconcile Romans 4:1-6 with James 2:21-24?
How does Paul articulate the connection between “works” and “boasting”? (4:1-2, Romans 3:21-28) Why do you think a person who pursues justification by works is more prone to boasting than a person who receives justification by faith?
What does Paul mean when he says that it was “counted” (credited, imputed) to Abraham as righteousness? (4:3, quoted from Genesis 15:6) On what basis did God declare Abraham to be righteous? What is “credited righteousness”?
Why do you think that Paul looks to David in 4:6-8? How do 4:7-8 (quoted from Psalm 32:1-2) support his argument that justification is by faith, and not by works?
What is Paul’s point about the timing of Abraham’s circumcision? (4:10-11) How can we determine the timeline regarding Abraham’s justification and circumcision? (Genesis 15:1-6, 16:15-16, 17:9-11, 17:24)
What are the implications of the reality that Abraham was justified (at least 13 years) before he was circumcised? Why do you think that God orchestrated the timeline in this way? (4:11-12) How does it speak to the role of circumcision and religious rituals in justification?