Summary: Expository teaching of Romans chapter 4
Book of Romans
Lesson # 11
By Rev. James May
The Apostle Paul continues his discourse pertaining to justification by faith and not by works, making a strong argument against those Jewish converts to Christianity who wanted to believe that they were special above everyone else and that their long history as the chosen nation of God on the earth somehow gave them special privileges and the place of honor in the Kingdom of God. In the past few weeks we have seen Paul painstakingly explain that none of those things which Israel had learned pertaining to the Law, and all of their observances of that Law, only served the purpose of proving that they needed a Deliverer because they could not keep their own law. Paul continues now to prove that justification, salvation and obtaining the righteousness of Christ is all a work of faith and not of works of the Law.
The Jews could not boast because of Abraham. They had no special privilege for being a Jew. God is the same God, with the same requirements of salvation through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for sin upon the cross, for all men, Jew and Gentile. There is only one way of salvation and that way is through faith in Jesus and his blood that was shed to pay the debt for our sin that we could not pay no matter how many good works we may do. Blessed is the man whose sins are forgiven; who has been awarded salvation through Christ! This is the thought that Paul expresses as he begins to refer to what King David said in Psalms 32.
David, of course, was the King of Israel, and one of the most revered and loved kings of Israel. To refer back to King David was another way of establishing the fact of salvation through grace.
Now let’s continue with our study in Romans.
Romans 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Romans 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Here is how those verses are written in the Amplified Version of the Bible:
Romans 4:6-8 (Amplified Version) Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does: Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried. Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him. [Ps. 32:1, 2.]
Instead of trying to figure out what part good works play in the plan of salvation, Paul is saying that we need to feel so blessed, because we are blessed. God, in his infinite mercy, has called us “Righteous”, not because of our works, but often in spite of our works!
You are blessed today! I am blessed today! And it’s not because we are worthy through our good works! We are blessed because our sins are gone! They are “covered up”; hidden under the blood of Jesus, forgotten forever by God, and completely and utterly gone! The whole world that is caught in sin will stand in envy of your blessing! Mankind tries to create his own righteousness and never will succeed, no matter what he does, and here you and I are, right now, already made righteous through the grace of God through faith in Jesus!
What a wonderful thing it is to know that we shall never have to answer for the rebellion that is in our hearts; that we will be able to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ in robes of righteousness, purer than the driven snow, holy and acceptable unto God our Father, all because of the cleansing power of the Blood!
Paul is telling these saints at Rome that this is their condition as well! It’s all because of Jesus, and nothing else! Their own self-righteousness wasn’t enough! Their knowledge, understanding and former observance of the Law was enough! BUT THANK GOD, THE BLOOD OF JESUS, THE MESSIAH OF ISRAEL AND SAVIOR OF THE WORLD, IS ENOUGH! Thank God for that blessing!
Romans 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
The next question is, “Who, among all men on the earth, shall be able to enjoy this blessing of forgiveness?” Shall it be Jews only, or shall the uncircumcision, the Gentiles, enjoy it? Abraham's faith was counted for righteousness; will this be true of all, both Jews and Gentiles?