ROMANS BIBLE STUDY PART 2 “IN NEED OF A SAVIOR”
DAY-1| WEEK-2| LESSON 11
We will walk through this next section of Romans answering a very important question that Paul asks in Romans 4:9:
Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also?
To further tear down the idea that one must work to earn their salvation, or that those who were under the Mosaic Law were counted as righteous, Paul turns our attention back to the Old Testament using Abraham, again, as the example. To refresh our memory to what blessing Paul is referring in verse 9, we will need to go back up into what was previously written. Verse 6 teaches that David speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works. Having broken the Law of God David understood in His heart that his works of keeping the Law condemned him. For he did not, nor could he keep the Law.
The Blessings apart from works
- Our lawless deeds have been forgiven
- Our sins have been covered
- God does not take into account our sin
These blessings are on those who through grace, by faith, believe in Him who raised Jesus from the dead. They are not through the Law. Now Paul goes on to pull out Old Testament scriptures that teach this truth.
When Did God Credit Righteousness to Abraham?
How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised.
We learn from Genesis 17:1-10 that God established a covenant with Abraham. The covenant was initiated by God not on the basis of the works of Abraham but by Him who calls. What were the covenant promises? ( Remember at this point Abraham was 99 years old and he and Sara had no children) Genesis 16:1|Genesis 17:1
- God would multiply him exceedingly
- God would make Abraham the father of many nations
- God will make Abraham exceedingly fruitful.
- Kings would come through the line of Abraham.
We learn from the Genesis passage, that was also used by Paul in Romans, that righteousness was credited to Abraham before circumcision. You may find yourself asking this question. Why circumcision then? Paul answers that question as well in Romans 4:11-12. Again Paul is referring to Genesis 17:10-14.
The sign and seal of Circumcision
He received the sign and seal of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness which he had while uncircumcised, Romans 4:11
This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised. Genesis 17:10
Looking at these passages together, we learn that God credited righteousness to Abraham before circumcision. Circumcision was a sign and a seal for Abraham and His descendants after him, that God would indeed keep His covenant promises. Circumcision was not a work to be done to earn righteousness. Paul has already taught in Romans 2: 29, that circumcision is that which is of the heart not by the letter.
Romans 4:11-12 answers yet another question. We already know that grace is through faith and not through works but for what other reason would Abraham receive the sign and seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised.
So that he would be father of all who believe without being circumcised, that the righteousness might be credited to them, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of circumcision, but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
Abraham would be the father of the uncircumcised as well as the circumcised. The Jew and the Gentile. What a blessing that God has bestowed. His grace would come to every nation and tribe of people who through faith believe!
For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified. For the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there is no violation.
If those who are of the Law, (those who were legalistic in their thinking, believing that by doing good and keeping the law, and even being circumcised) are heirs, then the promise of God would be nullified or made void. The Mosaic Law was not given until after Abraham. Paul tells us in this verse the purpose of the law was to bring about wrath. condemnation and destruction not salvation.
The Promise is Guaranteed
For this reason: by the works of the Law no man will be justified. The Law brings about wrath, not righteousness. Righteousness is through faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace! For by grace, you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
So that the promise would be guaranteed to all the descendants, 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 used the phrase, “of the Law” two different times. In the later usage, he is using it to refer to the believing Jew. The ones who by faith believes in the coming messiah.
I am praising God today for His grace not only to the believing Jew but also to the believing Gentile. Those of all tongues and nations!
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