verses for this week: 1
Th 4:7 For God hath not
called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 1 Th 4:8
He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who
hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
Last week, in the
chapter 3, Paul showed clearly that we all inherit the nature of
Adam, and can only reconciled
to God by turning to Christ for salvation.
It is wholly of grace, not of works on our part.
Abrahamís Faith and its Significance
Rom 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining
to the flesh, hath found?
Rom 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to
glory; but not before God.
Abrahamís faith is what made him acceptable to God, not his
works. Pertaining to
the flesh, Abraham never found anything that would render his works
acceptable unto God. It
has been an age old problem about man wanting to be justified by the
works of our hands. Cainís offering, which God rejected, was a type of
works for salvation. Adam
had no doubt taught his sons to bring a blood offering to God, but
Cain brought the fruits of his hands.
4:1 And Adam knew Eve
his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten
a man from the LORD.
4:2 And she again bare
his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a
tiller of the ground.
4:3 And in process of
time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground
an offering unto the LORD.
4:4 And Abel, he also
brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And
the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
4:5 But unto Cain and
to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his
The rich young man who came to Christ desired to do something
to justify himself before God.
10:17 And when he was
gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him,
and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit
10:18 And Jesus said
unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that
10:19 Thou knowest the
commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do
not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
10:20 And he answered
and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
10:21 Then Jesus
beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest:
go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and
thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and
10:22 And he was sad at
that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
7:21 Not every one that
saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to
me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and
in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
7:23 And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
At the judgment, many will claim that their good works should
be enough to save them. But
the Lord will tell them ďI never knew youĒ which indicates that
they never experienced salvation by coming to Christ in this life.
In verse 2, the bible tells us that if Abraham had been
justified by works he might be able to glory, but he can not.
Salvation is of the Lord, and our acceptance of Christ is
what is required from God. We
find in Genesis that Abraham was justified by faith when he believed
15:6 And he believed in
the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
In the book of James, it says that Abraham was justified by
works when he was willing to offer Isaac as a sacrifice.
2:21 Was not Abraham
our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son
upon the altar?
2:22 Seest thou how
faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
2:23 And the scripture
was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed
unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
2:24 Ye see then how
that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
The record described here in James came 41 years after
Abraham was justified by faith.
From this book, it makes our teaching clear that a man is
justified (saved) by faith when he receives (believes in) Christ as
his or her personal savior. A
saved person is then justified by his works when he does what God
commands him to do. No one can justify themselves before God with their
works. They must first
know Christ, and then do the works as we work out our salvation.
Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it
was counted unto him for righteousness.
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace,
but of debt.
Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Paul asked what Godís word had to say about the
justification of Abraham.
He answers in verse 3 with ďAbraham believed God.Ē
Just like the Philippian jailer over in Acts Chapter 16.
16:30 And brought them
out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
16:31 And they said,
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy
In verses 4 and 5, Paul explains that if a person was saved
because of his good works, then
salvation would be a reward and not a free gift. Since it cannot be obtained by works, it is a free gift from
God. We do the works of
God because of what He has done for us, not in order to pay the debt
of our sin. Jesus paid
the sin debt when He died on Calvary.
6:23 For the wages of
sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus
Christ our Lord.
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man,
unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Rom 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and
whose sins are covered.
Rom 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
God does not impute (or charge) us with our sin when we know
Christ as Savior.
32:1 A Psalm of David,
Maschil. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is
32:2 Blessed is the man
unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there
is no guile.
Salvation is Independent of Ordinances
Rom 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or
upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to
Abraham for righteousness.
Rom 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in
uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
Rom 4:11 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 unto them also:
Rom 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the
circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of
our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
We see that all received the blessings of God concerning
forgiveness of sin whether they were circumcised or not.
Righteousness was reckoned to Abraham while he was yet still
had no saving power but was but a sign.
The sign of the covenant God made with Abraham.
17:9 And God said unto
Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed
after thee in their generations.
17:10 This is my
covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after
thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
17:11 And ye shall
circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of
the covenant betwixt me and you.
17:12 And he that is
eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in
your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money
of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
17:13 He that is born
in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be
circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an
17:14 And the
uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not
circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath
broken my covenant.
The question of circumcision and following the law for
salvation before the apostles in Jerusalem.
15:1 And certain men
which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye
be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.
15:2 When therefore
Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them,
they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them,
should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this
15:10 Now therefore why
tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which
neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
15:11 But we believe
that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved,
even as they.
Heirs by Faith Only
Rom 4:13 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.
Rom 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made
void, and the promise made of none effect:
Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is
J. Vernon McGee had these comments concerning Abrahamís
justification by faith. ďThe
argument now returns to Abraham to illustrate that justification is
universal. Since David
has spoken of the joy of the man under the law who has been
forgiven, the answer of the Jew would be that David belonged to the
circumcision and only the circumcision could expect this joy.
For this reason, Paul returns to show that Abraham was
justified before the Law was given and also before he was
circumcised. God made
the promise to him, and he believed God long before there was any
kind of agreement made at allóother than that God said He would do
it. Abraham believed
the Word of God.Ē
By this, we can conclude that any who seek to be saved by
their works make void the faith in Christ.
In other words, if once could be justified by works, faith
would not really be needed since it would become void and of none
effect. But as verse 15
shows, there is no law that can bring salvation.
The law is our schoolmaster to show us our sin, and no
righteousness has ever come by the law.
The law was given to condemn us, not to save us.
Abraham, the Father of all Believers
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,
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many
nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the
dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the
father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall
thy seed be.
a person belongs to Christ, then he is Abrahamís seed and an heir.
And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs
according to the promise.
we are Abrahamís seed, we should do the works of Abraham.
They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus
saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the
works of Abraham.
are some of the works of Abraham that we should also do.
walked by faith.
was a tither.
was a peacemaker.
of these works are things we should strive to do also.
And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body
now dead, when he was about an hundred 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.
And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was
imputed to him;
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe
on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
was a man strong in faith who did not stagger at the promises of
God. No matter how
impossible Godís promises may have seemed, he simply believed God
with unwavering faith. Those
instances of faith are here in the word of God to encourage us.
Raised for our Justification
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for
died for our sins and was raised for our justification.
If Christ did not rise from the death bed, we are of all men
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ
died for the ungodly..
1 Cor 15:17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet
in your sins.
1 Cor 15:18
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are
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But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
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