The Trust of Abraham and the Trust of Jesus Christ

Romans 1:17
Published by Currents in Theology and Mission

At the beginning of his letter to the Romans the Apostle Paul declares that he is not ashamed of the Gospel—for two reasons. On the one hand, it is "the power of God" that is directed towards salvation, and, on the other hand, it discloses the reality of God's justice.

Paul continues to be identified with "justification by faith," but in actuality "justification by faith" as Romans 4 indicates, is a relationship with God that goes all the way back to Abraham and Sarah and simply serves as the point of departure for Paul's presentation of the Gospel in Romans 5. Far more significant is his interpretation of Jesus' death and resurrection which discloses a new road into the fulfillment of the justice that God wills for humankind. The movement from Abraham's faith into the salvation of Jesus Christ that generates justice is expressed in the double prepositional phrase of Romans 1:17, "Out of the trust [of Abraham] into the trust [of Jesus Christ]."


"The Trust of Abraham and the Trust of Jesus Christ", Essays in Honor of Robert H. Smith, Currents in Theology and Mission, 30/6 (2003) 446-454.

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