Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 33

This entry is part 33 of 35 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

The phrase “justified by faith”, does not warrant the
conclusion that we are justified by faith only. It is a sound principle
of exegesis to find out the use a writer makes of a word or phrase,
and then to interpret his language in the light of that discovery. It is
not different to find out the use Paul makes of the phrase in
question, for he uses it more than do all the other writers of the
New Testament. A few of the many examples found in
the eleventh chapter of Hebrews will illustrate Paul’s use of the
phrase “by faith.” “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent
sacrifice than Cain” (verse 4). Every step that Abel took and every
lick that he struck in preparing the altar, the wood, and the sacrifice
were included in the phrase “by faith”. “By faith Noah, being warned
of God concerning things not seen as yet, moved with godly fear,
prepared an ark to the saving of his family (verse 7). That was a
huge task, requiring many days of hard labor; but it was all done by
faith. All the labor and toil expended in building that ark are
included in the phrase “by faith”. It was a working faith that built
that ark. Justified by faith – ark built by faith. Unless a person is
willing to affirm that the ark stood completed the moment Noah
believed, he should not contend that a person is justified by the
moment he believes. “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down” (verse
30). Here the phrase a “by faith” includes thirteen trips around the
walls of the city of Jericho. The walls did not fall down by faith only.
“By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land” (verse
29). Here the phrase a “by faith” spans the channel of the Red Sea
from shore to shore and includes all that was done in the crossing.
It, therefore, includes their baptism unto Moses, for in crossing they
were baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea (1
Corinthians 10:1-2). So also in our deliverance from sin the phrase
“by faith” includes our baptism into Christ. Proof: “For ye are all
sons of God, through faith, in Jesus Christ. For as many of you as
were baptized into Christ did put on Christ” (Galatians 3:26-27).
They were children of God by faith in Christ because their faith had
led them to be baptized into Christ. These illustrations, with many
more that could be given, show us that faith is taking God at his
word and doing what he commands. By taking God at his word and
doing what he said, Noah built an Ark; and by taking God at his
word and doing what he said, we are justified. A faith that will not
do whatever God commands will not justify any one. There is more

rebellion than faith in the heart of one who will not do what God
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by
faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the
glory of God” (Romans 5:1-2). What an amazing blessing, having
peace with God. This in and of itself causes one to be obedient to
God. Can you ask for forgiveness or to be justified if you are not
submissive/obedient to God? Can you have these same blessings
without Christ? Or do these promises have a certain requirement?
Some denominations do not need the son of God.  Can you take
advantage of his promises without considering his plan, his gospel,
his son?

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