Romans Chapter Four

The apostle Paul explains that Abraham was called the father of many nations
before the law was given, and that circumcision was the sign which showed that
he received this covenant with God (Romans 4:1-2) “what shall we say then that
Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found?  For if Abraham were
justified by works, he whereof to glory, but not before God.

The whole theme in the redemption which God provided for us, is that it is
accomplished only by the finished work of Jesus Christ.  Good news is that it is a
free gift which God gave to mankind, so that all could be restored to our original
state.

Abraham just like us cannot of our own deeds, because it was God’s grace that
sealed us (verses 3-5) “for what says the scripture?  Abraham believed God,
and it was counted to him for righteousness.  Now to him that works is the reward
not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that works not, but believes on
Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”.

Even though we are saved to do good works, everyone has to receive what
Jesus did by faith (verses 6-8) “even as David also describes the blessedness of
the man, to whom God imputes righteousness without works.  Saying, blessed
are they whose iniquites are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.  Blessed is
the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”.  Jesus paid the price for us and it
was credited to our account (II Corinthians 5:21) “for He (God the Father) has
made Him (Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be
made the righteousness of God in Him”.

The Jews and the Gentiles each has to come by faith, the Bible tells us many
times “the just shall live by faith” (verses 9-12) “comes this blessedness then
upon the circumcision only, or upon the un –circumcision also?  For we say that
faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.  How was it then reckoned?  
When he was in circumcision, or in un-circumcision?  Not in circumcision, but in
un-circumcision.  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 to them also.  And the father of circumcision to
them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of the
faith of our father Abraham; which he had being yet un-circumcised”.

God made a promise to Abraham and his seed, and we see that this includes us
who have received Jesus in Galatians 3:29 which says “and if you be Christ’s,
then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”.

Because Abraham is known as the father of us all (both the Jews – the
circumcision, and the Gentiles – the un-circumcision); the kindness of God
toward man is underserved favor (verses 13-16) “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.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith
is made void, and the promise made of none effect.  Because the law works
wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression.  Therefore it is of faith, that
it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to
that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who
is the father of us all”.

God told Abram in Genesis 12:7 that He would give the land of Canaan to him
and his seed. However Abram didn’t see it that way (Genesis 15:1-4) “after
these things the word of the Lord Yahweh came to Abram in a vision, saying,
fear not, Abram; I am your shield, and your exceeding great reward.  And Abram
said, Lord God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of
my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?  And Abram said, behold to me You have
given no seed; and lo, one born in my house is my heir.  And, behold, the word
of the Lord Yahweh came to him, saying, this shall not be your heir; but he that
shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir”.  At that time in the
natural Abram couldn’t see it, he let Sarai his wife convince him to go into her
maid, and she did conceive Ismeal, but he was not from God. God later told him
that he would have a child through Sarah his wife (Genesis 17:17).

The apostle Paul reveals that God knows the end at the beginning, He called it
done (verses 17-18) “as it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,
before Him whom he believed, even God, who makes alive the dead, and calls
those things which be not as though they were.  Who against hope believed in
hope that he might become the father of many; according to that which was
spoken, so shall your seed be”.

Abraham didn’t have great faith when he began with God, he made mistakes,
but Abraham became fully convinced (verses 19-21) “and being not weak in
faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a years old,
neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.  He staggered not at the promise of
God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.  And being
fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform”.

This is good news for us, because as we engulf ourselves in the word of God,
we too can become all that God have predestined us to be.  You see it is the
works of God that brings it to pass (Zechariah 4:6) “this is the word of the Lord
Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit,
says the Lord of hosts”.  And in Psalms 37:3-5 it says “trust in the Lord Yahweh,
and do good; so shall you dwell in the land, and verily you shall be fed.  Delight
yourself also in the Lord Yahweh, and He shall give you the desires of your
heart.  Commit your way to the Lord Yahweh; trust also in Him; and He shall
bring it to pass”.

Remember that our righteousness is given to us, as we read in II Corinthians 5:
21.  We see this written in (verses 22-23) “and therefore it was imputed to him
for righteousness.  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed
to him”.

Good news is that it was not for Abraham alone (verses 24-25) “but for us also,
to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord
from the dead.  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for
our justification”.  Jesus’ death burial and resurrection paid the price in full for all
mankind to be redeemed back to our heavenly Father, just like we were before
Adam’s fall.

Isaiah 53:3-5 says “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and
acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was
despised, and we esteemed Him not.  Surely He has borne our griefs, and
carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and
afflicted.  But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our
iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we
are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to
his own way; and the Lord Yahweh has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.

Study by:  Harriet Bond
Date: June 19, 2012
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