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Romans 4

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Romans for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron Beckham

Romans Chapter 4

Verse 1.  “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?”

In Romans 3, Paul said we are saved (made right) with God through “faith” (trusting God); NOT by just doing good things (Romans 3:28).  He now asks: How was ABRAHAM made right in God’s sight? (See Genesis 12 & forward).

Verse 2.  “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.”

If Abraham was made right by doing good, he could have bragged about it.  But God would not be impressed – we can only be “justified” (saved) by trusting (having faith) in the Lord.

Verse 3.  “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’”

Paul, who wrote the Book of Romans, now quotes Moses who wrote Genesis:  “Abraham BELIEVED (had faith in) God” and that was what made him righteous (Genesis 15:6).  Abraham was saved by believing in God.

Verse 4.  “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.”

God gives LIFE that lasts FOREVER to all who have FAITH in His Son, Jesus Christ.  We are supposed to do good; but good works by themselves don’t give us eternal life.

Verse 5.  “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,”

If all you do in life is believe in Jesus with all your heart, you will be saved and live with Him forever.

Verse 6.  “just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:”

Not only Abraham (verses 1-3), but King David also said that we are not made righteous (are not saved) by good works.  God’s blessings come to us when we have FAITH in Him.

Verse 7.  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.

Paul quotes David (Psalm 32:1-2): We are “blessed” (made happy) when we know God has FORGIVEN our bad (“lawless”) deeds.  Our sins are “covered” (hidden) by the blood of Jesus.  He was punished for what we have done..

Verse 8.  “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”

When you have faith in Jesus, the Lord no longer sees the bad things you have done.  We are all guilty (Romans 3:23, Isaiah 64:6), but He says we are NOT guilty if we believe in the Son of God.

Verse 9.  “Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, ‘Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.’”

“Circumcision” was given by God to mark the Jews as His special people.  The “uncircumcised” are non-Jews.  Abraham had faith and was made right in God’s sight BEFORE He was “circumcised.”

Verse 10.  “How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;”

Paul asks: WHEN did Abraham become right in God’s sight?  When are YOU made right?  Is it by circumcision?  By baptism?  By going to church a lot?  You are made RIGHT with God when you truly have FAITH in Him!

Verse 11.  “and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,”

Abraham was given circumcision as a mark, a sign that he already had faith in God.  He became the “father” (model) for us all, so we might see that we are saved by faith, not by works.

Verse 12.  “and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.”

Whether we are Jews (the “circumcision” - people of Israel) or Gentiles (non-Jews), we are made right with God ONLY through “faith” in the Lord.

Verse 13.  “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

We have been told about Abraham so we will see that we are saved (made right) not through keeping the “Law,” but by simple, pure “faith” in the Lord.

Verse 14.  “For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;”

Faith” in the Lord is the only way to be saved.  If there is any other way, then the way of “faith” would not be true.  But it is true.  Salvation is through faith alone.

Verse 15.  “for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.”

You can’t keep the “Law” – nobody can.  When you try to be saved by keeping the “Law,” it only brings God’s anger that you refused His offer of grace through faith.  If you have faith, you are not judged by His Law.

Verse 16.  “For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,”

You are saved by having “faith” (trusting) in God, because of His “grace,” His mercy.  This is so that ALL may be saved; not only the Jews, but everybody else, too.  Abraham’s faith showed us how to be made right with God.  He is the model, the “father” of us all.

Verse 17.  “(as it is written, ‘A father of many nations have I made you’) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”

The Lord told Abraham: “I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5) because the man had FAITH in God.  The promise was made when Abraham was too old to have any children.  God can do wonders in your life, even when it seems like it’s impossible.

Verse 18.  “In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’”

Abraham had hoped to have children and he was now too old, but he still had faith in God.  The Lord gave him children and much more.  Have faith in God – He will give you more than you ever expected.

Verse 19.  “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;”

Abraham still believed the promise of God that they would have children, even though he was over 100 years old and his wife, Sarah, could not have children.

Verse 20.  “yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,”

Abraham believed the promise God had placed into his heart, and his faith grew even stronger.  He praised (gave “glory to”) God, even though he had not yet seen God’s answer.

Verse 21.  “and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.”

If God places a promise into your mind and heart, trust in Him, even though it takes a long time and it seems impossible.  What God promises, He can (and WILL) DO!

Verse 22.  “Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness.”

This verse is a quote of Genesis 15:6.  Though Abraham KNEW he was humanly too old for the promise, he BELIEVED God anyway!  When YOU believe God, you are righteous in God’s sight.

Verse 23.  “Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,”

The people in the Bible are real people.  Their lives really happened just as it says.  But they were also like “parables” or “pictures” that help us understand what God wants from you and me.

Verse 24.  “but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,”

What God gave to Abraham is also a gift to YOU!  When you BELIEVE that God raised Jesus from the dead, your faith makes you “righteous” (good) in the sight of God.

Verse 25.  “He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was  raised because of our justification.”

Jesus died because of the bad things you and I have done.  He took the punishment for our sins on Himself.  He was raised back to life so we might see that we are given LIFE (saved) when we have FAITH in Him.

Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries
www.fridaystudy.org
ron@fridaystudy.org
 

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