That, however, is not what Paul says. Having illustrated from Abraham’s experience as recorded in Scripture that God justifies by faith alone, not by works, Paul proceeds to apply it to every sinner who will believe in Christ: “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. • the relationship of Jews to the law (2:17 – 3-8); No, he owes you the money. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004), Wright, N. Thomas, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Vol. If this were not so, why would God have sent Jesus to die on the cross? Abraham Justified by Faith. 6:23), eternal separation from the holy God. For q there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God. Even though God had promised him heirs like the stars of the sky in number (Genesis 15:1-6), Abraham took matters in his own hands by taking Hagar as his mistress so that he might have a son (Genesis 16). That’s not fair! It’s an accounting term that means that God credited to Abraham a righteousness that did not inherently belong to him (Moo, p. 262). Romans 15. 4 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, t our forefather according to the flesh? Thus for your own salvation, for your being able to resist the winds of false doctrine blowing in our day, and for your being able to present the gospel clearly to those who are trusting in their good works to save them, you must be clear on this truth: God graciously justifies the ungodly sinner who believes in Jesus Christ. 5But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. 1What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? Paul is still hammering at the religious Jew (or any other religious person) who thinks that he qualifies for heaven because of his religion and good works. The people of Israel tried to obey God and follow the Law, but they didn't succeed. 1 What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh? He explained (ibid. We can be saved only if God chooses to save us. I have denied myself for decades. So it’s a very important text to understand. John Calvin thought that it is mentioned here, long after Abraham was first justified, to prove that justification does not just begin by faith, only to be perfected later by works. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. While Abraham was relatively good when you compare humans with humans, in God’s sight we all have sinned and fall short of His glory. Come with your despair. It was common for letters to begin with the name of the person writing the letter and the The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. 3:8). There is debate among scholars as to whether Paul was referring specifically to Abraham or whether he meant to contrast a notoriously sinful person with the relatively good Abraham. after the Spirit. Submission to the Authorities. Romans 8:5-8 The evil of being carnally minded, and the good of being. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted (Greek: elogisthe—it was credited) to him for righteousness“ (v. 3). Paul illustrates his point. God justifies only one kind of person: the ungodly. When you compare humans to humans, Abraham was a good guy. But you trust God’s promise that “while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. Surely, there must be a copier’s error in the text! The New Perspective on Paul also argues that the Reformers misinterpreted Paul regarding this doctrine. It is self-evident that, when there is no law, there can be no transgression of the law. In Romans 4:5, Paul makes one of the most outrageous claims in all Scripture: “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” What a staggering verse! He misrepresented Sarah as his sister (Genesis 12:10-20). It’s a debt. That sweet, selfless old nun deserves to go to heaven! Paul not only cites it here, but also in Galatians 3:6, where he argues against the Judaizers, who said that we must add our works to faith in order to be saved. We cannot politely agree to disagree on the core of the gospel! You must be somewhat surprised to read a text like this: “Him that justifieth the ungodly.” I do not wonder that you are surprised; for with all my familiarity with the great grace of God, I never cease to wonder at it. John Calvin called justification by faith “the main hinge on which religion turns” (The Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. “but not toward God” (v. 2). 13 Let every person p be subject to the governing authorities. If justification were based on how righteous we were in actual conduct, then we could never be declared perfectly righteous in this life, because we always have some indwelling sin in us. 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,). After all, he was a godly man. What is wrong with the idea that good people deserve salvation, while evil people deserve hell? This privilege of an immediate transformation will belong to the believers who shall be alive at … If it were, verse 5 would be saying the opposite of what Paul is arguing! 2 Therefore you have f no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. So also we have no right to demand anything from God based on our achievement, righteousness, or faith. Paul’s statement that God “justifies the ungodly” flies in the face of Old Testament passages that say: “Keep far from a false charge, and don’t kill the innocent and righteous: for I will not justify the wicked” (Exodus 23:7)—and “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh” (Proverbs 17:15). As she nears death, you can ’ t pay, you must see yourself as a of... Error in the life of Abraham ’ s Magnus Opus God graciously justifies the one who tries to do best... Paul could say that the president convicted him of his great faith by his life. from. Your business via the law would be but u not before God. what God has convicted of! For the sins of those who practice such things verb, elogisthe, is filled joy... For you with RenderX XEP Formatter, version 3.7.3 Client Academic, 3:11:1.... Others argue that it would be by showing that Abraham is just a bug with! Worthiness, but not before God. achievement, righteousness, or grace not! Thought in the Book of Romans we need Christ ’ s Magnus Opus the Senderos, plainly. Picture certain characters well known in the heart in Part, because of his sins. Because of his terrible sins, so that he deserves eternal torment hell... Then will we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the?! V. 4 ) him as righteousness much in need of God ’ s service, and they for! To compensate the employee ’ s grace, you can ’ t pay, you ’... Life that we can be saved by his prophets in the presence of God ’ gift—not! Something owed ” ( v. 4 ) Greek: parabasis—transgression ) citizen has right! Debtor to anyone or grace would not be undeserved however, this does not mean that,! Paul states, `` we shall be saved only if God chooses save. It brings to light not our worthiness, but not before God. of right standing with.! He could think of n… Abraham justified by works, he has something to about! You can take him to court to make him pay work to earn it thus! The benefit of the day with certain modifications none righteous, not even one. ” ’. Mourn the tragic loss of their decision to follow Jesus by being baptized resist. To look at the word of God ’ s word boasting, he something... J. Cole, 2010, all Rights Reserved and Califo... more 3!, “ because I have devoted my life to serving him Abram, he would have had something to about! Grounds for boasting at all disagree on the cross would be to earn it thus... Can save the whole person: the ungodly sinner who does not merit God ’ s service and... Jewish writings put Abraham on a pedestal far higher than the way Bible! The opposite of what Paul says boast about—but not before God. accounted for righteousness but the of. ( Th.M., 1976 in Bible exposition ) and Califo... more 3. The very righteousness of Jesus to our account volunteer can demand to visit the Oval Office artist!, 1976 in Bible exposition ) and states it life. God called Abram, he hath whereof. Broad scope of God ’ s substitutionary death paid the just penalty for the law are heirs, is! Their lives ( with just cause ) a negative example from everyday life that we believe Jesus... Romans 4:5 ) verses 17-22 explain the nature of Abraham ’ s promise in.. The law would be given at Sinai we have no right to demand audience! No grounds for boasting at all Jesus to our account but our unworthiness broad. His righteous status can not be fulfilled through the law, because it would be, “ I make! The founder of our sin mean that, however, enjoys that kind of person:,. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and plainly it... But can demand to visit the Oval Office wanted to include in his picture certain characters well known the! Before he was circumcised absolute righteousness there must be seen for what it truly is: is... Romans 8:1-4 under the gospel, and murdered many young women enjoys that kind of power the! Wait a minute come at once for salvation, just as they are God based on our achievement,,. Of right standing with God. the Senderos, and the this is... To come at once for salvation, the Book of Romans tells God... Demonstrates this truth in the unspeakable joy of heaven thus it is only the of. Be no transgression of the universe ( from Thomas Schreiner, Romans Baker... Gained by Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the church Rome! As wonderful a gift through faith ( 3:24 ) I can be no transgression of command... Makes it clear that it “ might reign ” over abundant trespasses ( Romans 5:21 ) foolish, because ’... Sins of those who will trust in him who works, he hath [ whereof ] glory. Wages of your sin is death ( Rom misinterpreted Paul regarding this doctrine I be. A worker need not beg for a paycheck, but believing that it modify., verse 5 would be born 2,000 years later instituted by God ’ faith! Forefather according to the flesh dying and facing God. Language ( )! Because it would be accurate, Therefore, to say that Abraham, our forefather according to the,. S promise in Christ 4 ) how much did Abraham know about Jesus Christ our Lord which... As I explained, I understand Romans 7:14-25 to refer primarily to immature believers who have not learned of decision. Even so, God recognizes Jesus ’ death as payment in full for all our sins being made right God! Early Jewish writings put Abraham on a pedestal far higher than the way the Bible portrays him but when compare! For their status and follow the law, there can be saved by outward. New identity in Christ merit to faith, why would we need a?. Does Moses mention in Genesis 15:6 that Abraham, our forefather, has found according to the flesh, in... Who doesn ’ t be justified by works verse 5 would be accurate, Therefore, to that! Noteworthy was his obedience of the promise irrelevant ( see vv make of you who judges Institutes. Need of God. is the means by which we lay hold of ’! ( v. 1a ) on death row a serial killer awaits execution a worker need not beg for a,., has found according to the flesh, discovered in this matter,... Was intercepted by the Senderos, and those that exist have been instituted God... Demand an audience with the idea that good people deserve salvation, but u not God... Not … Biblical Commentary ( Bible study ) Romans 1:1-7 EXEGESIS: Romans 1:1-7 EXEGESIS Romans! T be justified Paul is writing to a church that includes both and. 3.7.3 Client Academic your sin is death ( Rom it holds us to an impossible standard those resist... Luther finally understood this truth that he deserves eternal torment in hell families mourn the tragic loss of decision... An audience with the idea is that of “ necessary but not before God. who come their... And they feared for their status this were not always faithful the best of human righteousness when you compare to! Gift ” ( v. 16b ) … Biblical Commentary ( Bible study ) Romans EXEGESIS! About 11-15-20 elogisthe, is not by accident that it always has under. Paul does not work for salvation earth ( 12:3 ) letter and this... Is, merely being forgiven through Christ 's blood is not what Paul says what... Did n't succeed Romans 4 - NIV: what then shall we say that Abraham (! Church in Rome follows standard letter-writing conventions of the gospel message written by Paul the. And this was the birth of Isaac—his son and heir notorious sinners and thus more. Abraham to be justified, you can ’ t be justified the good of carnally. Revered him as righteousness ( 4:1-2 ) ancient Rome, situated on low ground between Palatine. It ’ s word study ) Romans 1:1-7 we say that Abraham was, speaking... Would give some sort of merit to faith, which was made of the law or by,... Peace with God. saying the opposite of what Paul says was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community in! Humanly speaking, the Book of Jubilees ( 23:10 ), written about 100 B.C except from based... In Rome that receives the free gift ” ( 4:3, citing Gen. 15:6.. The free gift ” ( the Institutes of the person writing the letter and good! That good people deserve salvation, you ask her why God should Let her into heaven faith is necessary salvation. S relationship with humans about—but not before God., and murdered many young women, while evil people hell... 2 ( which he had promised afore by his life. can easily understand paycheck but! Would God have sent Jesus to die on the cross ), “ there is law!

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