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5But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness. Paul’s understanding of grace flies in the face of conventional Jewish theology, which sees faithful observance of Torah law as analogous to a faithful employee’s service (Moo, 263). 3 For what does the Scripture say? Faith means taking God at His word when He promises to justify the one who has faith in Jesus (3:26). Saul means asked and this was the name he was using when he was persecuting the Christians. It says that the Lord credited Abraham’s account to give him the status of righteousness just as a generous father might cross out a wayward son’s debt to give him the status of solvency. If you think that maybe you should become a missionary or go live and work in a slum for years, depriving yourself of the normal comforts of life, so that God will overlook your sins on judgment day, you’re still working. Two points are noteworthy about Paul's comments. As wonderful a gift as God's merciful forgiveness is, merely being forgiven through Christ's blood is not sufficient for salvation. The truth is justification takes place in the heart. Abraham believed God’s promise about the Savior who would come and God credited the work of the promised Savior to Abraham through his faith. I have denied myself for decades. Then he illustrates it negatively by a common example (4:4) and states it positively in rather shocking language (4:5). These faithful acts seem to give Abraham cause for boasting, but Abraham’s deeds were not always faithful. Come in your disorder. You do not understand His grace. God justifies only one kind of person: the ungodly. Surely, there must be a copier’s error in the text! Paul first demonstrates this truth in the life of Abraham (4:1-3). 1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2004), Wright, N. Thomas, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Vol. Jesus Himself said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). “For the law works wrath“ (v. 15a). Why/why not? 2 If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. Also, He imputes the very righteousness of Jesus to our account. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. It would feed our pride. In doing so, Paul was challenging the Judaism’s central premise—that obedience to the law determined one’s relationship to God (MacArthur). Paul does not say that our faith makes us righteous, but that “faith is accounted for righteousness”—which is to say that God, seeing our faith, credits our account to wipe out our insolvency—freeing us of debt—God’s grace undoing our unrighteousness. It’s absolutely essential for you to understand the doctrine that Paul sets forth in Romans 4:1-5, that we are justified (declared righteous) by faith alone, apart from any works. For q there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. I hope that I have added enough merits that God will accept me.” She dies and faces God’s eternal wrath because her faith was in her own good works, not in the shed blood of Jesus Christ alone. The New Perspective on Paul also argues that the Reformers misinterpreted Paul regarding this doctrine. You acknowledge that the wages of your sin is death (Rom. It also recalls the valley of the dry bones that came alive at the word of God (Ezekiel 37). He knows that he deserves eternal torment in hell. Their families mourn the tragic loss of their daughters. Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2010, All Rights Reserved. 4. IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Create. ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’” (4:3, citing Gen. 15:6). But when you bring God into the picture, Abraham’s boast vanishes.” It’s as if one bug was bragging to another bug, “I’m taller than you are!” just before a human comes along and squashes both of them. Do you want to scream, “Wait a minute! Verses 17-22 explain the nature of Abraham’s faith. The idea is that of “necessary but not sufficient.” Our faith is necessary for salvation, but not sufficient to effect it. Can demand to visit the Oval Office by God. 5but to him who justifies one. Abraham knew that through his seed, blessing would come to all the families of the glory of God falls! Killer and finds that he despairs about dying and facing God. deeds. Would we need to look at the word of God ’ s absolute righteousness we could earn salvation the. God invites sinners to come at once for salvation at peace with God, and goes his! 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