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IPS - Romans 4

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Background on end of chapter 3
Explained how the "righteousness" or right-standing with God is not given to us because we have kept his holy laws. The first three chapters of the book of Romans explains how God gave a set of moral laws to the world, and no man has been able to keep them. He showed that every many in the world is guilty before God because of sin, because men have broken his laws. But we learn in 3:21-26 that this righteousness is not given to us because we keep a set of laws. Rather, it is given to those who believe in Jesus Christ by faith.
After explaining that God's righteousness comes by faith, Paul ends chapter three by confronting a Jewish thought regarding the law. Culturally, Jewish people looked down upon Gentiles because Gentiles were not as privledged as they were with the law. Paul Comes against this by saying, "If God's righteousness does not come through the keeping of the law, there is no grounds for boasting." Jews and Gentiles are completely equal because they can both receive this righteousness by faith, regardless of if they know the Law or not.
Finally, with this thought in mind, Paul ends with a very natural question that readers would be asking at this point.
So if anyone can attain the righteousness of God by faith, does that make the Law pointless? Should we just forget about the law all-together since we don't need to keep it in order to become right with God? Paul answers this question very emphatically. He says, "May it never be!" (May that never be thought!)
This will take us into chapter 4
Have translator read the entire chapter
Romans 4 ESV
What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather 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 counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.” Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
So now as we get into chapter four, Paul is going start with a very smart and powerful example of a man who was made right with God by faith and not by works. Abraham.
Are any of you familiar with Abraham?
To the Jewish Nation, Abraham would have been considered the “father of the nation” for it was from him that the nation of Israel was birthed.
Now, since we are not Jewish, I will say that it is difficult to really see weight of Paul’s argument here, but to a Jew, what Paul is saying would totally go against what most of them believed about Abraham.
In verse two here, Paul says that “if Abraham was justified (or made right with God), based on his own works, he has something to boast about.”
So why would Paul even say this? The reason for this is because many Jews did believe that Abraham was justified by works.
Many Jews looked at Abraham as an incredible man of God, who kept the law before the law was even given, for God had not even given the law until over 400 years later.
Are any of you familiar with Abraham?
To the Jewish Nation, Abraham would have been considered the “father of the nation” for it was from him that the nation of Israel was birthed.
Now, since we are not Jewish, I will say that it is difficult to really see weight of Paul’s argument here, but to a Jew, what Paul is saying would totally
But today I want to help you guys understand a little more about this man Abraham. I want you guys to see that he was just an ordinary man like you or me, and he was far from perfect. But because of the graciousness of our God, Abraham was made righteous. I think looking at his life will be very encouraging for all of us today who are imperfect. And I’m pretty sure that’s all of us.
So I’m not going to read through the entire account of Abraham’s life, but I would encourage you guys to go back later and read through -23
But the beginning of it all is really in
Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abraham was not originally called Abraham.
So Abraham was not originally called Abraham.
His name name was originally called Abram, which in the Hebrew language means “exalted father,” and then later in Abram’s life, God changed his name to “Abraham,” which means “Father of a Multitude.” Names were very significant in early Hebrew culture, and at many times were given to children to describe the type of person that they would eventually be, or what they would accomplish with their lives. That was definitely the case with Abraham.
To us it seems funny that Abraham means “father of a multitude” because for most of Abraham’s life, he was childless. It actually wasn’t until he was a hundred years old when him and his wife finally had their son Isaac.
But this just shows how amazing our God is. God can see the future perfectly, and he knew that Abraham would in fact become the father of a multitude, which we know of today as Israel, and so he could speak this way about him.
And on that note, did you know that the promises in the Bible work the same way in our lives?
God has given us thousands of promises in His Word, and though we might not be experiencing those promises now, God knows the future and he knows that those things are going to happen in our lives, so he can speak those things now as if they have already happened.
There is a great example of this in Romans chapter 8:30, when it says that “those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.”
I can understand that God has called me. I am walking with the Lord today. I can understand that he has justified me, because I have put my faith in Jesus Christ. But it goes on here to say that he also glorified me. Now that one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you think about it. I’m not in heaven yet. I still live in a fallen body. But God is so sure of the promise that I will be in heaven with him that he can speak of it as if it is already a reality. That’s amazing.
This is the case in Abraham’s life.
God was so sure of the promise to Abraham that he would become the father of the nation of Israel, that he could speak about it generations before it would actually happen.
But here’s my question for us to think about today.
Did God fulfill this promise to Abraham because he was such a faithful servant of God?
Did God look at Abraham and see something so special about him that he wanted to do this amazing work in his life?
No. This is why God did it.
God did it because he chose to do it. Simply that.
There was nothing special about Abraham. He was a man just like you and me.
In fact, if you look at the life of Abraham in , you see some times when Abraham acted in faith and obeyed God, but you also see times when Abraham totally sinned and disobeyed God.
But God had a mission to accomplish through Abraham that he had promised all the way back in Genesis chapter 3:15
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
God promised that a certain man would eventually come into the world and defeat Satan, the serpent who deceived Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
God promised in that he was going to defeat Satan through a
God made a promise
And God chose this man Abraham to be the vessel in which he finally brought this man into the earth.
He said to Satan, the serpent who deceived them,
Genesis 3:15 ESV
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
So what was Abraham’s part in all of this?
Genesis 15:1–6 ESV
After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
Genesis 15:1-
So the name Abraham just means “Father of a multitude”
Genesis 12:1–3 ESV
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
So Abraham was called by God to leave
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