Abram, then Abraham.

Jam 2:18-26; Gen 15:1-6; 18:16-19; Gal 2:15-16; Joh 15:12-14; Gal 5:6; Gen 17:1-11; Rom 4:1-12; Heb 11:17-19.

PRCHR-85-170115 - length: 63:48 - taught on Jan, 15 2017

Class Outline:

John Farley
January 15, 2017

Practical Christianity:

Abram, then Abraham

JAM 2:18-26


to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent.

"to deem to be right,"

(a) "to show to be right or righteous";

(b) "to declare to be righteous, to pronounce righteous,"

dikaioo can mean to be acquitted, be pronounced and treated as righteous by God. Paul uses it this way.

It can also mean to obey righteous commands.
This is the way that James uses the word.

Paul is occupied with a right relationship with God.

James is occupied with right conduct.

James uses the concepts of justification and righteousness in a manner consistent with the Old Testament, …

…as well as the Gospel of Matthew, and, interestingly, the letter of 1 John.

The Old Testament does teach justification by faith -

justification by faith = the Lord crediting someone with righteousness on the basis of his faith.

We see this in the book of Genesis.
And it concerns Abraham - or, rather, Abram.

GEN 15:1-6

GEN 18:16-19

This speaks of right conduct: DOING righteousness and justice.

We see in the life of Abraham these two different ways of looking at justification.

Paul and James are talking about different things entirely when they speak of being justified.

GAL 2:15-16

Paul presents justification by faith, not by the works of the Law.

This the Lord crediting a person with the righteousness of God , by grace, through faith.

The Lord declares that person to have been placed under the righteousness of God.


This is Abram in chapter 15 of Genesis.
This is right relationship. This is primary.

James is talking about justification in the sense of right conduct. Abraham after Genesis chapter 16.

“tested and approved, pronounced to be righteous in conduct”

Right relationship, by faith,….then right conduct, by faith (faith working through works).

JAM 2:21-23

God pronounced Abraham as His friend. On what basis? Faith working with his works.

JOH 15:12-14

We are called the friends of Jesus if we obey His righteous commands. When our faith starts to work through love.

GAL 5:6

GEN 17:1-11

This is the first and only time that the Lord says this to Abram.

He tells Abram to walk before Him and be blameless.

This is about
right conduct.

What does the Lord do next?
He changes Abram’s name to Abraham.

The name change is a sign that their life is about to go in an entirely new direction.

In particular, it signifies them living in their calling. Right conduct.

After that, the Lord commands Abraham, and all his descendants after him, to be circumcised (ouch!).

Circumcision becomes the sign of the covenant between the Lord and Abraham.

The Judaizers who wanted to put Gentile Christians under the Law required them to be circumcised.

Circumcision was the sign of the covenant between the LORD and Abraham- not between the LORD and Moses!!

The Law came through Moses.

As Paul teaches us in Romans 4, circumcision was the sign or seal of the covenant which was based on faith.