Romans 4:9-22 Ė The Faith Of Abraham
Intro: In Romans Ch. 3 we were introduced to the concept of Justification by faith: Which means that God would declare a man righteous through faith.
A) That the person who has put their faith in Jesus Christ & His finished work on the cross are Justified. ( Just as if they never sinned)
B) That is how the Father sees the person who is in Christ.
C) Now to the Jew who placed so much emphasis upon their rules Regulations & rituals this would sound like a new thing - radical Heresy.
1) †So w/ that in mind Paul in ch. 4† - goes to the O.T. in using Abe & David as examples of men who were Justified by faith.
D) Declared righteous through simply believing in the Person & promise of God! That was the focus of our study last wed. night !
Paul illustrated how Abe Who was the father of the Hebrew racial family / & David who was the Founder of the Heb.† Royal family were Justified by faith
A) And in Abrahamís case Paul pointed out in v.9,10 that it was before he was circumcised - actually 14 yrs before. And 430yrs before law was given
B) Illustrating that Abe was not justified by being circumcised or by keeping the law - but simply through faith.
1) †Now the Jew would wonder† What was the purpose then of circumcision? And what was the purpose of the law?
C) That is what Paul begins to deal w/ in v.11- 18† Read
SO Paul begins w/ circumcision , explaining in v. 11,12† that circumcision is a seal of the righteousness of faith. In other words
A) As a confirmation of Abrahamís faith God was pleased to give Abraham a the sign or mark of circumcision as a seal that God would keep His promise
B) Then Paul went on to say that because Abe was declared righteous before he was circumcised that he figuratively became the father of all who would believe
1) †Of all who would come to God through faith - whether circumcised or not
C) My Son Aaron asked Denise the other day if he was a descendant of Moses ?
1) †Denise said well in round about way - yes you would be - but the Bible actually goes back farther than that.
D) The Bible declares that in actuality we are related to Adam. But not just because† Adam is the 1st man through which all trace our roots
1) †But also because - through Adamís sin in the garden we all became sinners
E) Bible says that through one mans disobedience (Adamís) many were made sinners†
1) †So biblically speaking we can trace our roots back to 3 people . Adam through sin, Abe through faith- ultimately through Christ.
F) †Through another mans obedience Jesus many were made righteous!
So Paul begins by saying that Abe was justified before being circumcised thus becoming the father of many - all come God through faith whether circumcised or not
A) Then in v. 13- 16 Paul shares that Abe was declared righteous before the Law as well !
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.
B) Paul says that the promise wasnít given to Abe or to his seed through the law.
C) Paul in Gal. 3 sheds some light on this for us† turn there
†Verse 16 16† Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.
A) The first thing to note is the seed is Christ - See when God made this promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations
1) †And that from his seed all the nations of the world would be blessed he was thinking more in the spiritual realm than the physical
B) This is the great mystery of the O.T. that from the very beginning God was pointing us to Christ ! And God was thinking Church.
††††††††† 1) Paul continues V.17
17† And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.18† For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
C) In other words this Cov. That God made w/ Abe was an unconditional Cov.
†††† And it was a great picture of the New Cov.
1) †This is what is awesome and ties this all together for us .
D) God makes this Cov. W/ Abe where He says - I am going to do it all - you just believe it - trust me - wait on me . Remember Gen. 15 - animal sacrifice
1) †- Listen I am not going to meet you have way I am going to do it all .
††† Abe said Ok/† God says righteous & your my friend
E) And here is this mark of circumcision as a seal that I mean business, it will be a sign to constantly remind you of the cov. I am making w/ You
1) †Your part - Just believe it and walk according to it !
Now the Lord has made a similar Cov. W/ us in Christ - Abeís prefigured the New Cov. In that - Christ did it all - We Just Believe it - accept it by faith
A) God says you are righteous & you are my friend & He places the Seal of His H.S. on our lives - as guarantee that He means business
B) What was the purpose of the law then ?† Paul answers that Question in v. 19
19† What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
C) It was added Paul says to show men that they were sinners in need of a savior - to prepare them for the coming of Christ.
B) That is exactly what Paul says in V. 14, & 15 of Romans 4 turn back - 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.
A) If those who are trying to keep the law are saved -by their efforts / then it is no longer of faith. No longer a free gift - through faith - something earned
B) Because the† Purpose of the Law was to outline sin & transgression.
C) So Abe was declared righteous by faith - 430 yrs before the law was even given.
1) †Became an example of those who would be declared righteous through faith in Jesus Christ - making him in a figurative sense the father of those of faith
D) Therefore V. 16 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
Now this is great Paul says the promise is sure to all the seed - or to everyone who comes to God through faith in Christ !
A) Why is it sure ? Because it is based on what God says He will ! Jesus has done.
B) Lets say I met you down at the harbor in Oceanside & I said - if you can walk to Catalina I promise I will give you 5000 dollars - great weekend
I made a promise but there is no surety to that promise - why ? Because it is an impossibility - You canít walk on water.††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††is & live - problem was it was an impossibility -
A) So the Lord comes and says Live - come to life in Christ & you will find yourself doing these things
B) So you give your life to Christ / you get on the boat so to speak & you can rest w/† a sureness that you will make it because He has been here & gone back
1) †Given the H.S. as a guarantee
C) So there is a sureness & a confidence that marks the persons life who has truly exercised faith in Christ !
1) †Affects the way we Live / affects whether or not I am going to enjoy my life in Christ or worry & be upset - fretting over where I stand w/ the Lord
Now Paul gives us an interesting insight that tells us where this confidence comes from in v.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;
A) Check this out this is such a key principle - God says to Abraham I have made you Ö.† †Speaking in the past tense - done deal
B) God looks at Abe -who has† no kids - sees him as the father of many nations
C) How can that be ? Paul tells us when he says He† calls those things which do not exist as though they did;
D) This deals w/ Godís perspective on time / time space continuum which means that God sees everything in the now !
1) †So God looks at Abe when He is 99 yrs old & is dead reproductively - he was impotent in his old age and sees him as the father of many nations
E) Rose Parade Pasadena - / UCLA float/ Goodyear blimp - sees it all in the now !
F) †So in v. 18 Paul says that Abe was able to have Hope even when the situation looked Hopeless - because he believed what was spoken !
Now this is such a such a key perspective that Paul lays out here for us to understand if we are going to Live like those who are Justified
A) Being sure, having hope, living in confidence & victory is connected to seeing things from Godís perspective
B) That God sees things that are not as though they were ! He says to Abe I have made you the Father of many nations .
1) †God looks at us & says I declare you righteous / See from Godís perspective He sees the finished product
C) Jesus meets Peter whoís actual name was Simon which meant shifting sand - unstable / movable / changes his name to Peter
1) †Which meant Rock - sturdy strong
D) Jesus knew what Simon was going to become ! Jesus Knew that Simon would become Peter !
E) Guys the Lord wants us to live w/ this kind of confidence - knowing that He sees the finished product - he looks at you in Christ - as righteous as His Son
1) †And he wants us to live like that !†† Paul illustrates that is exactly what Abe did/ he believed & it† affected the way that he lived his life v.19-22
19† And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah's womb.
20† He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21† and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.†† 22† And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."
†We looked at this in detail on Sunday / tied in w/ Heb.11:13 - Abeís faith was more than a profession & it affected the way that he lived
A) In that he wasnít focused on his own physical limitations - 99 /dead / Sarah barren†† Heb.11:13 Saw promises afar off -
B) Nor did he waver at the promise through unbelief / kept his expectation - Heb He was assured of the Promise - confidence & a hope
1) †Which caused Him to be strengthened in faith
C) Abe gave glory to God -†† Heb. Embraced them
D) Abe gave the Whole situation over to the Lord being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.†† 22† And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness."††† Heb. There was a confession made !
E) And then Paul tied it all together in showing how it relates to us in v. 23-25 when he says 23† Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,24† but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,†† 25† who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Paul is basically saying here that if you believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead your faith is just as incredible as Abeís
A) You like Abe become a member of the Hall of Faith -
B) Two things that make us a member of the hall of faith - what Paul says here / that you believe in the Resurrection
1) †And what the writer of Heb. Writes in Ch. 11:3 3† By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
C) You are exercising Abe type faith when you believe in Creation - God spoke the world into existence & when you believe in the Resurrection
D) Believing that God is capable of doing those things not only - gives you confidence for today as well as tomorrow
††††††††† 1) But knowing you are justified should affect your life in every way !
That is what Paul reveals for us† in Ch. 5
5:1† Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2† through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Here Paul begins to explain the blessings of Justification† by saying we have peace w/ God ! The War is over !
A) The unsaved person is at ďenmity with GodĒ because he cannot obey Godís Law or fulfill Godís will.
B) Isa. 48:22† declares ďThere is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wickedĒ);
C) ĒCondemnation means that God declares us sinners, which is a declaration of war.†† Justification means that God declares us righteous, which is a declaration of peace, made possible by Christís death on the cross.Ē
D) Being at Peace w/ God means we are at favor w/ Him ! Problem is so many believers donít live like they are justified .
1) †They are always seeking to earn Godís favor instead of just realizing & living like they are already in His Favor
Being at Peace w/ God results in no longer being in† fear of† God . Policeman
A) God is no longer the Divine policeman who I am trying to get away from
B) Ever speed ? -† What happens when you see a Policeman
C) Fear is replaced by a reverence !
Being at peace w/ God means we lose our fear of death.
A) No where I am going -
Read a great story today
the story of a young dock worker who heard a minister named Henderson deliver a sermon based on Romans 5:1.† Although impressed with the truth that one can have peace with God only through the merits of the Lord Jesus, he did not trust Him as his personal Savior.
†† The next day that man joined the crew and sailed on the steamship London.† A short time later it met with disaster on the high seas. Several months passed, and a sailor came to the clergyman and inquired, "Are you Pastor Henderson?" "Yes, I am," he replied.††††† The sailor continued
"I've come to tell you that I talked and prayed with a young man on board the London who had heard you preach on Romans 5:1.† He was concerned about his soul but didn't quite understand the plan of salvation.† I finished what you began and led him to the Savior.† Only a few minutes later we were shipwrecked, and he and I were told to launch one of the lifeboats. While doing so, he said to me, 'Mate, if you get to shore, be sure and tell Pastor Henderson that I've been saved.'† Somehow he failed to get into the lifeboat in time, and we had to row away immediately to keep from being capsized by the suction of the sinking ship.† The last I saw of him, he was up in the rigging of the doomed vessel, waving his hat and shouting to me above the noise of the waters, 'Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!'"
Being at peace w/ God means we have an answer to the attacks & doubts & fears the devil brings
A) Zech. Ch.3
Being Justified by faith also means I have access to God !†
A) 14† Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
15† For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
16† Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
B) Once not welcome / now welcome !
C) Come boldly !†† Granted Access !†††
Being Justified by faith means I rejoice in the Hope of the Glory of God !
A) Hope doesnít just speak of a mere possibility or a good chance -
B) Absolute expectation of coming Good.
A) C) 1 Jn.3: 2† Beloved, now we are children of God;††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††u will be righteous
B) But also sees the unfinished product - How does He get us from here to here
C) Answer How is gold refined ?†† Answer He puts us through the fire ! Tribulations
Now knowing I have been justified by faith - Knowing God is going to complete that work - everything happens he allows move me to that end
A) That means I am going to view my trials & tribulations differently / that is what Paul states in v. 2-4
B) 3† And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4† and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
C) Rejoice in Tribulation Because it produces ( Focus on this on Sunday)
D) Paul finishes up this first section of ch. 5 by stating 3 things that give us a great assurance that
1st that He has given us the H.S.
5† Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
A) H.S. working in our life is an evidence of Godís love
2nd†† Jesus died for us at just the right time v.6,7 6† For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
7† For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
3rd Having done that He is not going to give up on us now ! V.8-11
A) 8† But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9† Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
10† For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
11† And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
So Hang in there during the tribulation times because God is at work - fashioning you into the image of His own dear Son.