Romans 4 v 1 – 12
1What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”
4Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5And to the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
9Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. (ESV)
He’s just told us that justification is by faith and available to all, it’s apart from any works of the Law, and all boasting is excluded. That’s been his argument. Now he’s saying, and he’s strengthening that argument with proof from the Old Testament, and from the experience of Abraham and David. By what he says, I extend to all who are listening and to myself an invitation: Accept God’s gift of righteousness, by faith alone. Will you do that this morning?
You can get to heaven when you take in your hand freely – by just believing – you take what the Lord gives to you, in the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He’s already been punished for all your sins. You just need to believe that. So how do we accept God’s gift of righteousness by faith alone?
- By trusting in God and not your works (Romans 4:1-8)
a. God does not justify people by works, but by faith.
b. God justifies the ungodly!
- By trusting in God and not in religious rites and regulations (Romans 4:9-12)
Do we have faith? Do we even know what it means to have faith? You need to answer that question, because if salvation is Sola Fide – by faith alone, the most important thing that you can establish and make sure of is that you have true faith. Do you? You will answer that question when you see the world and life as God sees it: Creation, Fall and Redemption. And when you agree with that and assent to that, and when you truly live your life in accordance with that – in that faith and you live it by doing good works, by loving the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and loving your neighbour as yourself.