Why do you think that Paul uses Abraham (as opposed to any other figure from the Old Testament) as an example to show how justification comes by faith? How is God’s salvation of Abraham relevant for us today?
How did God show himself faithful to Abraham? How did God keep his promises to Abraham?
Was Abraham justified by faith alone? Or by works? (See also Romans 3:28, Galatians 2:16, Ephesians 2:8-9, James 2:14-26.) How can we reconcile the tension that these verses seem to present?
What is the purpose of the law of God? (4:15) How does it fit into God’s overarching plan of redemption?
Paul says that Abraham believed in hope, against hope (4:18), even when circumstances appeared barren and as good as dead (4:19). Why do you think that it would have been difficult for Abraham to believe the promises of God?
4:21 says that Abraham was “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised”. How did Abraham’s faith manifest itself? What might Abraham have been thinking and experiencing when God asked him to sacrifice his son? (See also Genesis 22:8, 15; Hebrews 11:8-22.)
Read (or briefly flip through) Genesis 12-22. What are some ways that Abraham shows himself faithful to God? What are some significant moral failures and mistakes that he makes? What can we learn from this?
According to Paul, God’s promises are not just for Abraham, but they are for all of the spiritual descendants of Abraham who trust in Christ. (4:23-25) How is Jesus the fulfillment of all of God’s promises that he made in the Old Testament?