Romans 4

Overview

    This chapter is telling us that with faith in God we will gain righteousness. As David’s Psalms say over and over that God is our righteousness, so does this chapter. We cannot attain it on our own by what we do, but with faith in God, He will count us righteous. We are heir to the promise God made to Abraham. Therefore, where it says “it was counted to him”, we are also a part of that promise, and our faith is counted as righteousness for us.

Genesis 15:1-6 “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”

Characters

Paul, those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his saints, Abraham, God, Scripture, the one who works aka the adherents of the law, who one who solely believes in him who justifies the ungodly aka the one who shares the faith of Abraham, David, “those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered” (verse 7), “the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin” (verses 8), the circumcised, the uncircumcised, the “not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith” (verse 12), Abraham’s offspring, the world, many nations, the dead, Sarah, Jesus our Lord, & us.

Key Verse

Verse 16 “That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,”

Cross References

Romans 3:21-25 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.”

Galatians 3:21-22 “Is the law contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.”

Romans 15:8-9 “For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.””

Romans 9:6-8 “But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.”

Conclusion

    There is so much I want to say…

I think it is awesome as we are reading the Psalms that the ones we have been reading are popping up. Yesterday was Psalm 18, and our cross reference above included a quote. This shows me the intricacy of God’s plan, interweaving lessons, repeating them as we need them.

Grace. How hard it is for me to give myself grace. Yet, God founds his promises on grace. He desires our relationship with him.

Israel. I do not have the time to go into this in depth, but the last reference from Romans 9 mentions that there are 2 branches of Israel. We are included through the promise as Christians by way of our faith in Jesus. Being merely of the line of Judah does not make someone eligible for entry into Heaven. We need Jesus. There is no other way to get into Heaven.

How do we respond to this chapter? We have faith in God already, but as we have seen in the Psalms, we do not always act as though we have full and complete trust in God. So, let’s play a trust game with God. What is that thing you are holding onto, praying about constantly so it will get solved, thinking about all the time? Give it to God. Take some time, maybe 60 seconds to write down a prayer or just pray giving that to God. Now comes the CHALLENGE: Don’t think about it again, don’t talk to God about it, don’t carry that prayer your wrote or said or thought around with you, put it in a safe place and let it go. As your mind begins rehearsing the words you wrote, or you start to worry about it, or you think about it, or …. Do not engage. Let God have it. Instead, tell Him how thankful you are for Him, tell Him some of His attributes you really appreciate and need, thank Him for your friends, family, pets, plants, house. This is training in trusting God as well as taking every thought captive. Do this for a full day, 24 hours, and then for another day, then for a week.

I know, I know, you will have a billion excuses for why to change the rules of the game, but God will tell you the thing you need to give up, and no, you won’t have to deal with it until God takes care of it. Feel free to share your prayer here, even share your excuses and I will try to help.

If you are frustrated that your husband is not following through with tasks, for instance, you may think, “I can’t not think about this for a week, it needs to get done now! We have guests coming.” Yes you can. If God wants you to stop thinking about it, to trust Him to work on your husband’s heart, how dare you keep pestering your husband and talking over God’s gentle encouragement to him! When you choose your area of issue with trusting God, it is good to write down your prayer and take a moment to see what it is you don’t trust God with. In the example above it might not be the chores that need to get done, but rather trust or resentment with your husband. You could do the chores and still follow through with the challenge, not thinking about your husband’s lack of follow through, but instead worshipping God for His greatness, thanking God for what your husband has done this week, what you love about him. Get the idea? Let me help you puzzle through your own faith in God, comment below or email me annieliss@horizonsinternational.org

Tomorrow: Psalm 19

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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