Romans 4

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God’s Justification By Faith

November 18, 2018 | Romans 4:1-25 | exposition

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The claim of Christ is not only for “Christians.” It is for everyone. This may go against today’s culture, but we believe that faith in Christ is the only way to be made right with God. Christ is the only path to God. In other words, the only way to receive God’s justification is by faith in Christ Jesus.

In Romans 4, the apostle Paul put forth the Old Testament examples of Abraham and David as evidence that God’s justification has always been by faith alone.

‘For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.”’ (Romans 4:16-17 NLT).

July 18, 2018

The apostle Paul quoted Genesis 17:5 to make the argument that God’s promise to Abraham was not only for his natural descendants, but also for the great multitudes from every nation that would believe. Paul retained the past tense language of Genesis, which quoted God saying, “I have made you” as if it had already come to pass, even though Abraham had yet to see his son, Isaac, born. God spoke of it as a thing already done, and in a sense, it was. For God had so preordained and determined, since before the foundation of the earth, that He would send His Son to redeem all those who believe (1 Peter 1:20). This Son, is Jesus, who is the “Promised Seed” of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). So, Abraham is the father of all, whether Jew or Gentile that believe in Jesus, the promised Seed of Abraham.

“Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” (Romans 4:3 NLT).

July 17, 2018

Paul explained that Abraham, the human founder of Judaism, was not considered righteous by his circumcision, but by his faith. Paul quoted Moses, who wrote of Abraham, “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). So, faith has always been the only way to please God. And what is the object of that faith? The object of our faith is the Lamb of God. Abraham believed that God would provide the Lamb. And God did, replacing Abraham’s son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.

Now, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world has already come. He is Jesus, the object of our faith, the One in whom we believe, so that God counts us as righteous because of our faith in Jesus.

“But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5 NKJV).

July 17, 2017

Our best attempts at being righteous through religiosity, self-denial and good works cannot justify us before God. This takes away all human boasting, for humanity is steeped in sin and beyond saving itself. Yet, God has provided a Savior, which is Christ Jesus the Lord. The one who “believes on Him” is made just in God’s sight. The believer’s faith is counted as righteousness by God, for it depends on the righteousness of Christ, rather than his own.

Stop working and believe. Rest in Christ’s work.

“Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping” (Romans 4:18 NLT)

July 18, 2014

When there was no physical or circumstantial reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping in God’s promise. What is hope? It is the feeling of expectation that a desirable outcome will take place in the future. But Abraham had more than just a positive feeling. He had hope in God. Having his hope anchored in God’s promises and God’s goodness, Abraham never stopped believing, in fact his hope and faith increased as the years went by.

“Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin” (Romans 4:8 NLT)

July 17, 2014

Paul quoted David’s psalm (Psa. 32:1-2) to support his explanation about how being made right with God is not by works, but by faith alone. When we place our faith in Christ and receive forgiveness and salvation, His blood not only covers our sin, it washes it away. Our “record” is “cleared.” The Lord did not clear them by merely erasing them. This would not satisfy His justice. No. He cleared our record by charging our sin to Jesus’ record, so that God’s wrath and justice was poured out on Christ. There is now no condemnation left for us who believe (Rom. 8:1). What joy! Our record is cleared of sin!

“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises” (Romans 4:20-21)

July 18, 2012

Abraham’s faith was characterized by full conviction. He knew and believed what God had promised him. For us to have such faith, we must first know God’s promises and then, we can decide to be fully convinced that God will keep them. What promises of God are you believing today?