The employee can seek legal recourse if the employer refuses payment, and can expect courts to enforce payment (assuming that the employer is solvent). spiritually minded. Do these two stories grate on your soul? This document has been generated from XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) source with RenderX XEP Formatter, version 3.7.3 Client Academic. Our faith, then, does not save us but simply permits us access to the gift of saving grace. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. So when Abraham believed in the Lord, he believed the specific promise that a Savior for all nations would come forth from his descendants. He thus reveals the broad scope of God’s relationship with humans. 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…. 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. 4 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 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. Why/why not? Create. Jesus Himself said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). • the righteous judgment of God (2:1-16); Come filthy, naked, and dirty. 14For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect. 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. In Galatians, Paul argues that seed is singular, not plural, thus pointing to Abraham’s one descendant, Christ (Gal. 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. IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. God justifies only one kind of person: the ungodly. For historic purposes, he wanted to include in his picture certain characters well known in the town. A chaplain visits this killer and finds that he has been reading the Bible. “For 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“ (v. 13). He lived and died without seeing God’s promise fulfilled, but believing that it would be. 2 If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. You don’t send him a thank you note, telling him how much you appreciated his kindness. 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. As we said before, Abraham did show the world of his great faith by his outward circumcision. 4-5). Step-by-step explainers for how romance works in Cyberpunk 2077 with a full list of male romance options and female romance options explained. Is it right or wrong to join with Roman Catholics in proclaiming our common faith in Christ when we differ over justification by faith alone? 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. God graciously justifies the ungodly sinner who does not work for salvation, but believes in Jesus Christ. “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect“ (v. 14). Who can boast of personal accomplishment in the presence of the creator of the universe? Thus it is not by accident that it always has been under fire. You do not understand His grace. But if the Reformers were right that this doctrine is the foundation of our salvation, then justification by faith plus works cannot be right. He regarded himself as called to both his master’s side and to the promulgation of the good news—news inextricably bound up with the death, resurrection, and exaltation of his Lord and God’s richest blessing upon sinful, erring human beings. For him to say that Abraham is “the father of us all” is quite radical. Paul not only cites it here, but also in Galatians 3:6, where he argues against the Judaizers, who said that we must add our works to faith in order to be saved. 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. Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2010, All Rights Reserved. • Second, God “calls the things that are not, as though they were.”  This brings to mind the account of creation in Genesis 1, where God called into being light, seas and land, vegetation, etc.—things that didn’t exist until God called them into being. This privilege of an immediate transformation will belong to the believers who shall be alive at … If you see yourself as better than notorious sinners and thus somehow more deserving of salvation, 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. The idea is that of “necessary but not sufficient.” Our faith is necessary for salvation, but not sufficient to effect it. 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. 15For the law works wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience (Greek: parabasis—transgression). In a certain correspondence with philosopher Bertrand Russell, author Joseph Conrad lamented the following: “I have never been able to find in any man’s book or in any man’s talk anything convincing enough to stand up for a moment against my defeated sense of fatality governing this man-inhabited world…The only remedy for Chinamen [referring to the problems in China] and for the rest of us is the change of hearts. God justifies us as a gift through faith (3:24). Their families mourn the tragic loss of their daughters. 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. “for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience“ (Greek: parabasis—transgression) (v. 15b). That sweet, selfless old nun deserves to go to heaven! These works included his obedience when God called him to leave his homeland to go to a land that God would show him (Gen. 12:10). Paul’s point in 4:1-2 is that if justification were by works rather than by faith alone, it would give us a ground for boasting. As noted above, Jews considered Abraham to be justified by works. For q there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. • and the fact that righteousness is possible only through faith (3:21-31). Neither Abraham nor the son could claim credit for their status. It would be accurate, therefore, to say that the employee enjoys a certain power over the employer at this point. He does not say that God justifies the godly (those who are righteous by their own merit), but that God justifies the ungodly. No political volunteer can demand to visit the Oval Office. God’s Righteous Judgment. So also we have no right to demand anything from God based on our achievement, righteousness, or faith. If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. He proves this by showing that Abraham was justified before he was circumcised. Why/why not? Come with your confusion. Abraham Justified by Faith. To be justified by God’s grace, you must stop working! He spends eternity in the unspeakable joy of heaven. Especially noteworthy was his obedience of the command to sacrifice Isaac, his only son (Genesis 22:1-14). 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! God justifies the nice person who always meant well, who loved his family, devoted his time and money to help the needy, went to church, read his Bible, and prayed every day.” But Paul could not have meant, “God justifies the ungodly, could he? “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about” (v. 2a). After all, he was a godly man. So it’s a very important text to understand. Under grace you do not work for justification. OVERVIEW Paul's opening to this letter to the church in Rome follows standard letter-writing conventions of the day with certain modifications. However, Paul has already stated that God is the God of Gentiles also, since he “will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith ” (3:29-30). The key personalities in the book of Romans are the … 6:23), eternal separation from the holy God. But when you compare humans to God, Abraham is just a bug along with everyone else. Faith means trusting Jesus to be your advocate in court, to plead His shed blood in your case before the bench of God’s justice. 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? Commentary on Romans by John Calvin. In chapter 4, he says that Abraham is “the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision” (4:12). 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. God justifies even the ungodly (Romans 4:5). Finally (4:23-25), Paul applies the lessons of Abraham’s faith to his readers. Read Scripture Part I. Paul’s Magnus Opus. ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’” (4:3, citing Gen. 15:6). We need our sin put on Christ’s account. He explained (ibid. It was when Martin Luther finally understood this truth that he was saved. Faith is the hand that receives the free gift of right standing with God apart from our works. 3:8). However, this does not mean that, in the absence of the law, there is no sin or accountability for sin. What is the best of human righteousness when you compare it to God’s absolute righteousness? Romans 5:1: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Submission to the Authorities. Go To Romans Index . Grace is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15). 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3:16). If we could effect our own salvation by adherence to the law or by faith, why would we need a savior? 3For what does the Scripture say? These faithful acts seem to give Abraham cause for boasting, but Abraham’s deeds were not always faithful. And we [] boast in the hope of the glory of God. He brings up Abraham because the Jews revered him as the father of their nation and their faith. If it were, verse 5 would be saying the opposite of what Paul is arguing! 3 For what does the Scripture say? We need Christ’s perfect righteousness credited to our account. So the artist found the man and told him that he would pay him well if he would come down to the studio so that he could paint him. He mercilessly tortured, raped, and murdered many young women. The passage in Genesis raises the question, “What did Abraham believe and why did God credit it to him for righteousness then?” We know that he had believed God previously, when he left Ur and set out for Canaan (Heb. “but not toward God” (v. 2). 5:21). The Search OF the Savior: Why Jesus Came, Part 1 (Luke 19:1-10), Bible Storying Series - Teaching The Story Of God Chronologically, Bible Teaching Ideas: The Ten Commandments And Ten Fingers. It’s absolutely essential for you to understand the doctrine that Paul sets forth in Romans 4:1-5, that we are justified (declared righteous) by faith alone, apart from any works. “our forefather, has found according to the flesh” (v. 1b). 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. But that was not God’s way. If we could earn salvation, the cross would be unnecessary. 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. Now, to demonstrate that what he is saying is no innovation, Paul uses Abraham, the great forefather of Judaism, as an example of what he is saying. 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). That fulfillment is accomplished, not simply as followers of a philosophy, or a philosopher, but through relationship with a Living Person, Savior and Redeemer. 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). They do not … That would give some sort of merit to faith, which cannot pay the debt of our sin. 13 Let every person p be subject to the governing authorities. He knew more than we may assume! No, he owes you the money. 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;. The apostle Paul was unreservedly committed to Christ and to the ministry of the gospel. As she nears death, you ask her why God should let her into heaven. “For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace” (Greek: charin—from charis) (v. 16a). Abraham was as much in need of God’s perfect righteousness as were the wicked people of Sodom. So Genesis 15 ratifies Abraham’s earlier faith. Abraham Justified by Faith. 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. Make social videos in an instant: use custom templates to tell the right story for your business. Thus many Jews assumed that Abraham was right with God, at least in part, because of his life of obedience. 2 Therefore you have f no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. In doing so, Paul was challenging the Judaism’s central premise—that obedience to the law determined one’s relationship to God (MacArthur). He knows that he deserves eternal torment in hell. Rather, you believe God’s promise to declare righteous any sinner who trusts in Jesus and His shed blood as the propitiation for his sins (3:25). 38A (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), Gaventa, Beverly R. in Brueggemann, Walter; Cousar, Charles B.; Gaventa, Beverly R.; and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV — Year A (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), Knox, John and Cragg, Gerald R., The Interpreter’s Bible: Acts and Romans, Vol. 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. It is self-evident that, when there is no law, there can be no transgression of the law. If you think that maybe you should become a missionary or go live and work in a slum for years, depriving yourself of the normal comforts of life, so that God will overlook your sins on judgment day, you’re still working. Grace abounds so that it “might reign” over abundant trespasses (Romans 5:21). ), The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987), Sanday, William and Headlam, Arthur C., The International Critical Commentary: The Epistle to the Romans (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1977), Witherington, Ben III with Darlene Hyatt, Paul’s Letter to the Romans: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary,(GrandRapids, Michigan: Wm. 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. When you compare humans to humans, Abraham was a good guy. The Prayer of Manasseh (8), states that God did not appoint repentance for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, “who were righteous and did not sin against Thee.” (What Bible were they reading?) His righteous status cannot be earned, but is a gift of God. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God” (4:1-2). Is it fair (just) for God to forgive an evil murderer who trusts in Christ, but to condemn a loving person who didn’t trust Christ? Thus Abraham was already what we would call “saved” before this experience. Romans 8:1-4 Under the gospel we are free from condemnation, walking. (ed. As I explained, I understand Romans 7:14-25 to refer primarily to immature believers who have not learned of their new identity in Christ. John Calvin called justification by faith “the main hinge on which religion turns” (The Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. 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). 5But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. The Roman Forum was the scene of public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial combats in republican times and was lined with shops and open-air markets. That’s not fair! Undoubtedly, he could think of n… Who can boast of personal holiness in the presence of God’s holiness? It would feed our pride. “For the law works wrath“ (v. 15a). 2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. A street sweeper who was unkempt, ragged, and filthy was known to everyone and there was a suitable place in the picture for him. You do not understand God’s grace. In God’s sight (Rom. It also recalls the valley of the dry bones that came alive at the word of God (Ezekiel 37). If you work to earn justification, then God owes you something. He does believe, is filled with joy, and goes to his execution at peace with God. Why must I see myself as ungodly before I can be justified? 4. 1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 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. Genesis 15:6 is the first time that the word believe is used in the Bible and it is also the first time that the concept of God crediting righteousness to anyone (justification) is mentioned. The artist needed him as a poor beggar and he was not invited in any other capacity. He called justification by faith “the chief article from which all our other doctrines have flowed.” He said, “If the article of justification is lost, all Christian doctrine is lost at the same time.” He argued, “It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God, and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour.” (James Boice, Romans: Justification by Faith [Zondervan], p. 126, citing from What Luther Says: An Anthology, compiled by Ewald Pass, [Concordia], 2:702-704.). Thus God can justify uncircumcised Gentiles who follow the faith of Abraham. 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. 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. Paul draws attention to two attributes of God. Also, He imputes the very righteousness of Jesus to our account. 3:21-31. The book of Romans is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). The Book of Romans tells how God can save the whole person: body, soul and spirit. Many early Jewish writings put Abraham on a pedestal far higher than the way the Bible portrays him. No court has the power to force God to pay, but no just court would do so in any event because no person has a just claim on God. In Christianity Today, Wendy Murray Zoba says that one of the more effective evangelistic tools that Campus Crusade for Christ has developed is the Jesus film. If this were not so, why would God have sent Jesus to die on the cross? 4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? An analogy: No citizen has the right to demand an audience with the president. Romans 15. Romans 8:9-11 Christians have God’s Spirit to guide and assist them, Romans 8:12,13 by which if … What is wrong with the idea that good people deserve salvation, while evil people deserve hell? Achtemeier, Paul J., Interpretation: Romans, (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1985), Barth, Karl, The Epistle to the Romans (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1933), Brawley, Robert L., in Van Harn, Roger E. In other words, Paul does not mean that Abraham could have boasted before people, but not before God. The verb, elogisthe, is an accountant’s word. Since Adam, humans chose to live sinful and selfish lives. That transaction takes place the instant that we believe in Jesus (2 Cor. For g in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004), Wright, N. Thomas, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Vol. 16For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace (Greek: charin—from charis), to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed (Greek: to spermati—the seed), not to (Greek: to the seed)that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham (Greek: to the seed of the faith of Abraham), who is the father of us all. Doesn’t this damage one’s self-esteem. But looking at the last 2,000 years there is not much reason to expect that thing, even … And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. The Book of Romans is a four-part explanation of the Gospel message written by Paul to the Church in Rome. Roman Forum, most important forum in ancient Rome, situated on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. • the fact that none is righteous (3:9-20); Romans 4 presents evidence drawn from the Law of Moses, Genesis ‒ Deuteronomy, for the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. (Favor is literally grace.) 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 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. Romans 5 - NIV: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. She replies, “Because I have devoted my life to serving Him. God has convicted him of his terrible sins, so that he despairs about dying and facing God. That’s unthinkable!”. That promise could not be fulfilled through the law, because it would be four centuries before the law would be given at Sinai. Do you want to scream, “Wait a minute! Both are beneficiaries of a generous gift. No person can stand in God’s presence claiming to have rendered satisfactory service, so God has no moral obligation to provide compensation for services rendered. Abraham Justified by Faith. To receive the promise via the law would be to earn it, thus making faith unnecessary and the promise irrelevant (see vv. Faith means taking God at His word when He promises to justify the one who has faith in Jesus (3:26). We cannot politely agree to disagree on the core of the gospel! This is why Paul could say that the promise came to Abraham through faith. See also Genesis 17:15-21; 18:11-14). Having illustrated from Abraham’s experience as recorded in Scripture that God justifies by faith alone, not by works, Paul proceeds to apply it to every sinner who will believe in Christ: “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. Book of Romans Explained. 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. First (4:4) Paul gives a negative example from everyday life that we can easily understand. If he doesn’t pay, you can take him to court to make him pay. This video is about 11-15-20. We can be saved only if God chooses to save us. On payday, a worker need not beg for a paycheck, but can demand payment for services rendered. No person, however, enjoys that kind of power over God. (ed. 3 For what does the Scripture say? Paul’s statement that God “justifies the ungodly” flies in the face of Old Testament passages that say: “Keep far from a false charge, and don’t kill the innocent and righteous: for I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7)—and “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh” (Proverbs 17:15). “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (Greek: elogisthe—it was credited) to him for righteousness“ (v. 3). Rather, he had no grounds for boasting at all. 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. Come in your disorder. Romans 5:8-10. 3:10), “There is none righteous, not even one.” We’re all bugs! Romans 4. If it is true that Abraham did not earn his righteousness by his deeds, it is also true that he did not earn it by his belief. 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. Paul is writing to a church that includes both Jews and Gentiles. Instead of killing them, however, the terrorists decided to seize their equipment, including the film projec… The law brings wrath, because it holds us to an impossible standard. It’s an accounting term that means that God credited to Abraham a righteousness that did not inherently belong to him (Moo, p. 262). Come with all of your sin. 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. He/she has no currency to purchase salvation, but is wholly dependent on God to provide it as a gift. Is faith simply another form of works-righteousness? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. But it seems to me that Paul could be conceding to his Jewish readers, “Okay, maybe Abraham has some grounds to boast before men. But you trust God’s promise that “while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 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. 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but u not before God. This is summarized in Rom. “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (Greek: elogisthe—from logizomai) to him as righteousness.” 4Now to him who works, the reward is not counted as grace, but as something owed. Even a cursory reading of the Old Testament will show that, prior to the giving of the law at Sinai, there was a good deal of sin—and that God held people accountable for those sins. 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,). See how this Scripture accepts the charge, and plainly states it! Spurgeon applies it by saying that even so, God invites sinners to come at once for salvation, just as they are. Grace is “God’s unmerited favor toward humanity and especially his people, realized through the covenant and fulfilled through Jesus Christ” (Myers, 437). Romans 4 - NIV: What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? “As it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations‘” (Greek: ethnon—can be translated “nations” or “Gentiles”) (v. 17a). In the 1990’s, many evangelicals signed a document, “Evangelicals and Catholics Together,” that would relegate justification by faith alone to the sidelines. As wonderful a gift as God's merciful forgiveness is, merely being forgiven through Christ's blood is not sufficient for salvation. In our day, the unity movement has sought to break down any divisions between Protestants and Catholics by advocating that we come together where we agree and set aside the things that divide us, including this doctrine. ), “For unless you first of all grasp what your relationship to God is, and the nature of his judgment concerning you, you have neither a foundation on which to establish your salvation nor one on which to build piety toward God.” In other words, this truth is foundational for your entire Christian life. 1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? Paul first demonstrates this truth in the life of Abraham (4:1-3). He graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition) and Califo... More, 3. God saves those who come acknowledging their need and trusting “him who justifies the ungodly.”. “(Abraham) who is the father of us all” (v. 16b). 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. 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. The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. Just as God created a people of God out of Abraham’s physical descendants who had become slaves in Egypt, so also God also created a people of God out of lowly Gentiles. Jewish people are descended from Abraham according to the flesh. Rather, faith means not doing anything ourselves to earn salvation, but rather trusting what Christ did for us on the cross. Justification must be seen for what it truly is: It is essential, but it is only the beginning of the salvation process. 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. 1 Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. The Apostle Paul wrote it roughly about 56-57 A.D. 5:6). In All of Grace [Ages Software], C. H. Spurgeon wrote about Romans 4:5. 3 For what does the Scripture say? Paul’s “what then” links chapter 4 to what Paul has been saying in the first three chapters where Paul established: • the reality of human guilt (1:18-32); 1What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? Before we begin in the book of Romans we need to look at the penman, Paul. • 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. If Abraham had room for boasting, he also had occasion for apology. ), “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.” • the relationship of Jews to the law (2:17 – 3-8); Paul must have said, “God justifies the one who tries to do his best. Paul illustrates his point. 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). It’s a debt. Saul means asked and this was the name he was using when he was persecuting the Christians. Romans 4 Commentary, One of over 110 Bible commentaries freely available, this commentary, as set of 17 volumes on the New Testament, the result of Barclay's dedicated work So why does Moses mention in Genesis 15:6 that Abraham believed God and that God reckoned it to him as righteousness? Come with your despair. Romans 4-5 English Standard Version (ESV) Abraham Justified by Faith. Come to Jesus, crucified for sinners! If God justifies the ungodly and you’re ungodly, there’s hope for you! Romans 5:1-9 New International Version (NIV) Peace and Hope. Paul’s understanding of grace flies in the face of conventional Jewish theology, which sees faithful observance of Torah law as analogous to a faithful employee’s service (Moo, 263). ), which the WEB has updated. So if you see yourself as a basically good person, you can’t be justified. Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6. But in Romans 4 Paul challenges that view head-on. It was common for letters to begin with the name of the person writing the letter and the Their vehicle was intercepted by the Senderos, and they feared for their lives (with just cause). Verses 17-22 explain the nature of Abraham’s faith. Faith is not a work that merits righteousness. Meanwhile, on death row a serial killer awaits execution. “This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were” (v. 17). For example, the Book of Jubilees (23:10), written about 100 B.C. The word “grace” makes it clear that it is not. The employer has enjoyed the benefit of the employee’s service, and is under obligation to compensate the employee. Rather, faith is the means by which we lay hold of God’s promise in Christ. Verses 9-16 develop the theme of 3:29-30, that righteousness by faith applies equally to Jews and Gentiles. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Romans 1:1-7 EXEGESIS: ROMANS 1:1-7. 4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, t our forefather according to the flesh? Surely, there must be a copier’s error in the text! In short, his self-construal was—and always will be—since the Damascus road anyway, one who was a free and willing slaveof the Lord Jesus Christ. How much did Abraham know about Jesus Christ, who would be born 2,000 years later? There is debate among scholars as to whether Paul was referring specifically to Abraham or whether he meant to contrast a notoriously sinful person with the relatively good Abraham. The instant we believe in Jesus, God bangs the gavel and declares, “Not guilty!” But He not only removes our sin and guilt. “But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (v. 5). It has fallen into your mind that, if you were excellent, then God would reward you; and you have thought that because you are not worthy, therefore there could be no way of your enjoying His favor. Just as the believer cannot storm the gates of heaven demanding admittance on the basis of righteous deeds, neither can he/she demand admittance on the basis of belief. 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. But the chaplain shares that if he will believe in Jesus Christ, who died for the ungodly, God will forgive all his sins and credit Christ’s righteousness to his account. What did he discover about being made right with God? 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. The best news in the world is, God graciously justifies the ungodly sinner who does not work for salvation, but rather believes in Jesus Christ! He misrepresented Sarah as his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). 17As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.”This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were. Abraham knew that through his seed, blessing would come to all the families of the earth (12:3). 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. The New Perspective on Paul also argues that the Reformers misinterpreted Paul regarding this doctrine. after the Spirit. 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. 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible. Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 EXEGESIS: ROMANS 4:1-5. The Faith of Abraham. But such boasting is foolish, because we’re really just one bug boasting to another bug. Spurgeon ended that chapter in All of Grace by telling a story about an artist in the years before photography who painted a picture of a part of the city where he lived. If you feel bad about your sins and are trying to get them under control so that God will accept you, you have not ceased working. 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? I have denied myself for decades. To be justified, you must see yourself as ungodly and deserving of God’s righteous judgment. In verse 10, Paul states, "We shall be saved by His life." No hero can require that the president pin on his medal. 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. But God will not be a debtor to anyone. 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). 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). Romans 4:2 "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God." Romans 4. When you work and your boss pays you, he isn’t doing you a favor. You acknowledge that the wages of your sin is death (Rom. The name Paul means little. Paul’s point is that Gentiles were spiritually dead, but the God who gives life to the dead has breathed life even into the Gentiles. The Jewish Christians could claim to be the seed of Abraham by bloodline, but all Christians can claim to be Abraham’s spiritual descendants. Christ’s substitutionary death paid the just penalty for the sins of those who will trust in Him (3:25). The truth is justification takes place in the heart. He explained (ibid. The flow of thought in the chapter is as follows (from Thomas Schreiner, Romans [Baker], pp. 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. Paul was also known as Saul. That, however, is not what Paul says. Romans 8:5-8 The evil of being carnally minded, and the good of being. ), The Lectionary Commentary: The Second Readings: Acts and the Epistles (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001), Briscoe, D. Stuart, The Preacher’s Commentary: Romans, Vol. Some commentators argue that the phrase, “according to the flesh,” should not modify “forefather,” but rather, “has found.” Thus Paul would be asking whether Abraham found some way, according to the flesh apart from God’s grace, to be justified. “What then will we say that Abraham” (v. 1a). Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread... - Verse-by-Verse Commentary Hi, ... as usually explained, means nothing else. Two points are noteworthy about Paul's comments. Romans chapter 1 KJV (King James Version) 1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,. She writes: “Several years ago in Peru, during the insurgence of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), a Wycliffe couple was travelling to show the film in a village. But the principle of grace is different (4:5). We are “justified freely by his (God’s) grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). My aim today is that all of you will understand this crucial doctrine that is at the core of the gospel and that you will join Spurgeon in worshipful wonder that God has justified you. The people of Israel tried to obey God and follow the Law, but they didn't succeed. When God called Abram, he promised, “I will make of you a great nation” (Genesis 12:2). Another you condemn yourself, because we ’ re ungodly, his only son ( Genesis 12:10-20.! Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition ) and Califo... more, 3 wrath, because,! Primarily to immature believers who have not learned of their decision to follow Jesus by baptized. Jesus ( 3:26 ) not sufficient to effect it replies, “ is. 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