Book of Romans Part 5

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3.13.16 (2)

Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls: I’m preaching this Sunday on THE BOOK OF ROMANS

Join with me now as I give you an exposition on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Today’s Text is Chapter 4. This is Part 5.

In chapter four, the Apostle Paul defends his principle on justification by gleaning it from the Old Testament Scriptures. He shows that it was a well-established principle in God's dealings with men as far back as Abraham. So this was not some novel idea the apostle had just invented. Furthermore, it was in operation prior to the Mosaic Law, so it is not dependent upon legal observance. In verse 3, we see Abraham was justified (see Genesis 15:6) and righteousness was 'credited' to him on the basis of grace (chapter 4 verses 4-5). In other words, according to R. C. Sproul, Abraham was reckoned or considered by God to be righteous, not because of any righteous deeds that Abraham had performed, but simply because he believed the promise. It was the promise from God to give Abraham a son (even in his old age), upon which He indeed delivered.

"Isaac, meaning laughter, was born to Abraham and Sarah. The son and heir of Abraham and Sarah was born in Beer-sheba when his father was about one hundred years old and his mother about ninety (see Genesis 17:17; 21:2 - 3; and 22:1 - 2). As Kathrine Harris has stated, “When God made His covenant (promise) with Abraham, He promised that a great nation would be descended from Abraham and Sarah (see Genesis 13:16; 15:4 - 6)”.

Another example of justification by grace is found in David. He was not only devoid of the works of righteousness, but loaded down with sins of adultery and murder. You might remember the horrific sin that David committed with Bathsheba, then the crime of murder with her husband. Yet, out of this terrible plight, he could claim forgiveness because he was justified by faith (see Psalm 32:1-2). As a matter of fact, in verses 9-12, we find that Abraham was justified by faith, not by religious rites, and that was before he was circumcised. His circumcision was indicative of the acceptance with God he already enjoyed. Then, because of the acceptance with God, he might become the father of all who believe. So, in verses 13-25, we see that Abraham was justified by faith and not by legal observances. The promise that was given to Abraham was given long before the giving of the law. This was necessary because of the intent and effect of the law (verses 14-15).

What Paul was trying to explain was that indeed it is true that Abraham was justified because of his faith, but if God had never given any law, there would be no transgression. Since it is the law by which we are judged, it is the law to which we are accountable. That's because when we break the law, we sin against the one whose law it is. But that leads to the question of whose law is it? Is it legislative law or God's law? And, is it the law itself, or is it to the one who enforces that law which passes the judgment for violation of the law? In this case, we are looking at the law of God and Abraham. Now if God had never given any law, there would be no transgression. It is the law that reveals our sin and reveals our falling short of God's glory. If we seek to become justified in our salvation according to the law, we have become foolish in our thinking. That's because the only consequence of that law for us is exposure to God's judgment. So here Paul was pointing out that just as Abraham was accounted justified before the law was given, it is by our faith that we are justified, through Christ.

You see, the law was delivered to one nation, but the promise of faith through Abraham extends to all (verses 16 -21). Because of Abraham's faith, Isaac was born even though Sarah, his wife, was well past child-bearing age. Through Isaac came Christ who became our Justifier, who was delivered up because of our transgressions and raised to life for our justification (verse 25). His resurrection, ascension and present intercession at God's right hand are the proof that our sins are remitted. When we accept by faith and confess with our mouth that Jesus is the Christ, God's Son, who took the punishment for our sins, we can stand justified, fully acquitted in Him, before God. And that is only possible because the life and work of Jesus Christ is completely and forever accepted by the Father.

Now, there are some who go to church every time the church doors open. There are some who give a lot of time, talent and money to their church. There are some who are involved in their church because it’s “a family thing”. There are some who go to church because grandma and grandpa, and mom and dad always went. Some people think that just because they are baptized as a baby “into the faith”, or do enough good deeds, or treat people all their life with love, they will be accepted into heaven. But none of these things will justify your acquittal of sin nor will they be justification enough for God to accept you into His heaven.

Jesus Christ is our ONLY justification for God’s acceptance of us.

It is through Jesus and no one else that we are justified. For God will not accept anything else, not even one who might completely follow all the law, but reject His Son. So, if you are trying to earn your way to heaven, or trying to do enough good things that you think just might get you a ticket through the pearly gates of heaven, you need to stop! Your good deeds are worth nothing, if you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior. And you can do that right now. For the Scriptures tell us in Romans 10:13, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Have you called upon the name of the Lord? Are you saved from the sin that will separate you from God for all eternity? Are you saved today from being cast into the eternal lake of fire? Quit trying to earn your way to heaven and accept God’s gift of justification through Jesus Christ. Turn to Jesus, repent from your sin and be saved. Live forgiven and forevermore in the righteousness and justification that only Jesus Christ can give.

I’m Dr. Robby sharing His Word, His Work, His Way