Abraham is chosen by Paul to be his illustration of all true gospel believers (Gal. 3:6-8) and all who are truly justified by faith (Rom. 4). 1. The Universality of Abraham as a role model: Rom. 4:11...that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. Gal. 3:6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 2. The non-application of Mosaic law or Judaism to Abraham's works: Abraham lived 430 years prior to Mosaic Law and so his "works" by which he was not justified in Romans 4:1-12 cannot be classified as "works of Judaism" or works under Mosaic law or works whereby one becomes a Jew. Neither can they be classified as "evil" works as no one in their right mind would ever offer "evil" works for justification "before God." 3. The Contextually illustrated definition of justification by faith without works - Rom. 4:16-25: 1. This section begins in verse 16 with the declaration that faith is "by grace" so that the promise of God will be "sure" to all the promised seed of Abraham. 2. This certainty or surety by God's grace is totally dependent upon God's power to provide what no human being can aide or contribute in providing - v. 17 3. This surety of grace is illustrated by the promise of God to give Abraham and Sarah a son - vv. 18-21 4. The source of contribution and participation by either Abraham or Sarah in obtaining this promise is defined by Paul as "dead" and "deadness"- v. 19 5. This illustration is given to define the nature of justifying faith without works in regard to imputed righteousness - vv. 21-22 6. This illustration is given to define specifically the nature of justfying faith in God's provision and promise of Jesus Chist without works righteousness - vv. 23-25. 7. Romans 4:21 demands that "works" being denied in the life of Abraham for justification "before God" must refer to any kind of participation or contribution by Abraham as justifying faith is defined to be simply trust in God to provide soley by God's power what God promised. Rom. 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Hence, this definition denies that justifying "faith" is inclusive of personal obedience to God's commandments as both Abraham and Sarah had been in total disobedience to this promise of God in that they attempted to participate with God and contribute to the birth of the promised child through Hagar. God waited until it was IMPOSSIBLE for either Abraham or Sarah to participate or contribute ("dead" "deadness" - v. 19) so that they could ONLY receive his promise by faith ALONE resting in His power to fulfill His Promise. That is the contextual definition of justification by faith WITHOUT WORKS - demonstrating that "works" in the Pre-Mosaic life of Abraham included ANYTHING and EVERYTHING he could do to participate with God or contribute to obtaining the promise of God.