Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reading Through Romans 4-5

So how did you enjoy the first three chapters of Romans? Yesterday we read chapters four and five. These are great chapters! Chapter four deals with the issue of justification. Paul makes it clear how an individual can stand justified before a just God. When we get to chapter five we see that we the fruit of that justification. We have peace with God. Then one thing that the Apostle Paul makes very clear is that justification and peace come by faith. Justification and the subsequent peace with God cannot be earned, purchased, or garnered by any human effort or exercise. If this is not clear to you or is new to you read these two chapters very carefully.

Don't forget today we read chapters six, seven, and eight!

Chapter Four

Verses 1-12 tells us very clearly how Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, was justified. Abraham believed God and was considered righteous by God. One would, as the Jews of Christ’s time did, think that Abraham was counted righteous because he submitted to circumcision. Paul makes the case that Abraham was counted or considered righteous prior to the physical act of circumcision. Circumcision was merely a sign that justification had already taken place. This is similar to Christian baptism. Baptism, either as an infant or as an adult, does not save or justify and individual. There is no saving grace in baptism whatsoever. That doesn’t mean that baptism isn’t important or serves no purpose. Circumcision was important and served a significant purpose in God’s scheme for the Jewish people. Baptism is an outward sign that shows justification has already taken place. How, did justification take place? Paul demonstrates that justification is a declaration of God via faith.

Verses 13-25 reinforce Paul’s presentation. The promise that Abraham and his heirs would benefit the human race came as a result of faith. Abraham did not earn the right nor did any of his heirs earn the right to be the blessing to the world. The promise of God came to Abraham by faith. Our salvation today is based on the same thing, faith. One cannot work for heaven or earn heaven. One must come by faith in order to be counted as righteous and to be declared just in God’s sight. Paul makes it clear that he did not write about Abraham’s faith and justification simply to write about it. He states that he wrote about Abraham’s justification by faith for the benefit of the readers of this epistle.

Chapter Five

Verses 1-11 provides information on the fruit of justification by faith. Peace with God. Currently those outside of Christ, those who have not been declared just are at war with God. In reality God is at war with you. There is hostility between you and God. In this wonderful and marvelous chapter we learn that God extended His indescribable grace through the Lord Jesus Christ and provided a means of erasing that hostility and extending peace to us. Even though we were unworthy Jesus Christ died to satisfy God’s wrath and justice. Once we were enemies now we enjoy peace. This peace with God comes by faith.

Verses 12-21 describes how all this peace and justification came about. Paul demonstrates that sin and condemnation came upon the human race by the act of a single individual, Adam. The consequence of that sin was death. Death reigned as a king from Adam through the present time. God in mercy and by His free grace gave Jesus Christ as an offering in order to bring peace and salvation to many people. Paul demonstrates that all those who are born from Adam die and how that all who are born in Christ live. One act of sinful rebellion plunged the entire human race in sin and judgment. One act of selfless sacrifice provided justification, peace, and eternal life to those who repent and come to God by faith. The good news is no matter how great our sin is God’s grace is greater. God will forgive anyone who repents and trusts in Jesus Christ alone by faith alone, due to the grace of God alone, for the glory of God alone. No sin is too great nor is any sinner too great a sinner to be justified and enjoy this peace that God extends through faith in Jesus Christ.

3 comments:

Seams Inspired said...

I did enjoy reading yesterday! :o)
Here's what stood out to me in Chapters 4 and 5:

4:8 I find huge relief in this verse!

4:11 What exactly does this verse mean? Is Paul saying that Abraham is father to all that put faith in God even though they have not taken the steps and been circumcised?

4:21 I just like the wording of this verse...God has the power to do what He had promised. :o) We can't all say that, can we?

4:25 I find this verse to be one of the most humbling in the entire Bible.

5:3-4 Just a notation..When my husband first got sick and was forced to retire, we clung to these verses. As we continue to battle his health issues, we still look to these for comfort. They're powerful!

5:7 Ain't that the truth!?

5:14-16 Paul's writing gets very muddy and cluttered right here for me. Can anyone rephrase these verses and make them a little more comprehensive?

All in all, I loved these chapters. I did find Paul to be very wordy, using many short phrases and prepositions. It makes it difficult for me to keep track of what he's actually trying to say. I have to be in a very quiet room with no distractions to fully comprehend these verses. I had to read over several passages more than once. Did anyone else feel that way?

Happy Wednesday! :o)
Larri at Seams Inspired

Gregg said...

Seams Inspired - Yes, I agree, 4:8 is a wonderful verse. Thank God!

4:11 means that Abraham received the seal or the mark of circumcission after he beleived and was declared righteous. It means that circumcission was not the means of his justification, but the proof or evidence of it. Just like baptism today does not save or justify us, it is a means to show that justification has already taken place by faith.

The Jews believed circumcision was enough, that it marked those who were justified. Paul says no, Abraham was declared justified by God when he was uncircumcised. Circumcision did not justify him, faith was the means and the act of physical circumcision demonstrated the justification.

4:21 - Yes, God can do all that He says He can or will do.

4:5 - again, I agree with you!

5:3-4 is a great principle and truth to cling to. I cling to it now as I remain unable to find work and face foreclosure. They are powerful and I hope to endure and that my endurance produces godly character.

5:7 Yes!

5:14-16 Gospel-driven Disciples paraphrase: The fact that all men are subject to death and do die, even during the period from Adam to Moses, when there was no given law, all those who sinned from Adam to Moses still died. All these sinners from Adam to Moses died even though they didn't commit the same sin Adam committed. Adam was a an example of someone who would come along later, namely Jesus Christ.

Vs -15 But the free gift of God is not like the sin that led to the death of all those sinners. What a difference there is between God's free gift of salvation and Adam's sin. It was by one person, Adam, that all sinners die because of his sin. But this other man who came along later, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to those who believe.

Paul is verbose, interrupts himself a lot, doesn't always finish his thoughts, digresses, but what a man of God. Yes, you must really read and study alone, with no distractions and many passages need to be read over and over.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I haven't read anything today Gregg , have just come to your blog .
Take care.
Yvonne.