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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Romans

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Frameworks: Romans 4


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)



v.1-5 Consider Abraham's Righteousness

v.6-8 David supports this

v.9-12 Consider Abraham's Circumcision

v.13-17 Consider Abraham's Offspring

v.18-22 How Abraham received children and what effect that had

v.23-25 And Us


[Context: Because we believe it is important to follow the flow of Paul's teaching we continue to provide a brief summary of each previous chapter to provide present context:

Ch.1 The sinfulness of the world

Ch.2 All – Jew & Gentile – are under God's judgment, background is irrelevant

Ch.3 Jews are the same as Gentiles in that salvation only comes through faith in Christ

NOW he uses Abraham to illustrate how justification (being put right with God) only comes through faith – believing what God has said about Christ]



v.1-5 Consider Abraham's Righteousness


v.1 (what Abraham, who has such a big part in Israel's history have to say about all this?) What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter?

v.2 (If he was right before God for doing right that might have been a cause of boasting, but hat's not what he had) If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God.

v.3 (The Genesis record says he was considered righteous simply because he believed God) What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” [Gen 15:6; also in verse 22]

v.4 (if you work wages are a right) Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation.

v.5 (if you don't work but trust God that faith is considered righteousness) However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.



v.6-8 David supports this


v.6 (David in his psalms said the same thing) David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

v.7 (transgression forgiven is a possibility) “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
v.8 (it's great when God doesn't count them against us) Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” [Psa 32:1,2]



v.9-12 Consider Abraham's Circumcision


v.9 (does this only apply to the circumcised [for Abraham was circumcised]) Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness.

v.10 (but the fact is he was declared righteous before he was circumcised) Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!

v.11 (no, circumcision was simply a sign of the righteousness he already had) And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. (thus he's also the father of the uncircumcised [Gentiles]) So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.

v.12 (he's the father of the circumcised (Jews) if they follow in faith) And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.



v.13-17 Consider Abraham's Offspring


v.13 (so it wasn't by rule keeping that he was declared righteous and had a family, but by faith) It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.

v.14 (if you depend on the law faith means nothing and you are still hopeless) For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless,

v.15 (because trying to keep the Law and failing only brings judgment) because the law brings wrath. (if you have no rules to keep you have no points of failure) And where there is no law there is no transgression.

v.16 (God's promise of salvation (righteousness) come by faith to both Jew and Gentile) Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

v.17 (this is why Abraham is considered father of many people – all people of faith who inherit eternal life) As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” [Gen. 17:5] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.



v.18-22 How Abraham received children and what effect that had


v.18 (against hope [in his old age] he believed and became this father) Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Gen 15:5]

v.19 (he was old, Sarah was past child bearing – but he still believed) Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead.

v.20,21 (he believed God had the power to help them conceive) Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

v.22 (THIS is why he was considered righteous by God) This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”



v.23-25 And Us


v.23,24 (God credits not only Abraham but also us when we believe in the risen Jesus) The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

v.25 (Jesus died carrying our sins and rose again to confirm we can be forgiven by believing) He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.