Summary: Justification by faith is not a New Testament concept, but something demonstrated throughout the entire Bible. Abraham was justified by faith because when God called, he believed and obeyed. Today we are justified by the shed blood of Jesus Christ, but

Romans, Part 11

Romans 4:1-8


- Last week, we examined the justice of God by discussing His holiness

- It is through God’s GRACE that we are set free; and not of ourselves/works

- This is why Paul’s letter to the church in Rome is so encouraging

- It stands as a reminder to the church on the importance of growth/knowledge

- Through our faith in Christ, is how we uphold the Law because of His death

- Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin – EVER (Heb 9:22)

- Thus, when Jesus shed His blood for us; He became our sacrificial lamb

- It is His blood that upholds the Law; and we accept it by accepting Him

- Tonight, the logical question we might ask is “What about those before Jesus?”

- If Jesus’ sacrifice was fitting for us – how does this apply to those before Him?

Important note:

- The doctrine of faith leading to righteousness is not something Paul invented

- It is actually spelled out quite literally throughout the entire Old Testament

- Read Romans 4:1-8 / Pray

Point 1 – Understanding Abraham’s Justification (1-3)

- It is the process by which a person is brought into a relationship with God

- However, this relationship is undeserved, not required to be given, and unmerited

-- We didn’t do anything to earn it, nor did we deserve the relationship (GIFT)

- According to Jewish Law, it is works that credits someone as righteous

- However, remember that the Law was given to MOSES

- Abram (Abraham) lived before Moses so how was he able to keep the Law?

- Jewish tradition states that Abram lived a life of expectancy before God

-- Gen 15:6, “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

- God revealed Himself to Abraham, and Abraham believed God based on faith

-- You might ask, “When did Abraham respond that he believed God …?”

- Go to Genesis 12:1-5 / Read

- When God spoke, Abraham moved by faith – not fear – and responded to God

- APP: When the Lord speaks to us, how do we respond?

-- This is the challenge that stands before us today – in every aspect of life!

- What we see here is a real life application of a man who responded to God’s call

- But, even in his response we see that there were still errors and missteps

- Remember the promise that he would have an heir? (Gen 15:3-4)

- God didn’t deliver fast enough, so Sarah gives him Hagar hoping God will bless

- What we can learn from this is that he was righteous, but still he made mistakes

- His faith in God was not diminished; Abram simply hopped in the driver’s seat

- To me, it is hope like this that allows you and I to walk upright even today

- TRANS: Now, watch what Paul does with this information of works vs. faith

Point 2 – How are we justified? (4-5)

- Re-read verses 4-8

- When you and I work today, we are paid what we are owed – not what we earn

- Most today are in a contract of some sort: “I’ll do this and you’ll pay me this …”

- Imagine if everything you did was based on the QUALITY and QUANTITY

- APP: Human workings do not earn God’s righteousness or His forgiveness

-- EX: Have you sinned at all this week? Imagine God using that against you …

- Gal 2:16, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

- Titus 3:7, “That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

It is the exercise of FAITH that brings us into a right account with God

Not because of what we have done; but because of what God has done for us

Conclusion (6-8)

- David speaks very clearly on this for our benefit:

-- We are blessed because the things we’ve done wrong are covered

-- We are blessed because the Lord promises to cover over our sin

-- We are blessed because the Creator of Heaven and Earth cancelled out the debt

- Psalm 103:10-12, “…he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (PRAISE GOD!!)

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