Romans 4 Bible Study (Watch)
A biblical teaching of Romans 4 – Bible Study Questions in Romans 4:1-25
Over the last 3 chapters, we have been talking about this list of sins and how we’re all in trouble, and that the problem is a spiritual deadness issue. We can’t pick and chose which sins cause it because they all do and if we’re going to play the law game it’s either 0% or 100%, so by the law, we now know that no one will be justified.
Paul started teaching that salvation is NOT by the written code, but by faith.
In the previous chapters of Romans, we got a glimpse of grace as Paul answered questions that would never be asked in a legalistic church. He addressed questions such as “If our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God – was God unrighteous to inflict wrath on us”, and “why not do evil that good may come?”
These questions are coming up because of what we might label today as hyper-grace preaching, or license to sin teachings. Remember is Romans 3:8 Paul says “people are slanderously charging them saying they are telling everyone to do evil and sin more when really they just don’t agree with this crazy big grace message of being justified by faith, and NOTHING else.
[Romans 3:21] told us “the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law”
[Romans 3:28] For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Most, if not all other religions it’s about our works. For Christians faith in Christ and Grace is what separates all the religions of the world, and today we’re going to be looking at the gift of being okay with God, and it’s free. Not of your works.
We ended last week with vs 31 which said “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”
Meaning by your faith, apart from good deeds and all works of the law, you are justified, made righteous, and you fully uphold the law EVEN when you sin. Now those would be fighting words with Christians today.
Paul is going to use the case of Abraham to explain this even further.
First, read the story of the promise to Abraham in regards to the child he and his wife would have and how Abraham sort of took it into his own hands.
[Genesis 16:1-4] Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. 2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Please go into my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife. 4 He went into Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.
So it appears that Abraham did not fully trust God to deliver and here in Romans we will see that Abraham receives Justification by Faith, not what he did.
[Romans 4:1-3] What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not [c]before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Q: If none of Abraham’s works made him righteous. What did?
A: Abraham believing. There’s no bragging in believing, and that’s what God said.
[Romans 4:4] 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due.
You go to work and you get paid for what you do. It’s not a gift when you get paid. You earned it. And I think when Christians start focusing on works after being saved we can easily slip back into earning favor from God.
Should we have works? Yes. But only because we love God, not so we can TRY and earn His love, blessings, forgiveness, or to be justified through them.
We’re getting ready to see that God personally gives Abraham a plan and instead he goes with his own plan. Yet God still calls him faithful.
We know that Abraham has a sort of trust problem and screws it up. And at age 100 something STILL happens because God is faithful even when Abraham wasn’t.
[Romans 4:5] 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
So this is not a do more be more message. What is the bible saying here about works? It clear that it’s by believing that we are justified.
The do more be more is a popular message today. The “look what God did for you, what are you doing for Him teaching”. Apparently believing is way more important than working.
Again, should we have good works? Yes. But do they have ANYTHING to do with making us right with God? No.
[Romans 4:6]6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
It’s not one part works. It’s apart from works. It’s not one part works and one part grace. It’s apart from works.
Remember in the previous chapters of Romans we learned that it’s APART from LAW too.
And this always brings up the question with the legalist, then what about behavior? Is sin just okay? No, sin will disappoint us every time. It’s not who we are. BUT we ALL struggle with sins. And Gods not surprised by them and He’s not paying us back.
[Romans 4:7] 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered.
This is an OLD TESTAMENT QUOTE, and that’s why you see the word covered. That’s what the old covenant did, but what does the new one Do? It takes your sin away.
He remembers our sin no more. You are accredited as righteous, as a gift.
[Romans 4:8-9] 8 “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.” 9 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”
Paul is saying “exactly what time did Abraham get this free gift of righteousness?” “Was it while he was circumcised or before that?”
The reason this matters is that if God waited until after Abraham was circumcised and THEN gave him the gift of righteousness they maybe they could argue that circumcision was part of his law-keeping and the argument could be made that Abraham obeyed the law and that’s why he was righteous.
But if this gift was given to Abraham before being circumcised we could conclude that it had nothing to do with law-abiding.
[Romans 4:10-12]10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
Conclusion – this free gift of righteousness has nothing to do with Abrahams’s works.
[Romans 4:13-14]13 For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not 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 is nullified;
In other words, if the law has any value in making us right with God – then why did Jesus need to die.
[Romans 4:15] 15 for the Law brings about wrath,
So the law doesn’t make us behave better, it doesn’t save us. It convicts us. So why do some people push it?
[Romans 4:15 contd.]but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
This does not mean sin doesn’t exist. But what it tells us is Christians DON’T violate the law if we aren’t under the law of sin and death. We don’t get what we deserve for sins, though we still commit them.
And that’s why 1 John 2:1 tells us that “if any of us does sin we have an advocate”. What does that passage mean to you?
[Romans 4:16]16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants,
People talk about losing salvation by our behavior. They should look at this word GUARANTEED and also remember that it rests on GRACE and thankfully not us.
[Romans 4:16-17] 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, “A father of many nations have I made you”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead
This is the other half of the Gospel. Many people only focus on Jesus and His death removing our sins, but when He rose that also gave us life. He made us new creations. The old you is dead. And this is why you don’t need to push the law on a Christian.
We have new desires and no amount of grace is going to change that. So why do you think Christians have such a problem with the grace message?
[Romans 4:17-19] and calls into being that which does not exist. 18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”19 Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
So Abraham has considered his situation and he thinks the odds are stacked up against him. Paul’s being polite here but the story is Abraham went with his own plan and that was he had intimate relations with Hagar. Does that sound like someone who fully trusted and not doubt?
But look at what Paul says next and you’ll find this very interesting.
[Romans 4:20-21] 20 yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
Wait a minute – did Paul forget what Abraham did? Maybe he should read Genesis 16 again. Or is there a point here? What we are really seeing here is God’s view of Abraham, not mans.
[Romans 4:22-25] 22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
The message is that if you believe in the promise of God and the identity of Jesus then righteousness has been accredited to you and you are justified, and when you stumble that does not change anything.
There is a continual message of repent and believe in the bible:
Believe in what? Jesus. Repent From What: Not believing that only Jesus saves us. Abraham believed God, and it was accredited him as righteous. Now that’s a relief.