S217-033008 Ro 4
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 033008 ~ Romans 4
Romans 4:1-5 ~ 1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 4Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Universal damnation = all have sinned… (3:23)
Universal salvation = the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. (1:16)
The Jew would say this is contrary to Judaism and the Scriptures.
Paul will show that it is the Jewish people who have changed the Bible, not Paul.
We have the same mentality today… Legalists are offended by easy Grace, but it is they who have abandoned the Scripture.
If Abraham was justified… boast, but even then not before God!
Rhetorical, because Abraham was not justified, contrary to their opinion – therefore they could not boast either in Abraham, but in God alone.
Paul says, “Let’s examine what the Bible really says in regard to Abraham’s righteousness.”
The pay for a worker is earned and therefore belongs to them and it is theft for the employer to withhold it – Leviticus 19:13 ~ you must not oppress your neighbor or commit robbery against him. You must not withhold the wages of the hired laborer overnight until morning. Why? It is not your money!
The virgin bride wearing white in Revelation 19.
The entire concept of Grace is that it is unmerited – God’s love is unconditional, His Grace is unmerited and His forgiveness is undeserved.
Abraham was right before God because God made him right – but how?
ZIG & MAP = Sin (Seen), or Nanna was the crescent moon God who fathered Inanna (Semiramis, Ishtar, who bore Tammuz.
Romans 4:6-8 ~ 6just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered. 8“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”
Who’s the other great Jewish hero? What has David figured out?
Romans 4:9-12 ~ 9Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, 12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
Is this blessing of forgiveness based upon faith for the Jew only?
Abraham was the chosen one before he was Jewish!
Circumcision was an outward sign of an inward condition, just as Baptism is today. Like the wedding ring it means nothing alone, but coupled with genuine commitment it is very powerful indeed.
Abraham is therefore the Father of those who believe God whether Jew or Gentile.
Romans 4:13-16 ~ 13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation. 16For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
Let’s look at the covenant.
Genesis 12: Go and I will make you… and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” “To your descendants I will give this land.”
Genesis 13 & 15: All the land you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever.
Genesis 17: Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
Genesis 22: Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Remember obedience is the proof of faith.
Now God cannot fairly change the rules of the game.
The Law was to show what was required to truly trust God and it was discovered to be impossible, so the sacrificial system as a temporary foreshadowing of God’s redemptive plan.
If God required the fulfillment of the Law, then He has changed the covenant of faith with Abraham.
Faith enables Grace.
Notice it is also faith that brings God’s blessing.
We pray effectively not when we’ve said the right words of done the right things, but when we pray with faith.
Romans 4:17-21 ~ 17(as it is written, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. 18In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; 20yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Verse 17&18, we have proof that Abraham believed God would provide a miracle even if it required raising Isaac from the dead – He’s already been born of dead parents!
God raised Jesus from the dead and so we believe in the very same way.
Notice belief is not a substitute for works otherwise it would be a work of a different kind; rather belief is that which enables the gift to have its desired effect!
Romans 4:22-25 ~ 22Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
Direct application of the Isaac story – but we must be careful about extrapolating from Biblical historical narrative because we are not inspired.