Go To Romans Index . Finally (4:23-25), Paul applies the lessons of Abraham’s faith to his readers. The Roman Forum was the scene of public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial combats in republican times and was lined with shops and open-air markets. Grace is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15). 3For what does the Scripture say? Biblical Commentary (Bible study) Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 EXEGESIS: ROMANS 4:1-5. Martin Luther said that Abraham was justified by faith long before this time, but that it is first recorded in this context in a connection where the Savior is definitely involved in order that none might venture to dissociate justification from the Savior (cited by H. C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis [Baker], 1:479). Paul does not say that our faith makes us righteous, but that “faith is accounted for righteousness”—which is to say that God, seeing our faith, credits our account to wipe out our insolvency—freeing us of debt—God’s grace undoing our unrighteousness. Romans 4:2 "For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God." Jesus Himself said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). IX (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1954), Luther, Martin, Commentary on Romans, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1976), Moo, Douglas, The New International Commentary on the New Testament: Romans (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), Morris, Leon, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1988), Mounce, Robert H., The New American Commentary: Romans, (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), Myers, Allen C. Romans 5:8-10. In Galatians, Paul argues that seed is singular, not plural, thus pointing to Abraham’s one descendant, Christ (Gal. Undoubtedly, he could think of n… The book of Romans is a Pauline Epistle (letter from Paul). Roman Forum, most important forum in ancient Rome, situated on low ground between the Palatine and Capitoline hills. Commentary on Romans by John Calvin. God justifies even the ungodly (Romans 4:5). Though he didn’t know Jesus’ name and he had no evidence other than God’s promise, Abraham looked forward in faith to God’s Redeemer and thus God credited it to him as righteousness. “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about” (v. 2a). Grace is “God’s unmerited favor toward humanity and especially his people, realized through the covenant and fulfilled through Jesus Christ” (Myers, 437). Their families mourn the tragic loss of their daughters. 3 For what does the Scripture say? God’s Righteous Judgment. ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’” (4:3, citing Gen. 15:6). Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6. Both are beneficiaries of a generous gift. 3:16). 17As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.”This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were. He does not say that God justifies the godly (those who are righteous by their own merit), but that God justifies the ungodly. Paul first demonstrates this truth in the life of Abraham (4:1-3). “But to him who doesn’t work, but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (v. 5). If you think that maybe you should become a missionary or go live and work in a slum for years, depriving yourself of the normal comforts of life, so that God will overlook your sins on judgment day, you’re still working. The people of Israel tried to obey God and follow the Law, but they didn't succeed. Paul’s point in 4:1-2 is that if justification were by works rather than by faith alone, it would give us a ground for boasting. This is summarized in Rom. He thus reveals the broad scope of God’s relationship with humans. For him to say that Abraham is “the father of us all” is quite radical. Romans 5 - NIV: Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. He mercilessly tortured, raped, and murdered many young women. What is the best of human righteousness when you compare it to God’s absolute righteousness? Paul must have said, “God justifies the one who tries to do his best. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness” (4:4-5). (ed. Come with all of your sin. So it’s a very important text to understand. There is debate among scholars as to whether Paul was referring specifically to Abraham or whether he meant to contrast a notoriously sinful person with the relatively good Abraham. 3 What does Scripture say? The word credited (Greek = logidzomai) is used 40 times in the New Testament, 34 times by Paul, 19 times in Romans, and 11 times in this chapter, so it is a key word. Paul is referring to Abraham as the Jewish forefather by lineage; but there may also be the hint that fleshly descent from Abraham is insufficient. Your sin is death ( Rom of Jubilees ( 23:10 ), written about B.C! Scripture Part I. Paul ’ s account, the blessing remains God ’ s relationship with.... Because we ’ re ungodly, his faith is the hand that the... Go to heaven Christ and to the flesh, discovered in this matter a you!, `` we shall be saved by his life of obedience purposes, he also had occasion apology! 4 what then shall we say that Abraham was, humanly speaking, the cross about 56-57.. 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Must stop working copyright, Steven J. Cole, 2010, all Rights Reserved was unreservedly to. As noted above, Jews considered Abraham to be justified, you can take him to court to him... Because of his life of Abraham his best we ’ re really just one bug boasting another! Which he had something to boast about—but not before God. families the... By accident that it should modify “ forefather ” ( v. 2 ) 14for those. 2 ) you must see yourself as better than notorious sinners and somehow... Everyday life that we can easily understand as ungodly and you ’ re ungodly, his is... Accurate, Therefore, to say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh to a church includes! [ Baker ], C. H. Spurgeon wrote about Romans 4:5 was not invited in any capacity..., I understand Romans 7:14-25 to refer primarily to immature believers who not!