Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Walking through Romans pt 7: Romans 4

Walking through Romans pt 7: Romans 4
1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin.”[c]

9 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. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 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, 12 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.

13 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. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, 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 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
“We are children of Abraham!” stated the Pharisees, yet Jesus stated’ “For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones”.

So what makes one a child of Abraham? Faith in God.

Works do not make us righteous or “right with God”. Paul’s sense of humor shows as he states”…if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.”

We are to believe on Him who justifies the ungodly. In that a man who has finally come to the his end of either running away from God, or depending on his own works and believes in God is then accredited as righteous by his faith. It is said that in order to solve a problem one must fist recognize he has a problem. In that moment humility happens. Running away form God or working to prove oneself to God seem as it should as act of futility.

Humility is the firs contact of Grace which then faith can come.

The outward works of righteousness as in the case of Abraham come afterward in the sign of circumcision; the outward workings for us today should be the same. Our “works” are not “ours” but the outward sign of god in us working out of us to His Glory. As with circumcision a part of us must die so the signs of the Glory of god work through us and that is pride.

We have no righteousness except what is imputed to us by Christ Jesus. What a wonderful thing to know God is not keeping a list of wrong against the believer. (1 Cor 13)

The promise to Abraham was not through the Law and as that was over 400 years yet to come. If it was to be so, then God’s promise would be voided and He would be a liar. The promise to Abraham was well before the law and very one –side. So actually, “very” is a gross understatement. The covenant was all on God’s part and Abraham was fast asleep when God passed through the sacrifice! Abraham brought nothing and added nothing so Grace would enact Abrahams’ faith.

This Grace that brings faith gives us hope. Even when everything seems to be contrary to hope God gives grace to more faith and more hope! So even the promise to have a child or an heir, then to leap to be a father of many nations, Grace, Faith, and hope build even sight unseen. For Abraham only saw his sons born, yet the nations he never saw.

Now, It was not Abrahams faith that made the promises come true, rather it was all the faithfulness of God to His own promises. We to are to not strive, but rest in these promises that Jesus was delivered for our sins and raised for our justification.

Notice this is the fullness of the good News, that Jesus was delivered for our sins and raised fu us to be made right with god. We must accept the whole message of Christ’s death and resurrection in order to be able to receive the fullness of God’s promises.