Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 77)

For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.” Romans 4:13-15

The Apostle Paul has made some powerful points about righteousness, justification, the Law, and faith. We’ve most recently seen insights to these truths from the lives of Abraham and David.

In today’s study we’ll see how God’s promise to Abraham, that affects both Jews and Gentiles, is granted through faith.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 76)

What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin. Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.’ How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.” Roman 4:1-12

In our last study (verses 1-5) we saw how the Apostle Paul introduced the great patriarch Abraham into his (Paul’s) presentation about justification by faith in God rather than works of the flesh. In this new study we will see what we can learn from the life of David, the great king of Israel, and more about Abraham.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 74)

Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.” Romans 3:27-31

In the last part of our study we looked at Romans 3:26 – “to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

We move now to the next section which focuses on the exclusion of boasting.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 73)

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

In the last part of our study, we looked at verse 25 where Paul wrote – “whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” We saw that there is a “righteousness of God apart from the law” and that is connected to the death of Jesus Christ on a Roman cross almost two-thousand years ago.

Why did God do that? What was His purpose?

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 71)

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:21-26

These have to be some of the most hopeful verses in all of Scripture, especially in light of what Paul had written previously –

“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

Paul wrote that Jews and Gentiles were both condemned and faced the awesome justice of an Almighty God. Then Paul wrote – “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed.” 

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 70)

We are currently looking at Romans 3 as the Apostle Paul asked and answered several questions about accusations against his teaching. They included –

  • Paul’s teaching impugns God’s covenant with Israel (3:1-2)
  • Paul’s teaching impugns God’s faithfulness (3:3-4)
  • Paul’s teaching impugns God’s justice (3:5-6)
  • Paul’s teaching impugns God’s truth (3:7-8)

In the next part of our study we will look at another pair of questions and answers that contain some of the most powerful of God’s accusations against the human race.

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Romans – The Gospel of God (Part 67)

For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.” Romans 2:25-29

In our last study we looked at verse 25 and Paul’s powerful declaration that “circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.” Circumcision was so important to Jews because it was the sign of God’s covenant to Abraham and his descendants. The idea of becoming “uncircumcision” (which is what they called Gentiles) would have been abhorrent to the Jews.

Paul now takes this idea to an even more powerful level – that of an obedient Gentile judging a Jew!

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