Rom. 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, Remember, Paul is using a PRE-Mosaic Covenant example (vv. 13-15) - Abraham that was justified by faith "without works" in PRE-circumcision (vv. 9-11) point of time as THE EXAMPLE for all who are of faith (vv. 11,16). Beginning in verse 16 Paul's aim is to define the natue of this "faith" by Abraham that excluded works, law and circumcision which makes the promise "sure to all the seed" regardless if that seed "is of the law" or like Abraham "that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the Father of us ALL." 1. It is of faith that it might be BY GRACE - v. 16 Grace is defined here as that which makes "sure the promise to ALL the seed" regardless if they are "of the Law" or like Abraham without law (vv. 13-15) and without divine ordiances (vv. 9-12). Hence, that kind of justifying grace cannot demand obedience to the Law or submission to Divine ordinances or else it would not be "sure" to ALL the seed described. 2. It is by Grace and sure because it is based upon God's Power - v. 17 17 ¶ (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. When God made this promise to Abraham it was received by faith without any evidence from God that it would be so except HIS PROMISE. However, Paul argues that God's promise was based upon God's power not on Abraham's faithfulness or works: a. God "made" him father of many nations BEFORE giving him any child b. The nature of His faith was in the power of God without evidence - "he believed, even God, who quicketh the dead, and calleth those thing which BE NOT as though they were." Only God can raise the dead and he does it without OUR AID. Only God call things into existence which are not without OUR AID. - His faith in God's promise was based upon God's ability not his. 3. God waited to fulfill his promise until Abraham could not contribute, could not assist, could not participate in producing the promise: 18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: a. God waited till there was NO HOPE based in his own abilities to aide God as he attempted with Sarah's handmaide. Hence, the nature of his faith was HOPE that had no basis of hope in anything he could contribute, assist or aide or abilities to participate in helping God provide the promise - v. 18 b. Their reproductive capabilites were "dead...deadness" forbidding they could do ANYTHING to help, aid, contribute, participate with. - v. 19 4. The nature of his Faith was not his faithfulness or performance to God but his complete dependent confidence in God's POWER alone to provide God's promise. 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. a. Justifying faith is PASSIVE in the sense of PERSONAL PERFORMANCE. b. Justifyng faith is DEPENDENT FAITH upon God's power to provide God's promise without his contributions or participating efforts (faithfulness). c. This definition of "of faith that it might be by grace" is how we are justified by faith - vv. 22-23. CONCLUSION: JUSTIFYING Grace is God's Ability to provide God's Promise without your works, your faithfulness, your participation, your abilities, your contributions but wholly trusting in His Word of Promise which is obtained by His power. In other words, as Paul introduces this topic in Romans 3:24 "justified FREELY by His grace" - meaning without any CAUSE in you except faith "in" Christ.