Episode #121. Today we’ll read the 4th chapter of Romans together. Abraham was justified through faith, Abraham was justified before circumcision, and God’s promise to Abraham was granted through faith.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #121. Today we’ll read the 4th chapter of Romans together: Abraham was justified through faith; Abraham was justified before circumcision; and God’s promise to Abraham was granted through faith.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
The Romans Road
Have you ever heard of The Romans Road? It came to mind yesterday as we read Romans chapter 3. The Romans Road is a group of about five or six verses in the book of Romans that concisely presents God’s plan of salvation. It goes like this:
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:8 But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 10:9-10 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
Romans 10:13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Be Ready to Give a Reason
I highly encourage you to bookmark these verses in your Bible. That way, at a moment’s notice, you can grab your Bible and walk someone through these verses to explain the Gospel. Those little flags work really well. You may even want to Google it to get some supporting verses and explanations in case someone has questions. Make the words your own and get comfortable with it.
Remember what Peter tells us in his first letter? Always be ready to give the reason for the hope that you have. Knowing Jesus, being saved from God’s judgement of sin, is not something to be kept to yourself. It is a gift to be given away. I pray that God will give you the opportunity to give it to someone regularly. You can print this from either the transcript or the blog at liftinghervoice.com.
Romans Chapter 5
Abraham Justified by Faith
What then will we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about — but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. Now to the one who works, pay is not credited as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.
David Celebrating the Same Truth
Just as David also speaks of the blessing of the person to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven
and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the person
the Lord will never charge with sin.
Abraham Justified before Circumcision
Is this blessing only for the circumcised, then? Or is it also for the uncircumcised? For we say, Faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness. In what way, then, was it credited — while he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? It was not while he was circumcised, but uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while still uncircumcised. This was to make him the father of all who believe but are not circumcised, so that righteousness may be credited to them also. And he became the father of the circumcised, who are not only circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith our father Abraham had while he was still uncircumcised.
The Promise Granted through Faith
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would inherit the world was not through the law, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. If those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made empty and the promise nullified, because the law produces wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.
This is why the promise is by faith, so that it may be according to grace, to guarantee it to all the descendants — not only to the one who is of the law but also to the one who is of Abraham’s faith. He is the father of us all. As it is written: I have made you the father of many nations — in the presence of the God in whom he believed, the one who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist. He believed, hoping against hope, so that he became the father of many nations according to what had been spoken: So will your descendants be.
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body to be already dead (since he was about a hundred years old) and also the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do. Therefore, it was credited to him for righteousness.
Now it was credited to him was not written for Abraham alone, but also for us. It will be credited to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Do not rush by the first four verses of this chapter! I know, it goes against everything in our nature and especially as Americans. “There are no free lunches.” “We have to earn what we get.” These four verses fly in the face of that worldly wisdom and balances perfectly with God’s upside-down way of doing things. Let’s read verse 3 again. “For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.”
“So, Lord, let me understand this… I believe You, I believe Jesus is who is He says He is, I believe that the penalty for my sin – past, present, and future – was paid for by His death and then He rose again from the dead to conquer that too. And if I believe in You for all these things, You will declare me righteous – like Abraham – even though there is no righteousness in me? Verse 5 then confirms that it’s not about our works. “But to the one who does not work, but believes on him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited for righteousness.” Just amazing. And what about the quote from Psalm 32:1&2? I encourage you to read it again. And again. And again. This is the grace of God.
Let’s pray. Oh, Father, what is it that Paul says in I Corinthians 9:15? Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! That’s it! Only You, God, could take this sinner and call her righteous. Only You would love us so much to offer this grace. We praise You. We will spend our days praising You. We need not be afraid of anything that man can do to us, because You are for us. Thank You. Forever. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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