Summary: Last time we saw that the Law of God revealed that we were sinners.
Last time we saw that the Law of God revealed that we were sinners. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 7 that he would not have known he was a coveter if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.”
The Ten Commandments serve to show us that we are guilty before God.
I. You shall have no other gods before me. Guilty
II. You shall not make for yourself any graven image. Guilty
III. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. Guilty
IV. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Guilty
V. Honor your father and thy mother. Guilty
VI. You shall not kill. Guilty
VII. You shall not commit adultery. Guilty
VIII. You shall not steal. Guilty
IX. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Guilty
X. You shall not covet. Guilty
Every time we set out to obey the commandments we find ourselves failing at it. Paul lets us know that he had the same problem:
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
So the Law just proves over and over again that we are nothing but unrighteous sinners who are deserving of the wrath of God.
But our study last time gave us some good news. Though we can not make it into heaven on our own because we are unrighteous, there is a righteousness that has been revealed.
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
Rom 3:22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
How is the righteousness of God revealed? How can we obtain it? The righteousness of God “is revealed through faith in Christ—to all and on all who believe.”
You and I can do nothing to obtain a righteousness that qualifies us to get into heaven.
You and I can do nothing to obtain “right standing” with God.
The “righteousness of God” had to be given to us. It had to be “imputed” to us. The Doctrine of Imputation is taught in the fourth chapter of the book of Romans.
Rom 4:13 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.
Rom 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,
Rom 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
We have already learned that the Law reveals our sin and brings the wrath of God upon us. There is no way Abraham could have been justified or “declared righteous” by keeping the Law. Paul says it had to be through the righteousness that comes by way of faith.
Rom 4:16 Therefore 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
Paul goes on to tell how Abraham was told by God that even though he was a very old man, he would father a nation.
Rom 4:20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
Rom 4:21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
Again Paul states for the record that it had to be of faith. Notice the words used by Paul: faith, believed, hope, convinced…Abraham trusted God and the result of his faith is shown in Romans 4:22:
Rom 4:22 And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." (NKJV)
Rom 4:22 Therefore also IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. (NASB)
Rom 4:22 This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." (NIV)
Rom 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. (KJV)
Here we have what is called “The Doctrine of Imputation.” The word impute means to reckon, count. It means to charge one responsible for the acts of his representative. It speaks of counting what one person has to another person, whether it is good or bad.