The Book of Romans-Chapter 4

(1) What then shall we say that Abraham (Paul will use Abraham to present the case that faith involves obedience to the Word of God, and it is not based on the fact that one says that he “believes” without obeying the Torah, nor is it automatic for any descendant of Abraham), our forefather according to the flesh, has found (this is a pilpul again)? (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? “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned (put into his account because he trusted God) to him as righteousness.” (4)  Now to the one who works his wage is not reckoned (put into an account) as a favor but as what is due (earned, like wages). (5) But to the one who does not work, but believes (trusts) in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith (faith is trusting in God’s provision and then living according to his revealed will) is reckoned as righteousness, (6) just as David (who was saved by faith and he loved the Torah -Psa 119.97,113,163) also speaks of the blessing upon the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works (what Paul is contrasting here is not “Law versus Grace” as many teach today. God’s word is not going against his mercy, that is not found in the Scriptures. What Paul is against is “works righteousness” apart from faith. This is the same thing he tries to teach in Galatians and Colossians): (7) “Blessed are those whose lawless (contrary to the Torah. The same word used in Matt 7.23 and 2 Thes 2.7) deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered (8) blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.” (9) Is this the blessing then upon the circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness (before he was circumcised).” (10) How then was it reckoned? 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 uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be reckoned to them (God is the author of saving faith, Yeshua is the object of that faith and works is the fruit of that faith) (12)  and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision (Jews), but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised (Abrahamic circumcision means nothing without faith). (13) For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir to the world was not through the Torah, but through the righteousness of faith (there is not one way for Jews to be saved, and another way for Gentiles). (14) For if those who are under the Torah are heirs (apart from faith, based on pedigree or works), faith is made void (empty of meaning) and the promise nullified; (15) for the Torah brings about wrath (one aspect of the dual nature of the Torah), but where there is no law, neither is there violation ( or knowledge of any violation of it. But, the Torah was added so that we would know what sin is, that’s why the Torah is an act of God’s grace. He tells us what is killing us and it is a “sin detector.” But, he is not saying that those who do not have the Torah are innocent. He made that point clear in in previous chapters in that all have sinned, with or without, the Torah and have no excuse before God. But one who is justified by faith and not the Law, he is blameless before God. God did not see iniquity in Israel, even in the wilderness-Num 23.21- and David said he was blameless even after what he did-Psa 18.20-24. All this needs to be understood in the area of faith, and righteousness accounted to them by God). (16) For this reason, by faith (His righteousness is imputed to us by faith, which is a gift of grace from God) that in accordance with grace in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Torah, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham , who is the father of us all (who are of faith), (17) as it is written, ” a father of many nations have I made you” in the sight of him who he believed, God, who gives life (eternal life) to the dead (spiritually dead) and calls into being that which does not exist.  (18) In hope against hope he believed, in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken, “so shall your descendants be.” (19) And without becoming weak in faith, he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; (20) yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver (you just don’t decide to go in faith. We can’t just “work up” faith ourselves. Faith is created by God in us and built upon by him as we come to know him) in unbelief, but grew stronger in faith, giving glory to God (21) and being fully assured (knew) that what he had promised, he was able to perform. (22) Therefore (for this reason), also it (faith that was given by God) was reckoned to him as righteousness. (23) Now not for his sake only was it written (Moses wrote this for all believers), that “it was reckoned to him,” (24) but for our sake also, to whom it will be reckoned, as those who believe in him (God) who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead, (25) who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised (as proof) because of our justification.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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