Just Like Abraham (1)

  • In my teaching “God Remains Faithful” I mentioned I might start in Romans 4 and continue the powerful teachings of Paul’s revelation of grace. Paul continues to make his point clear concerning our acceptance into the Kingdom not based on circumcision or works, but rather on the finished work of Jesus at the cross. Paul begins Romans 4 as follows. This is The Voice version.

    1 In light of all of this, what should we say about our ancestor Abraham?

    In light of all what? All that we studied in Romans 2 and 3 (See the teaching “God Remains Faithful&rdquo. Through that entire teaching, Paul is pointing out that it’s not circumcision (keeping the law and performing) that makes us right with God. He even spells it out in Romans 3:28 where he says “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”.

    He picks right up where he left off in that verse by what he states here in verse 1. Basically, he has concluded that in light of all of the truth found in Romans 2 and 3, he is now piling onto the truth with more confirming truth.

    If Abraham was made right by performing certain works, then he would surely have something to brag about. Right? Not before the Creator God, because as the Scriptures say, “Abraham believed God and trusted in His promises, so God counted it to his favor as righteousness.”

    You see. Here Paul is using pure logic and common sense derived from the truth. What Truth? That Abraham didn’t do anything except BELIEVE GOD! I didn’t say and Paul didn’t say believed in God. Lots of people believe in God, or a god. Many do not BELIEVE GOD.

    That means they don’t believe His promises. They don’t believe what He said and take it as truth. That’s why many people will say that the bible is the Word of God. The problem with that is, they don’t believe the God in the Word. There’s a difference.

    4 Now, when you work a job, do your wages come as a gift or as compensation for your work? It is most certainly not a gift—you are only paid what you have earned.

    Paul has just stated that because Abraham believed Him, God counted it to his favor as righteousness. Now Paul is going to give you an example of this. He begins by saying NOW. Now that we’ve got the truth stated about how Abraham became righteous, let me ask you a question using pure logic based on truth. When you work, do your wages come as a gift, or based on your performance? We know the answer to that, but Paul gives us the answer anyway.

    Now that He has established that truth, he goes on to fortify the grace of God.

    So for the person who does not work, but instead trusts in the One who makes the ungodly right, his faith is counted for him as righteousness. Remember the psalm where David speaks about the benefits that come to the person whom God credits with righteousness apart from works? He said, Blessed are those whose wrongs have been forgiven and whose sins have been covered. Blessed is the person whose sin the Lord will not take into account.

    I mean, Paul is laying out a lot of Good News for us. Lots of grace, mercy, and love from the Father. I mean wrongs forgiven and forgotten. He will not take our wrongdoings into account against us. That’s good news. But then he wants to make sure you and I understand that what is being given as truth is ours.

    So is this blessing spoken only for the circumcised or for all uncircumcised people too? We remind you what the Scripture has to say: faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.

    In verse 9 Paul uses a rhetorical question to set us up for further truth. Who gets to be a part of this blessing? Just for the circumcised or for all of us? Then he doesn’t play fair, because he uses the truth of scripture to get the right answer.

    In our teachings, everything we say or present as truth is backed up solidly by scripture. On the website, we encourage people to comment or even challenge the things that are presented. Our only requirement is that they bring their questions, objections, or even confirmations to us using the truth of scripture and not their false beliefs from false teachings that lead to wrong opinions. Those we will not entertain.

    So Paul has asked the question about circumcised verses uncircumcised. Now he’s going to use another question to answer this situation.

    10 So when was the credit awarded to Abraham? Was it before or after his circumcision? Well, it certainly wasn’t after—it was before he was circumcised.

    Whoa. Wait a minute. You mean Abraham didn’t follow the law, or a set of rules, or the traditions of men and yet God made him righteous simply because he believed God? Yep. That’s the truth.

    11 Eventually he was given circumcision as a sign of his right standing, indicating that he was credited on the basis of the faith he possessed before he was circumcised. It happened this way so that Abraham might become the spiritual father of all those who are not circumcised but are made right through their faith.

    So why did Abraham enter into circumcision? It wasn’t so that his righteousness would be justified by works of the law. It was to show everyone that he was uncircumcised when he was made righteous and therefore it was on the basis of faith not works. Also, Abraham lived both situations. Circumcised and not circumcised. That’s the only way he could become the father of all those to follow who would not be works oriented, but faith oriented. Are you getting this?

    12 In the same way,God destined him to be the spiritual father of all those who are circumcised as more than an outward sign, but who walk in our father Abraham’s faithful footsteps—a faith he possessed while he was still uncircumcised. 13 The promise given to Abraham and his children, that one day they would inherit the world, did not come because he followed the rules of the law. It came as a result of his right standing before God, a standing he obtained through faith.

    Now study that verse 13. See where it says “The promise given to Abraham and his children, that one day they would inherit the world, did not come because he followed the rules of the law”. You mean he didn’t have to perform? He didn’t have to try and achieve? He didn’t have to adhere to a set of man made rules? Well that’s just not possible? That’s not what God says.

    14 If this inheritance is available only to those who keep the law, then faith is a useless commodity and the promise is canceled.

    Study that verse again. Don’t just swing by it. What cancels the promise? Believing you have to keep the law to receive the inheritance. Remember? You cannot receive as a reward based on your works that which is already yours through inheritance.

    Now I'm going to stop right here with Part 1 of this great news, but there is more to come in Part 2. Just look one more time at verse 14 above. It captures all the truth put forward in the verses leading up to it. Powerful stuff. Grace and Peace.

Comments

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  • Arik Green likes this
  • Crystal Roeden
    Crystal Roeden Error: Abraham was promised Israel which was known as Canaan back then. His descendants weren't promised the world unless you count the whole body of Christ, the Christians so in a spiritual sense what you said might be true HOWever, scripturally...  more
    Jan 2 - Report