Read Scripture Part I. Paul’s Magnus Opus. 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but u not before God. What did he discover about being made right with God? So Paul is attacking the popular Jewish views about Abraham in his day, saying, “He couldn’t have been justified by his works.” Then he supports his argument with Scripture: “For what does the Scripture say? 5:6). But when you bring God into the picture, Abraham’s boast vanishes.” It’s as if one bug was bragging to another bug, “I’m taller than you are!” just before a human comes along and squashes both of them. Faith means taking God at His word when He promises to justify the one who has faith in Jesus (3:26). We need Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to our account. The Book of Romans tells how God can save the whole person: body, soul and spirit. But it seems to me that Paul could be conceding to his Jewish readers, “Okay, maybe Abraham has some grounds to boast before men. Grace is “God’s unmerited favor toward humanity and especially his people, realized through the covenant and fulfilled through Jesus Christ” (Myers, 437). Both are beneficiaries of a generous gift. The law brings wrath, because it holds us to an impossible standard. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (4:4-5). If Abraham had room for boasting, he also had occasion for apology. This video is about 11-15-20. What is the best of human righteousness when you compare it to God’s absolute righteousness? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. For him to say that Abraham is “the father of us all” is quite radical. He lived and died without seeing God’s promise fulfilled, but believing that it would be. “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (Greek: elogisthe—it was credited) to him for righteousness“ (v. 3). For g in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. It’s a short step from there to believing that any person who follows Abraham’s example of obeying God will be accepted by God. “our forefather, has found according to the flesh” (v. 1b). We are “justified freely by his (God’s) grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). 5But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? The instant we believe in Jesus, God bangs the gavel and declares, “Not guilty!” But He not only removes our sin and guilt. John Calvin thought that it is mentioned here, long after Abraham was first justified, to prove that justification does not just begin by faith, only to be perfected later by works. Paul is still hammering at the religious Jew (or any other religious person) who thinks that he qualifies for heaven because of his religion and good works. The word it does not refer to Abraham’s faith, as if God exchanged his faith for righteousness, in a sort of trade. Abraham Justified by Faith. OVERVIEW Paul's opening to this letter to the church in Rome follows standard letter-writing conventions of the day with certain modifications. “But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (v. 5). Paul said that God preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham when He promised, “All the nations shall be blessed in you” (Gal. If the president decides to recognize a citizen’s contribution, the initiative is the president’s and the audience with the president is a gift. That evil, depraved murderer deserves to burn in hell!” If that’s your reaction, then you may not understand the crucial, bedrock message that Paul sets forth in our text, that…. As wonderful a gift as God's merciful forgiveness is, merely being forgiven through Christ's blood is not sufficient for salvation. IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. A faithful Catholic nun spends her life working in a slum in a poor country, feeding the poor, ministering to the sick and dying, and caring for the orphans. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 For what does the Scripture say? • First, God “who gives life to the dead.” This recalls Abraham and Sarah, who were as good as dead, but who, by the grace of God, gave birth to descendants “as many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as innumerable as the sand which is by the sea shore” (Hebrews 11:12. Verse 2 explains (“for”) verse 1, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” Most commentators understand the last phrase to mean, “When God’s viewpoint is considered, Abraham has no right to boast at all” (Moo, p. 261). He explained (ibid. When you compare humans to humans, Abraham was a good guy. Then he illustrates it negatively by a common example (4:4) and states it positively in rather shocking language (4:5). It also brings to mind God’s promise to Abram that he would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 12:2)—at a time when Abram had no children. The flow of thought in the chapter is as follows (from Thomas Schreiner, Romans [Baker], pp. Submission to the Authorities. 4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? (ed. Saul means asked and this was the name he was using when he was persecuting the Christians. The name Paul means little. 210-211): In verses 1-8, Paul expands on and illustrates with Abraham and David the principle of 3:27-28, that we are justified by faith, not by our works, and thus we have no grounds for boasting. Rather, faith is the means by which we lay hold of God’s promise in Christ. The apostle Paul was unreservedly committed to Christ and to the ministry of the gospel. “(Abraham) who is the father of us all” (v. 16b). 13For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn’t through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. Abraham Justified by Faith. In the 1990’s, many evangelicals signed a document, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together,” that would relegate justification by faith alone to the sidelines. 1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? So it’s a very important text to understand. But the principle of grace is different (4:5). But when you compare humans to God, Abraham is just a bug along with everyone else. 3:16). You acknowledge that the wages of your sin is death (Rom. I have denied myself for decades. That sweet, selfless old nun deserves to go to heaven! “As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations‘” (Greek: ethnon—can be translated “nations” or “Gentiles”) (v. 17a). However, this does not mean that, in the absence of the law, there is no sin or accountability for sin. I have heard that men that hate the doctrines of the cross bring it as a charge against God, that He saves wicked men and receives to Himself the vilest of the vile. God graciously justifies the ungodly sinner who does not work for salvation, but believes in Jesus Christ. In God’s sight (Rom. Paul was also known as Saul. In All of Grace [Ages Software], C. H. Spurgeon wrote about Romans 4:5. Rather, faith means not doing anything ourselves to earn salvation, but rather trusting what Christ did for us on the cross. “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect“ (v. 14). ), which the WEB has updated. Grace is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15). He thus reveals the broad scope of God’s relationship with humans. What Paul says about sin and grace in Romans flies in the face of the traditional Jewish belief about Abraham, in part because of Genesis 26:4-5, where God promised Isaac a blessing “because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my requirements, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” In Romans 4, Paul seeks to show that it was not Abraham’s works that made him righteous before God, but his faith. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture Quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition © The Lockman Foundation, Related Topics: Faith, Regeneration, Justification, Soteriology (Salvation), Steve served as the pastor of Flagstaff Christian Fellowship from May, 1992 through his retirement in December, 2018. To receive the promise via the law would be to earn it, thus making faith unnecessary and the promise irrelevant (see vv. Though he didn’t know Jesus’ name and he had no evidence other than God’s promise, Abraham looked forward in faith to God’s Redeemer and thus God credited it to him as righteousness. Thus it is not by accident that it always has been under fire. Since Adam, humans chose to live sinful and selfish lives. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004), Wright, N. Thomas, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Vol. It’s an accounting term that means that God credited to Abraham a righteousness that did not inherently belong to him (Moo, p. 262). (ed. The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc. after the Spirit. That transaction takes place the instant that we believe in Jesus (2 Cor. The word credited (Greek = logidzomai) is used 40 times in the New Testament, 34 times by Paul, 19 times in Romans, and 11 times in this chapter, so it is a key word. We need our sin put on Christ’s account. You must be somewhat surprised to read a text like this: “Him that justifieth the ungodly.” I do not wonder that you are surprised; for with all my familiarity with the great grace of God, I never cease to wonder at it. Abraham believed God’s promise about the Savior who would come and God credited the work of the promised Savior to Abraham through his faith. He also refers to Genesis 17:5, where God promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations (4:17), and concludes that descent from Abraham includes all “of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all” (4:16). God justifies us as a gift through faith (3:24). Romans 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly… Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. 14For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. As the righteous Judge, God recognizes Jesus’ death as payment in full for all our sins. (Favor is literally grace.) Roman Forum, most important forum in ancient Rome, situated on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. He knows that he deserves eternal torment in hell. Romans 4 - NIV: What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? The word “grace” makes it clear that it is not. Romans 4. 11:8). ROMANS 5:1-21 THE Apostle describes in this chapter the blessed accompaniments, the security, and the foundation of justification.This last branch of the subject is interwoven with an account of the entrance of sin and death into the world; while a parallel is drawn between the first and the second Adam in their opposite tendencies and influences. We might imagine that verse 5 reverses verse 4—that we can earn righteousness by faith if not by works—that our faith imposes an obligation on God that our works failed to achieve. IX (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1954), Luther, Martin, Commentary on Romans, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1976), Moo, Douglas, The New International Commentary on the New Testament: Romans (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), Morris, Leon, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1988), Mounce, Robert H., The New American Commentary: Romans, (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), Myers, Allen C. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Romans 1:1-7 EXEGESIS: ROMANS 1:1-7. Come to Jesus, crucified for sinners! 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. While Abraham was relatively good when you compare humans with humans, in God’s sight we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. Meanwhile, on death row a serial killer awaits execution. The idea is that of “necessary but not sufficient.” Our faith is necessary for salvation, but not sufficient to effect it. So if you see yourself as a basically good person, you can’t be justified. Thus for your own salvation, for your being able to resist the winds of false doctrine blowing in our day, and for your being able to present the gospel clearly to those who are trusting in their good works to save them, you must be clear on this truth: God graciously justifies the ungodly sinner who believes in Jesus Christ. His righteous status cannot be earned, but is a gift of God. If we could effect our own salvation by adherence to the law or by faith, why would we need a savior? • the relationship of Jews to the law (2:17 – 3-8); The employer has enjoyed the benefit of the employee’s service, and is under obligation to compensate the employee. Paul must have said, “God justifies the one who tries to do his best. But God will not be a debtor to anyone. A street sweeper who was unkempt, ragged, and filthy was known to everyone and there was a suitable place in the picture for him. But such boasting is foolish, because we’re really just one bug boasting to another bug. Romans 5:1-9 New International Version (NIV) Peace and Hope. 2 Therefore you have f no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. spiritually minded. So also we have no right to demand anything from God based on our achievement, righteousness, or faith. Let me draw out four implications of this astounding truth: Paul clearly spells it out, “to the one who does not work….” If you try to blend your works with God’s grace, you muddy the waters of pure grace. He came to the studio the next day, but the artist sent him away because he had washed his face, combed his hair, and put on a suit of clean clothes. He spends eternity in the unspeakable joy of heaven. Why must I see myself as ungodly before I can be justified? Thus God can justify uncircumcised Gentiles who follow the faith of Abraham. ), “For unless you first of all grasp what your relationship to God is, and the nature of h i s judgment concerning you, you have neither a foundation on which to establish your salvation nor one on which to build piety toward God.” It says that the Lord credited Abraham’s account to give him the status of righteousness just as a generous father might cross out a wayward son’s debt to give him the status of solvency. Romans 4:2 "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God." Abraham Justified by Faith. I hope that I have added enough merits that God will accept me.” She dies and faces God’s eternal wrath because her faith was in her own good works, not in the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. • the fact that none is righteous (3:9-20); Paul first demonstrates this truth in the life of Abraham (4:1-3). Paul does not say that our faith makes us righteous, but that “faith is accounted for righteousness”—which is to say that God, seeing our faith, credits our account to wipe out our insolvency—freeing us of debt—God’s grace undoing our unrighteousness. In Galatians, Paul argues that seed is singular, not plural, thus pointing to Abraham’s one descendant, Christ (Gal. Faith means taking the gift of Christ’s full payment for your sins, much as you would thankfully receive a check from a wealthy man who offered to pay a large fine that you couldn’t afford to pay. states, “Abraham was perfect in all his deeds with the Lord, and well-pleasing in righteousness all the days of his life” (cited by Douglas Moo, The Epistle to the Romans [Eerdmans], p. 256). And we  boast in the hope of the glory of God. If you see yourself as better than notorious sinners and thus somehow more deserving of salvation, you can’t be justified. Romans 8:5-8 The evil of being carnally minded, and the good of being. See also Genesis 17:15-21; 18:11-14). Paul is writing to a church that includes both Jews and Gentiles. Paul draws attention to two attributes of God. 3 What does Scripture say? In Romans 4:5, Paul makes one of the most outrageous claims in all Scripture: “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” What a staggering verse! For a Jew, a quote from the writings of Moses had great theological weight, especially relating to Abraham, who was seen as the father of the Jewish nation. Make social videos in an instant: use custom templates to tell the right story for your business. Even though God had promised him heirs like the stars of the sky in number (Genesis 15:1-6), Abraham took matters in his own hands by taking Hagar as his mistress so that he might have a son (Genesis 16). How much did Abraham know about Jesus Christ, who would be born 2,000 years later? Paul goes back to the theme of boasting (3:27), to argue: “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. Faith is not a work that merits righteousness. John Calvin called justification by faith “the main hinge on which religion turns” (The Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. The Catholic Church launched the counter-Reformation and published The Canons and Decrees of Trent in large part to attack justification by faith alone (see my “Justification by Faith Alone,” Aug. 11, 1996, on fcfonline.org). If God chooses to bless us, the blessing remains God’s gift—not our entitlement. That fulfillment is accomplished, not simply as followers of a philosophy, or a philosopher, but through relationship with a Living Person, Savior and Redeemer. Verses 9-16 develop the theme of 3:29-30, that righteousness by faith applies equally to Jews and Gentiles. Others argue that it should modify “forefather” (NASB & ESV). Come in your disorder. If justification were based on how righteous we were in actual conduct, then we could never be declared perfectly righteous in this life, because we always have some indwelling sin in us. Romans 15. Spurgeon applies it by saying that even so, God invites sinners to come at once for salvation, just as they are. Romans 8:1-4 Under the gospel we are free from condemnation, walking. They do not … It also recalls the valley of the dry bones that came alive at the word of God (Ezekiel 37). Paul is referring to Abraham as the Jewish forefather by lineage; but there may also be the hint that fleshly descent from Abraham is insufficient. Christ’s substitutionary death paid the just penalty for the sins of those who will trust in Him (3:25). He does believe, is filled with joy, and goes to his execution at peace with God. But in Romans 4 Paul challenges that view head-on. No hero can require that the president pin on his medal. 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