Posted on: June 3rd, 2008 Romans & Death

At the end of chapter 4, Paul says that the faith which reckons us as righteous (is this “reckoning as righteous” what Paul means by “justification?” I think Luther would say “yes” but Wright would say “no”) is belief that God raised Jesus from the dead.

“From the dead.” I have never before noticed that Paul is drawing a parallel between the faith which reckoned Abraham righteous was also belief in God’s power over death. Rom 4:19 says that Abraham “unwaveringly” in faith considered his own body which was “as good as dead” as well as “the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” (It is interestingly that Abraham did not “deny death” but rather looked it in the face. God’s power in Abraham’s life did not bypass death but passed through it.)

Trust specifically in God’s victory over death, then, is apparently central to justifying faith.

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