Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 32

This entry is part 32 of 35 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

It does not appear that the Judaizers denied that the Gentile
believers were saved, but their argument was that the Gentile
Christians must, as servants of God, keep the law to be eternally
saved, or to remain in a state of salvation. To offset these
arguments, Paul shows that all of Abraham’s life was devoted
to service to God; he was righteous by faith.  
Part 32

“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was
imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we
believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who
was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our
justification” (Romans 4:23-25). That Abraham’s faith was reckoned
on to him for righteousness was written for the sake of those who
now believe. It is a guarantee that the believer’s faith will now be
reckoned unto him for righteousness. We must believe in the
resurrection of Christ as well as his death, for without his
resurrection, his death would have benefited no one. But there
must be a Union of faith and works. Paul shows that works without
faith cannot save, and James shows that faith without works is
dead, and, therefore, worthless. In conclusion, the gospel is God’s
power to save man, for in it is revealed a plan by which sinners may
be made righteous. It is man’s only hope, for God’s wrath is
revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.
Gentile and Jew were alike sinners and could not be justified
by law. But this gospel plan of righteousness was a thing apart from
the law, though it was witnessed by the law and the prophets. This
gospel righteousness is a state to which we attain by the
forgiveness of our sins. It is, therefore, of grace and not of merit. If
a man’s works were perfect, his reward would be as of debt. But if a
man’s sins, his forgiveness and consequent righteousness cannot
be otherwise then a matter of grace. No amount of works that a
person may do will make his forgiveness any less a matter of
grace. Salvation by grace through faith is open to all, for Christ died
for all. Both Jew and Gentile believers are heirs of the promise
made to Abraham. They are wrong who claim that Christians must
keep the law of Moses to be justified, for Abraham was justified by
faith without the law.
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). In Paul’s language
justification precedes peace with God. To justify a person is to pronounce him free from any guilt or blame. When a man through
faith puts sin out of his heart and life, and submits to the will of God,
he is forgiven of his sins. He is then declared to be righteous. As no
guilt or blame then attaches to him, he is justified. It is evident that
in Paul’s language, to be righteous and to be justified is the same
thing; for he had been arguing that we are made righteous by faith,
and then adds: “having therefore been justified by faith, we have
peace with God.” Paul had been arguing that we are made
righteous by faith in Christ, instead of by works of the law. It was
equivalent to saying that we became righteous by obedience to the
gospel instead of by obedience to the law. With Paul, faith in Christ
means full acceptance of Christ as he is revealed to us and the
faithful ordering of our lives according to his will. They greatly err
who seek to prove by Paul that we are justified by faith only
common without obedience to the gospel.

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