Romans 4–7

ROMANS 4–7

Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

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Romans 4–7 videos-

https://www.dropbox.com/s/iy3a9t1z9st7sbt/2-11-15%20Romans%204-7.mp4?dl=0https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnBn5O6BLhM&t=339s
https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/2-11-15-romans-4-7.zip
https://1drv.ms/v/s!Aocp2PkNEAGMhHHlJSQt11n5jvfE

PAST POSTS [Parts of my past teaching that fit with this post- Verses below]

The apostle Paul quotes a lot of Old Testament scriptures in this letter- I hope to cover some of them on the video- but as you read these chapters- it would be helpful to read Genesis 12- 13- 15-and 17- these are the main chapters Paul uses in the life of Abraham to show Abrahams faith- and how he was justified by faith- before he was circumcised [Gen 15].
He will describe the faith of Abraham by using the story of Abraham and Sarah having a son in their old age [Gen. 17] — and talk about how the heirs of the promise- that Abraham would be ‘heir of the world’ was made to ALL THE SEED- meaning not just to his Jewish brothers who would believe- but also to the Gentiles- who were never granted the ‘right of the covenant’ [circumcision].
Paul explains that Abraham was justified BEFORE he was circumcised- so- he is the father of all the kids- even the Gentile believers who were never circumcised- but had the faith of Abraham.
Now- there’s’ a lot I am trying to cover in this Romans study- for those who watch the videos- you will see that I’m also covering the divisions within Christianity- primarily those that arose out of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. I quote the book of James- and show how James says ‘was not Abraham our father JUSTIFIED BY WORKS when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar’. It’s important to see- that these words JUSTIFIED BY WORKS- are indeed used in our New Testament- in the videos I’m explaining this- but the point I’m making is James uses the account of Abraham- in Genesis 22- and shows us that the progressive work of ‘Justification’ can- and is- applied to the act of Abrahams obedience- and when God saw Abraham DO A JUST THING [a work] James says ‘he was then justified’- the same word used in the initial act of our Justification- seen in Genesis 15- ok- this might be a bit much to take in now- but over time when we get a better grasp on this- I believe it will help to foster unity in the Body of Christ.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
NOTE- As I do this study- I’m copying/pasting an old commentary I wrote years ago- I guess I should read the commentary first- after I penned the above- I read it- I basically covered the same thing- at least I’m consistent!


ROMANS 4: 1–12 Now, Paul will use one of his most frequent arguments to prove that all men, both Jews and Gentiles, need to be justified by faith and not ‘by works’. The most famous singular figure that natural Israel looked to as the ‘identifier’ of them being a special people was ‘Father Abraham’. Paul does a masterful job at showing how Abraham was indeed justified by faith and not by works. The ‘work’ of circumcision came before the law. It would later become synonymous with law keeping [Ten Commandments] and Paul can certainly use it here as implying ‘the whole law’. But to be accurate this work of circumcision was a national identifying factor that Israel looked to as saying ‘we are better than you [Gentiles]’. Paul is showing Israel that God in fact ‘made Abraham righteous’ before he circumcised him! [Gen. 15] And the sign of this righteousness was circumcision. This meaning that Abrahams faith in Gods promise [a purely ‘passive’ act! This is very important to see. Later on as we deal with the famous ‘conversion texts’ we need to keep this in mind] justified him without respect to the law. God simply took Abraham outside and said ‘look at the stars, your children will be this abundant’ and Abraham simply believed this promise to be true. Much like the passive belief of Cornelius house at their conversion [Acts 10]. The simple belief in the promise of Jesus justifies the sinner! Now this fact of Abraham believing and being made righteous, before being circumcised, is proof [according to Paul] that Abraham is the father of ‘many nations’ not just natural Israel. All ethnic groups who HAVE THE SAME FAITH AS ABRAHAM are qualified to be ‘sons of Abraham/ heirs of God’. The fact that Abraham carried this justification along with him as he became circumcised, shows that all Jewish people as well can partake of this ‘righteousness by faith’ if they have the same faith as Abraham had. Jesus did say ‘Abraham rejoiced to see my day’[ John’s gospel]. In Gods promise to Abraham of a future dynasty of children, this included the promised Messiah. So indirectly Abraham’s belief in the promise of being the father of ‘many nations’ included belief in the coming Messiah. So according to Paul, all ethnic groups who have faith in Jesus are justified/made righteous. The very example Israel used to justify ‘ethnic/national pride’ [Father Abraham] was taught in a way that showed the truth of the gospel and how God is no respecter of persons.

·ROMANS 4:13–14 ‘Now the promise that Abraham would become the inheritor of the world was not going to be fulfilled thru the law [natural Israel] but thru faith [all who believe, both Jew and Gentile]’. I have spoken on this before [see note at bottom] and will hit on it a little now. The historic church can be defined for the most part as ‘a-millennial’, that is they interpreted the parables on the Kingdom of God and the promise of ‘inheriting the world [which includes the Promised Land]’ as being fulfilled thru the church. That Jesus established Gods kingdom and the church basically fulfills these promises by expanding Christ’s ‘rule’ thru the earth. Some historians saw the 4thcentury ‘marriage’ of Rome and Christianity as a fulfillment of this. During the 19th and 20th century you had the rise of Dispensationalism, a ‘new/different’ way of interpreting these land promises. Many good men showed the reality of Christ’s literal coming and pointed to a future time where Jesus literally sits on a throne in Jerusalem and rules all nations. These brothers are called ‘Pre-millennial’, they believe that Jesus comes back first [pre] and then establishes his ‘millennial rule’ on earth. The Premillennialists would see the Amillennialists as ‘replacement theologians’. They said that these brothers were taking the actual promises that God made to Israel and ‘replacing’ Israel with the church. In essence they accused the Amillennialists of spiritualizing the promises to Israel and saying the church would be the recipients of the promises. Now, both sides have truth to them, I personally believe the Amillennialists have a lot more truth! But I do see some of the good points that the Premillenialists made. I want you to simply read these verses [Romans 4:13–14, Galatians 3:18] and see for yourself how Paul does teach the reality that the promises to Abraham are to be fulfilled thru the church [spiritual Israel]. This does not mean that there is no future physical return of Jesus. But the body of scripture leans heavily on the Amillinnialists side. [see entry 703] NOTE- To be fair, some historic thinkers held to the Premillennial position. The majority were Amillennial.

·ROMANS 4:15–25 ‘For the law worketh wrath, for where there is no law there is no transgression’. I simply want to touch on the concept of ‘wrath’ being a very real part of judgment. One of the ways the gospel ‘saves us’ is by promising a future [and present!] deliverance from wrath. While death ‘reigned’ before the law was given, it wasn’t until the law where you had a clear picture of transgression and atonement. We will deal with this later in Romans. Now Paul once again hits on the theme of Abraham being the ‘spiritual father’ of many nations [all who believe] and how the promises of God to Abraham were to be fulfilled thru this ‘new race of people’ [the church]. Paul is careful to not demean Israel; he couches his terms in a way that says ‘God will fulfill these things thru the circumcision who believes [Jews] and the un-circumcision who believe’ [Gentiles]. I want to stress the very plain language Paul uses to show us that we should not be seeing Gods ‘covenant promises’ thru a natural lens. Christians need to be careful when they support [exalt!] natural Israel in a way that the New Testament doesn’t do. ‘To the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is the faith of Abraham’. Now Paul tells us that when God made promises to Abraham that Abraham believed against hope. When all things looked really bad, he still believed. When he was 100 years old and Sarah around 90, he held to the promise [read my commentaries on Genesis 15–18 and Hebrews 11] and therefore God imputed righteousness to him. How closely are you paying attention to Paul’s free use of Abraham and Genesis? If you carefully read this chapter you see Paul ‘intermingle’ the story of Abraham being ‘made righteous upon initial belief’ [Gen. 15] and the later story of Sarah having Isaac [Gen. 17]. I think Paul was simply using the description of Abrahams faith, as seen in the Gen. 17 [and 22!] accounts of his life, to show the type of faith he initially ‘exercised’ [I don’t like using this term to be honest. God actually imputes faith to the believer at the initial act of regeneration]. The important chapters from Genesis that we all need to have a ‘working knowledge’ of are Chapters 12 [the initial promise], 15 [the oft mentioned ‘imputed righteousness’ verse], 17 [the receiving of the promised seed- Isaac], and 22 [the ultimate act of obedience that Abraham showed in offering up Isaac. This will be described in James epistle as ‘righteousness being fulfilled’. James, who is concerned about ‘works’, will say that when Abraham offered Isaac he was fulfilling the ‘imputed righteousness’ that God gave him earlier. James actually describes this as ‘being justified by works’{James 2:21} and James says ‘the scripture was fulfilled that saith Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness’… ‘see how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only’. The classic view taken by many confuses the ‘justified’ part with the initial act of justification that Paul centers on. James uses ‘see how he was justified by works’ in a future ‘judicial decree’ sense; that is God having the ongoing ‘freedom’ to continually say ‘good job son, you did well’. The word justification is used in a fluid sense much like salvation. Christians need to be more ‘secure’ in their own assurance to be able to see these truths. When we approach all these seemingly ‘difficult passages’ in a defensive mode, then we never arrive at the actual meaning]. When we see the overall work of God in Abraham’s life we see the purpose of God in ‘declaring people just’ [initially ‘getting saved’]. The purpose is for them to eventually ‘act just’ [obey!] ‘Jesus was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification’ thank God that this process is dependant on the work of the Cross! [see # 758]

·Romans 5:1–9 ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ’. There are certain benefits ‘results’ of being ‘made righteous by faith’, peace being one of them. Paul goes on and says we glory in hope and also trials, because we realize that thru the difficulties we gain experience and patience. Things that are needed for the journey, we can’t substitute talent and motivation and ‘success principles’ for them. We need maturity and God produces it this way. Those who teach otherwise have a ‘self inflicted wound’ their teachings are very immature! That is there was a ‘strain’ of teaching in the church that said ‘we don’t learn thru difficulty and suffering, we learn only thru Gods word!’ [that is reading it]. Those who grasped onto this false idea have produced some of the most unbalanced teaching in the church, stuff that even the younger generation is saying ‘what in the heck are these guys preaching’? If you by pass the difficult road, you will be shallow. Now Paul says ‘God commended his love toward us, that when we were sinners Christ died for us’ ‘being now justified by his death, we shall be saved thru his life’ [saved from wrath thru him]. Once again this theme pops up; ‘since we are justified, made righteous by believing with the heart, we shall be saved [continual, future deliverance] from wrath thru him’. I don’t know if you ever realized what a major theme this is in Romans? The ongoing, future ‘being saved’ is a result of ‘being made righteous’. Later on in chapter 10, when we read that the righteous call for salvation, we need to understand this context. Remember, when the two are linked together in the same verse, it is not saying ‘saved’ in the sense of some sinner’s prayer. It is speaking of the ongoing, promised deliverance [from many things, not just wrath!] to the ‘justified caller’. We have access ‘by faith into this grace wherein we stand’. Wow! That’s some good stuff, Jesus ever lives so that those who come to him are ‘being saved’ to the uttermost. This grace we are in is available to us all of the time, are we availing ourselves of it?

·ROMANS 5:10–21 ‘For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to him by the death of his Son… much more we shall be saved by his life’. Now, some have ‘divided’ the role of Jesus death and resurrection in salvation. I heard a radio preacher teach that all the people who think they are ‘saved’ because Jesus died for them were deceived. He used this verse to say they need to believe in his ‘life’ [resurrection] to ‘be saved by his life’. Well I get the point, but he was missing the meaning of the verse. Why? Because once again we see ‘saved’ as initially ‘getting saved’ while here it is in a continual sense. Paul is saying ‘if God reconciled us [justification] while we were deadly enemies, how much more shall the actual ministry and life of Jesus at Gods right hand do for us!’ The New Testament teachers that we have actually entered into an eternal covenant with God thru his Son. Jesus ‘ever lives’ to make intercession for us [Hebrews]. Therefore he is able to ‘save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him’. The bible teaches an ongoing ‘saving’ relationship that believers have with the Messiah. This ‘relationship’ would not be possible if he were dead. Now we ‘joy in God thru Jesus Christ from whom we have received the atonement’ good stuff! Isaiah says God will meet with those who ‘rejoice and do what is right’. We have both of these ‘abilities’ because of the atonement. The rest of the chapter teaches the Pauline doctrine of original sin. That because Adam sinned, death and sin passed to all men. So likewise the ‘righteousness’ of one man [Jesus- the last Adam] has passed upon all men [those who receive of the abundance of grace and the gift of life]. This is an interesting angle that Paul uses to teach redemption. He shows the reality that there are only 2 ‘federal heads’ of mankind. You are either in the first or last Adam. The ‘righteous act’ is speaking of the Cross [Philippians says Jesus was ‘obedient unto death’. The singular act of obedience that allows this righteousness to pass to all who believe is the Cross. Some have misunderstood this chapter to teach that the obedient life of Christ, his sinless life, saves us. I feel this is a wrong reading of the chapter. The sinless life of Jesus, pre Cross, made him the true candidate to be the substitute for man. He was able to die in our place [obedience unto death] because he was the sinless Son of God. We are now ‘saved by his life’ because he ever lives to make intercession for us]. All who believe in Jesus can now trace their lineage to the ‘last Adam’ [Jesus] and be free from ‘original sin’. [Some sites see here https://corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com/2022/12/romans-4-7-text.html?m=0 ]

·ROMANS 6- Lets talk about baptism. To start off I believe that the baptism spoken about in this chapter is

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