2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast aboutbut not before God. Rather, justification is by faith alone, apart from works, from start to finish (Calvins Commentaries [Baker], 1:408-409). Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Romans 1:1-7 EXEGESIS: ROMANS 1:1-7. Pauls what then links chapter 4 to what Paul has been saying in the first three chapters where Paul established: the reality of human guilt (1:18-32); Romans 4. Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6. 3 For what does the Scripture say? Grace abounds so that it might reign over abundant trespasses (Romans 5:21). You do not understand Gods grace. Its a short step from there to believing that any person who follows Abrahams example of obeying God will be accepted by God. But such boasting is foolish, because were really just one bug boasting to another bug. Rather, you believe Gods promise to declare righteous any sinner who trusts in Jesus and His shed blood as the propitiation for his sins (3:25). 4. However, this does not mean that, in the absence of the law, there is no sin or accountability for sin. Who can boast of personal holiness in the presence of Gods holiness? Paul first demonstrates this truth in the life of Abraham (4:1-3). ), The Lectionary Commentary: The Second Readings: Acts and the Epistles (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001), Briscoe, D. Stuart, The Preachers Commentary: Romans, Vol. From 1977-1992 he was the pastor of Lake Gregory Community Church in Crestline, California. Christs substitutionary death paid the just penalty for the sins of those who will trust in Him (3:25). Romans 5 - NIV: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. Finally (4:23-25), Paul applies the lessons of Abrahams faith to his readers. She writes: Several years ago in Peru, during the insurgence of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path), a Wycliffe couple was travelling to show the film in a village. But the chaplain shares that if he will believe in Jesus Christ, who died for the ungodly, God will forgive all his sins and credit Christs righteousness to his account. 29 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982), Craddock, Fred B.; Hayes, John H.; Holladay, Carl R.; and Tucker, Gene M., Preaching Through the Christian Year, A (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, 1992), Dunn, James D. G., Word Biblical Commentary: Romans 1-8, Vol. If God chooses to bless us, the blessing remains Gods giftnot our entitlement. The New Perspective on Paul also argues that the Reformers misinterpreted Paul regarding this doctrine. He does not say that God justifies the godly (those who are righteous by their own merit), but that God justifies the ungodly. Abraham Justified by Faith. He also refers to Genesis 17:5, where God promised that Abraham would be the father of many nations (4:17), and concludes that descent from Abraham includes all of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (4:16). Thus many Jews assumed that Abraham was right with God, at least in part, because of his life of obedience. Romans 5:12 - Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread - Verse-by-Verse Commentary Hi, as usually explained, means nothing else. Let me draw out four implications of this astounding truth: Paul clearly spells it out, to the one who does not work. If you try to blend your works with Gods grace, you muddy the waters of pure grace. He thus reveals the broad scope of Gods relationship with humans. You do not understand His grace. Faith means trusting Jesus to be your advocate in court, to plead His shed blood in your case before the bench of Gods justice. Romans 4 presents evidence drawn from the Law of Moses, Genesis Deuteronomy, for the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. Go To Romans Index . Copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Roman Forum, most important forum in ancient Rome, situated on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. God has convicted him of his terrible sins, so that he despairs about dying and facing God. Abraham knew that through his seed, blessing would come to all the families of the earth (12:3). The idea is that of necessary but not sufficient. Our faith is necessary for salvation, but not sufficient to effect it. the righteous judgment of God (2:1-16); In our day, the unity movement has sought to break down any divisions between Protestants and Catholics by advocating that we come together where we agree and set aside the things that divide us, including this doctrine. In a certain correspondence with philosopher Bertrand Russell, author Joseph Conrad lamented the following: I have never been able to find in any mans book or in any mans talk anything convincing enough to stand up for a moment against my defeated sense of fatality governing this man-inhabited worldThe only remedy for Chinamen [referring to the problems in China] and for the rest of us is the change of hearts. ), which the WEB has updated. Verse 2 explains (for) verse 1, For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. Most commentators understand the last phrase to mean, When Gods viewpoint is considered, Abraham has no right to boast at all (Moo, p. 261). 2 Therefore you have f no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. He explained (ibid. But looking at the last 2,000 years there is not much reason to expect that thing, even The Book of Romans tells how God can save the whole person: body, soul and spirit. However, Paul has already stated that God is the God of Gentiles also, since he will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith (3:29-30). (ed. Paul does not say that our faith makes us righteous, but that faith is accounted for righteousnesswhich is to say that God, seeing our faith, credits our account to wipe out our insolvencyfreeing us of debtGods grace undoing our unrighteousness. This document has been generated from XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) source with RenderX XEP Formatter, version 3.7.3 Client Academic. We need Christs perfect righteousness credited to our account. Our faith, then, does not save us but simply permits us access to the gift of saving grace. The name Paul means little. Do these two stories grate on your soul? The instant we believe in Jesus, God bangs the gavel and declares, Not guilty! But He not only removes our sin and guilt. When you work and your boss pays you, he isnt doing you a favor. God justifies us as a gift through faith (3:24). You thought, did you not, that salvation was for the good, that Gods grace was for the pure and holy, who are free from sin? If the president decides to recognize a citizens contribution, the initiative is the presidents and the audience with the president is a gift. Come to Jesus, crucified for sinners! It brings to light not our worthiness, but our unworthiness. It was common for letters to begin with the name of the person writing the letter and the 38A (Dallas: Word Books, 1988), Gaventa, Beverly R. in Brueggemann, Walter; Cousar, Charles B.; Gaventa, Beverly R.; and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV Year A (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995), Knox, John and Cragg, Gerald R., The Interpreters Bible: Acts and Romans, Vol. A faithful Catholic nun spends her life working in a slum in a poor country, feeding the poor, ministering to the sick and dying, and caring for the orphans. The passage in Genesis raises the question, What did Abraham believe and why did God credit it to him for righteousness then? We know that he had believed God previously, when he left Ur and set out for Canaan (Heb. Come with all of your sin. But that was not Gods way. Now, to demonstrate that what he is saying is no innovation, Paul uses Abraham, the great forefather of Judaism, as an example of what he is saying. Paul must have said, God justifies the one who tries to do his best. 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, youre still working. 5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we  have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. For him to say that Abraham is the father of us all is quite radical. 1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? Paul was also known as Saul. As I explained, I understand Romans 7:14-25 to refer primarily to immature believers who have not learned of their new identity in Christ. In All of Grace [Ages Software], C. H. Spurgeon wrote about Romans 4:5. Their families mourn the tragic loss of their daughters. He knows that he deserves eternal torment in hell. To receive the promise via the law would be to earn it, thus making faith unnecessary and the promise irrelevant (see vv. If you see yourself as better than notorious sinners and thus somehow more deserving of salvation, you cant be justified. Romans 5:6-8 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly Joshua 24:2 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods. The artist needed him as a poor beggar and he was not invited in any other capacity. Grace is Gods unmerited favor toward humanity and especially his people, realized through the covenant and fulfilled through Jesus Christ (Myers, 437). 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