ROMANS 4:13-17 THE PROMISE OF SALVATION IS THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH

13Jan

Romans 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, 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 17 (as it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations") in the presence of Him whom he believed--God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

 Romans 4:13-25 INTRO:

1.     One one side we have God's promise, faith, and grace

·       God's promise

Genesis 17:4-5 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.

·       God's gift of Faith

Staking everything on God's love and believing what He promised is true

·       God's Grace or Mercy

An unearned and undeserved gift of eternal life

2.     On the other side we have the law, transgression and wrath:

·       The law is a tutor or teacher to show us where we have gone wrong. It can only show us we are sick with sin. It can never cure us. When we see a keep off the grass sign, it usually makes us want to walk on it. This is the sin nature which does this to us.

·       Transgression or Sin: If we did not have the law we would never know right from wrong and therefore we would not be condemned for breaking the law

·       Wrath or Punishment: Is what we think of when we break a law, it is punishment for doing wrong. We know if we get caught we will pay for our sin, but God knows everything and whether we get caught or punished here on earth doesn't matter because God will punish us if we do not know Christ as our personal Savior and Lord.

Hebrews 4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

1.     v-13-15 God's promise to Abraham and his heirs is not through the law

To his seed refers to Jesus Christ

v-13 Abraham was 75 when the promise was given, several hundred years before the law was given to Moses

There are two Greek words for the word promise. One is conditional and means to promise to do this if you do that. The other is an unconditional promise, which is based on doing it out of the goodness of ones heart, no matter what the other person does.

This is the word Paul uses here, it means the promise was unconditional

Gen 15:1-21 Is where the Lord made the covenant that was unconditional.

Gen 15:17 And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces.

Hebrews 6:13-19 gives us an explanation of Gen 15:1-21

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you."

Gal 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Faith is the key to Heaven:

What is faith, it is not just believing mentally;

James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe----and tremble!

Luke 4:33-34 Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, 34 saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are----the Holy One of God!"

 Nor is it trusting God temporarily for prayers or help in a time of trouble

What is it: Faith is trusting in the right object, trusting in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life

Acts 16:31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

v-14 If those of the law are heirs then faith is made void

If I promised to give you a million dollars if you would jump up and touch a limb in a tree 50 feet up could you do it? No, the promise is worthless, no one can jump 50 feet high. Even though I am sincere the promise is no good to you.

That is what the Scriptures tell us, to keep all Ten commandments, yet we can't in our own strength

James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

v-15  The law exposes our sinfulness

Wrath is the removal of all divine protection,  you can do what you want. In Romans 1 Paul said God gave them up, God gave them up, and God gave them over

CS Lewis said that there are two kinds of people, those who say God," thy will be done" and those to whom God is saying'" thy will be done" That is wrath.

Our lives fall apart when God abandons us and we feel the emptiness, loneliness and worthlessness which leads to despair and depression and who knows what we are capable of when this happens.

2.     God's promise to Abraham and his heirs is through faith

v-16 The promise comes by faith. What works could not do faith does.

1Cor 3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come----all are yours. 23  And you are Christ's, and Christ is God's.

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

·       Not only of the law but to us of the faith

Those of the law are Jews and we are the ones of faith, but Abraham is the father of us all

·       According to grace

v-17 As it is written: quoted from Gen 17:5

gives life to the dead: God made Sarah's womb and Abraham's body able to have a child

calls those things: calls us righteous and called Christ sin who knew no sin. This is the God who created everything out of nothing (ex nihilo)

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

·       Having proved that the law can't save you and that it is by God's grace that you are saved Paul sets out to prove a third point