Faithlife Sermons

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Romans 4:13-16
As we know, Paul has finished almost 3 chapters of teaching that man is a sinner.
He proved that everyone is a sinner before God.
the moral man is a sinner
The religious man is a sinner
the Jews were sinners just like the Gentiles.
And he showed them that man cannot be justified by works, but only through faith in Jesus Christ.
He then began showing us through illustrations the truth of what he taught in chapter 3.
Within chapter four, Paul uses five arguments to refute the commonly held view that Abraham was justified by good works:
vs. 1-5 - Theological - where he picks apart theological ideas
vs. 6-8 - Hermeneutical - dealing with the interpretation of OT scripture.
We looked at those two last week.
vs. 9-12 - Historical - Looking at historical facts to illustrate his point.
vs. 13-17a - Logical - Logically applied the same faith that Abraham, how would that not be the same to those who would be his heirs?
vs. 17b-25 - Experiential - Paul pointed to the experiences of Abraham and faith, and then Paul’s own experiences.
Paul comes now in verse 13 to the Logical Illustration.
He once again is trying to illustrate that man is not justified by the law and its works.
The law is the wrong way for a man to be accepted by God.
This is almost like a debate and Paul is showing an argument against the Law and and argument for faith.
The Statement of Fact
Romans 4:13
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Paul logically lays out the premise of his illustration.
Plainly stated - the promise of the inheritance is not through the law but through faith.
What promise?
Do you see what the promise was?
The promise is that he would be the heir of the world.
The entire world.
Canaan was the promised land, a type of heaven, and a type of the new heavens and earth that God will create for Abraham and his seed (the believers).
Abraham was promised that he would be the father of “many nations”
He is our Father - the father to all believers -
Romans 4:11
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
And God has promised all of Abraham’s children a new world.
Christ will be the Sovereign over all, and He will rule and reign forever.
We are called heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
We will all reign with Christ throughout all eternity.
Every Christian is heir of this promise!
We will inherit the world!
But God does not give this promise through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
You will not receive an inheritance because you tried to keep the law, or you did some good works, or was baptized or lived a moral life, or anything else - it is only by Faith.
It will only be because you believed God and it was counted on your account as righteous.
He has said it over and over again
Romans 4:3
3 For what saith the scripture?
Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Romans 4:5
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Romans 4:13
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Now once he has stated this fact that we will inherit as children of Abraham, he begins his argument, first of all...
Against the Law
vs. 14-15
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
He says this promise of inheritance does not come by the law.
Three things show us this is true:
A. Law Voids Faith
The Law cannot justify, it is to show us our sin, and any attempt on our part to add the law for salvation, voids faith.
Law demands perfection; Law insists that it be obeyed.
But no man can live perfectly righteous before God
No man can keep from falling short and breaking the Law of God at some point.
So Every man is a lawbreaker, imperfect, and short of God’s Glory.
If the promise of God’s inheritance is gained through the law, then no man could ever inherit the promise.
There is no hope!
If we had to obey the Law, to receive the promise the promise would have nothing to do with faith - they can not co-exist.
B. Law Causes Frustration
or as the Bible says the Law worketh wrath
The Law is there to point out our every failure.
When a person believes they are saved through the Law, they view God as a legalistic Person who hovers over them, watching every move they make.
They will think he is there condemning every move they make
Because we fail and come short so often!
It creates a false view of who God is!
It keeps man from feeling accepted by God!
This would keep us in knots, constantly feeling the pressure and tension of trying to keep the Law.
We would worry constantly if we are meeting the demand, which, of course, you are not.
This is not a life full of love, joy and peace that God wants us to have as Christians!
There will be no purpose, meaning or significance in this life.
It’s a miserable life!
Not only that but it causes us to keep our attention and thoughts
on keeping rules, not trusting God
on watching where you step, instead of drawing near to God
on Avoiding errors, rather than learning the truth of God
on observing rituals, rather than fellowshipping with God.
on practicing religion, not worshipping God from the heart.
This all leads us away from what God wants from us.
and then we see that
C. Law Means Transgression
The Bible says, for where no law is, there is no transgression.
If no law exists, there is no law to break, so there is no transgression.
But if there is a law then breaking the law begins to exist.
When I was in Bible College and the Student handbooks would come out that had the code of conduct and all the rules we needed follow.
some of the guys would go around and sign their names beside the rules that were created because of them.
I didn’t have any of those, I was too much of a rule follower, but some had a couple of rules.
The point is this, the law points to the transgressions, so they have no excuse, but to realize they have sinned.
The man who seeks God’s acceptance by keeping the law lives in his transgressions.
So the transgressor, the legalist, is guilty and does not receive the promise of God.
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