Romans 4:4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin."

 v4-5 Paul broadens the argument to include all men. If a man works to earn righteousness then a debt is owed by God to man, but as we saw in Eph 2:8-9 that salvation is a free gift given by a sovereign God in whom is supreme power and authority over all the world and universe.

He is contrasting faith with works and showing that faith must put an end to all attempts to earn salvation through works.

Justifies the ungodly .... only those who give up all claims of righteousness and acknowledge they are ungodly(sinners) are candidates for justification by God through faith.

Luke 5:32 "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."

David Justified by Faith v-6-8

v-6 Paul now turns to David for support of this argument of righteousness through faith alone, in Christ alone, by God's grace alone.

v-7-8 Psalm 32:1-2 read through v-5

This is a Psalm in which David is telling about the forgiveness of the sin which occurred in 2Sam 11. David coveted Bathsheba, then committed adultery with her and lastly murdered her husband Uriah.

2Sam 12:13 -14 So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die."

Each of these sins that David committed were by themselves worthy of the death penalty under the Law




Romans 4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh?  2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."

Chapters 4-7 in Romans are the key issues which face all believers

In Romans 3:21 and 3:28 Paul has stated God's position on how a man is saved and now in Romans 4:1-12 Paul uses two illustrations to prove it.

Abraham, Issac, and Jacob were regarded by the Jews as not having sinned against God

3 times Abraham is called God's friend:2 Chron 20:7, James 2:23 and

Isaiah 41:8  "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.

Charles Hodge points out that Abraham was the centerpiece of the Jews position of righteousness by works. He was known to them as the father of faith. He was believed to have kept the whole law. They even believed that the Torah or the Jewish law had been given before the foundation of the world for Abraham's sake.

1. Abraham Justified by Faith

V-1 John 8:39 They answered and said to Him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.

v- 2 If Justified by works he has something to boast about

Eph 2:4-10

1Corinth 1:26-31

The law was not given until the time of Moses...several hundred years later after Abraham's death

Gal 3:1 7 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

v-3 Abraham believed...

Gen 26:3-6 "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 4 "And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 "because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." 6 So Isaac dwelt in Gerar.

We know that Abraham lied twice about his wife Sarah

Genesis 20:2 Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

Gen 12:13  "Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you." To Pharoah in Egypt

Gen 15:4-6  And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." 5 Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 6 And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Accounted or imputed is a financial or legal word that means to take something that belongs to someone else and credit it to another's account. God took his own righteousness and credited it to Abraham as if it were his because Abraham believed. This word is used 9 times in chapter 4 alone.

What did Abraham believe?

1.     Went out not knowing where he was going Hebrews 11:8

2.     Promise of a son even though he and Sarah were past childbearing age.

3.     All nations will be blessed through Abraham  Gen 12:3

4.     Promises in Gen 22:18 of a blessing through a single descendant; Not just a son, but Jesus Christ

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.

John 8:56-58 "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 57  Then the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 58 Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."

5.     God could resurrect his son Issac through whom all the promises were given since he was an only child of Abraham and Sarah. Ishmael was born of Hagar his handmaid and is the ancestor of all the Arabs who constantly cause Israel trouble today.

Genesis 22:9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." 12 And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."



Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

 The worldly spirit of self-ism is perhaps the major reason most Christians are not aggressive in witnessing to the lost. It is the reason the church, for the most part, is not moving out into the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Christian who is primarily concerned about his own comfort and blessings, even his spiritual blessings, does not have his focus on God. Consequently, his life will not be directed toward fulfilling God’s Great Commission.

In the summer of 1865, Hudson Taylor became tremendously burdened for the land of China. His biographer reports that he also became greatly troubled about the church he was attending in Brighton, England. As he looked around the congregation he saw pew upon pew of prosperous bearded merchants, shopkeepers, visitors; demure wives in bonnets and crinolines, scrubbed children trained to hide their impatience; the atmosphere of smug piety sickened him. He seized his hat and left.

“Unable to bear the sight of a congregation of a thousand or more Christian people rejoicing in their own security, while millions were perishing for lack of knowledge, I wandered out on the sands alone, in great spiritual agony.” And there on the beach he prayed for “twenty-four willing skillful laborers.” (Stott, p. 24)

Out of that prayer eventually came the China Inland Mission. Due to that ministry and others like it, there are reportedly twenty-five million to perhaps fifty million believers in China today, despite its officially atheistic government.

God could use men such as Henry Martyn and Hudson Taylor because their attention was not focused on their own interests but on God’s.

Salvation is first and foremost a way of glorifying God. The fact that it saves men from hell and gives them eternal life, marvelous and wonderful as that is, is secondary to the glory of God. The cross of Jesus Christ had the most dramatic effect on mankind in[1]

 The greatest lie in the world, and the lie common to all false religions and cults, is that, by certain works of their own doing, men are able to make themselves acceptable to God. The greatest error in that belief is its sheer impossibility. But the greatest evil of that belief is that it robs God of His glory.

  1. His Name

  2. Praise Him 19 Times

  3. Glorify God 6 Times

  4. glory of God 17 times

  5. praise of God 2 times

  6. praise of His glory  3 times

The cross exalts God through His righteousness

The death of Christ then is for God, it propitiates God, it satisfies God.

Two, it puts His righteousness on display. who believed."

  1. The Reasoning by God v27-31

    27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.

    After explaining God’s provided righteousness for sinners, Paul considered five questions (in Gr.) which he anticipated his readers might ask. Two are in verse 27, two in verse 29, and the other in verse 31. The first is, Where, then is boasting? [1]

    If salvation is through the Law, then men can boast; but the principle of faith makes it impossible for men to boast. The swimmer, when he is saved from drowning, does not brag because he trusted the lifeguard. What else could he do? When a believing sinner is justified by faith, he cannot boast of his faith, but he can boast in a wonderful Savior.[1]

    The cross exalts God through His grace

    Everything was designed by God and achieved through Jesus Christ. Therefore, the cross is all grace.

    You look at the cross, it's all grace. There's no works there. Verse 24, "Justified as a gift by His grace." It's about faith and grace. It's a gift of grace, all we do is believe. We make no contribution.

    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

    V28 Justified by faith... Nothing in my hands I bring, only to thy cross I cling

    Ephesians 2:8 and 9, "For by grace are you saved through faith, that not of yourselves, it's a gift of God not of works lest any man should boast."

    At the cross His integrity is put on display that He might be glorified.

    29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.

    Does God have two standards?

    No. Look, if salvation is by faith, if it's by faith that levels everything because even the people who don't have the Law can exercise faith. If the Law is not what saves, then the Jews don't have any advantage in salvation.

    V29-30 Prejudice is excluded

    Here is Paul's answer to the Jews who might say that is okay for Gentiles since they do not know the law, but not the Jews

    The cross puts God's holiness on display

    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

    The purpose of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled and its place in God’s total plan is confirmed when it leads an individual to faith in Jesus Christ (cf. v. 20; Gal. 3:23–25). Paul repeatedly affirmed that faith, not works of the Law, is the way of salvation. He wrote the word “faith” eight times in Romans 3:22–31! (See vv. 22, 25–28, 30 [twice], and 31.)[1]

    Ga 3:21-26

    Do we then nullify the law through faith?" Because salvation is by faith do we nullify the Law? And the Greek, the strongest negative, "May it never be, no, no, no, no way, impossible, outrageous, on the contrary we establish the Law."

    Listen, if salvation by faith meant that God didn't care about His Law, He wouldn't be holy, right? All God's Law is is a reflection of His holiness. The cross displays His holiness. How? Because His holiness demands a sacrifice. His holiness demands a payment for the violation of His Law. So it is at the cross where His holiness is satisfied. It is also at the cross where sinners are converted and regenerated so that we can now as new creatures by the power of the Holy Spirit, Romans 8, fulfill the law. We aren't saved to ignore the Law, we are saved to fulfill the Law. And we say with David, "O how I love Your Law." We love the Word, we long to obey.

    The Law is on display at the cross. It is the Law that brings you to the cross. The Law was never designed to save, it was designed to show you how sinful you are. It's the Law that brings you there so everyone who is ever saved is affirming the glory of the Law. And being saved you now then affirm the glory of the Law not because it showed you your sin, but now because it shows you how to live and you have the power by the Spirit to live according to the Law. And that all happens because Jesus dies the death the holy Law requires. The law then is confirmed in every way at the cross and therefore the holiness of God is confirmed.

    V31 through faith we establish the law. Salvation by grace through faith shows the true importance of the law by

  1. Providing a payment for the penalty of sin
  2. By fulfilling the law's original purpose which was it was to be a tutor which showed us our inability to keep the law and drive us to Christ
  3. It gives us the ability to obey the law

 Up to that time the Jews kept the law out of fear of God, that day is gone. Now we are to keep the law not out of a fear of punishment, but out of love for God and his amazing mercy

Many times we are stopped from doing wrong because of the fear of hurting those we love

Think, sin is not so much breaking God's law as it is breaking God's heart

The cross exalts God four ways: His righteousness, His grace, His consistency, and His law.


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