God Has A Plan To Justify The Ungodly
Abraham believed the promise God gave him concerning Isaac because Abraham trusted in the Lord to be faithful concerning His word. And so it was Abraham’s faith in the trustworthiness of God that lead him to believe. And by that faith, God was pleased to credit Abraham with righteousness.
Romans 4:3-5 (NKJV) **
3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 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,
** All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
This is the same process for anyone who is saved by the grace of God at any point in history. When a person receives a promise from God, and that person places faith (belief ) in God to fulfill that promise. They expect what has been promised will come to pass, and they put aside all doubt. The future promise of God is as certain as is the history of yesterday because we know the One Who promised is faithful to keep His word. As the writer of Hebrews says: Continue reading
Abraham’s Faith Not By Works But Grace
Why is it important that Paul give us Old Testament proof for salvation? Because everyone who knows God understands that the Church, the period of time since Christ’s birth and death, that we are not the only human beings that God has been working with. He’s been at work in humanity long before that. So that raises the question, was there a different method for salvation that preceded the one that we are now being given in the New Testament? If that were true it certainly would support the contention that God saves Jews one way and Gentiles another. And if that were true it would divide the Church. And that was the concern that was developing in the first century church. So Paul is addressing that here, saying no, the plan has always been the same. Remember, Paul began by saying that the salvation we have is witnessed by the Law and Prophets. That phrase refers to the Hebrew Bible, the entire Old Testament. So now Paul uses chapter 4 of Romans to look for salvation proof. And in the process, we learn some interesting things. We learn about our own salvation as it relates to Old Testament concepts like circumcision and the covenants that are still relevant today because of the way people misuse those concepts in other ways. Starting with The classic example of salvation by faith, Abraham – Continue reading
Summary of Our Salvation Through Faith in Christ
Last week we focused on Paul’s summary of how we may obtain righteousness. God’s solution solved all the problems of getting to heaven that Paul outlined in the earlier chapters of Romans. Which explained why Paul’s summary was long and wordy. Paul put the whole solution out on the table knowing he’s going to explain each part in detail in coming chapters. So let’s run through the summary quickly looking at it as a road-map for where we are going.
First, in verse 21 Paul says the solution is “apart from the Law.” So therefore we can expect Paul to explain more about the relationship between God’s law and our salvation. Since he said salvation is not a part of law. Secondly, Paul says the Continue reading
We Are Justified By The Righteousness of God
All men and women are under bondage to sin, in debt to God’s court for our lifetime of sin. That debt must be paid or else a verdict of innocence would be a miscarriage of justice. We know God is perfect, without sin Himself, and therefore He can only declare us innocent of our sin should our debt be paid. Paul says our justification is legally possible because Christ paid our price redeeming us from the penalty we rightly deserved.
Romans 3:21-26 (NKJV) **
God’s Righteousness Through Faith
21 But now God’s righteousness apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely (it’s a gift) by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 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. Continue reading