Faith, The Expression of A Christian Life Romans Pt 2

Romans Part 2 Chapters 3 & 4

Before I start talking about our next lesson, something has been laid on my heart to convey to someone out there. As I have said before, I always pray before taking pen to paper for my notes and before I start to type up my notes for the study. It does have something to do with our lesson. As we get into chapter three Paul talks about the faithfulness of God and that he keeps his word. So with that being said; now speaking as a human here; when we ask God for something that we need, we need to remember that it will be answered but in his time line not ours. We may feel that there is something that we need right now; however, God knows when the timing is right for us to get what we need. It may not always be what we want, but it’s something we need at that moment. This is something I feel God has led me to say, so I pray that whoever needs to see and understand these words, you will receive with an open heart and know that in time you will get what it is that you need. Don’t worry the timing is always perfect.
Habakkuk 2:3 “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (ESV) 
Faith in God includes faith in his timing.

Ok so for our studies for part two, we will be working in chapters three and four. These are broken down into four sections. Chapter three is about God’s Faithfulness; No One is Righteous; and Righteousness Through Faith. Chapter four is Abraham Justified by Faith.


God’s Faithfulness 3:1-8
Paul starts by asking what the advantage of being Jewish or being circumcised; there is much value from what he states. The first being that the Jewish Nation has been entrusted with the words of God; this was something that was to be carried by them to show the power of God to others. The next question he asks about is faith; what if some did not have faith, would this nullify God faithfulness? As we know, the answer to that is no, God is always true and faithful. Example, when the Jewish Nation obeyed God, no one could stand against them; however, when they turned their back to God, he would punish them but he always stayed faithful and true to them. When they would call out to him, he would always show them mercy and rescue them from whatever situation they may have been in.
This is how faithful and loving our God is to us. We are sinners, it’s something we cannot get away from; however, because God love us as much as he does he takes us the way we are. Even when we turn our back on him or have a lack of faith, he, like a loving father, will always welcome us back. No matter how much we sin, God shines brighter because he wants us to turn to him, for anything and everything always. Verse 3:4 states: Let God be true and every man be a liar. As it is written, “so that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.” Psalm 51:4  Now this is only the last half of the verse, but to truly understand what it is that Paul is saying here you truly need to read the whole verse. “Against you, and only you, I have sinned and done what is evil in your site, so that you may be proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” Psalm 51:4. When you read the verse as a whole, the questions that Paul asked next becomes clearer. The Jewish leader back then would call those who were believers in Christ liars and had slanderous reports made against them, because they were still in a sense Jewish, however they believe that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for. This is why Paul asked the questions that he does in these passages, the most poignant question that Paul asked is “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Romans 3:7 Does it really makes sense for us to do evil just to glorify God? And that is the point that Paul was trying to make.
No One Is Righteous 3:9-20
Paul brings up the facts that not only are the Jews charged with being sinners, but the Gentiles as well. When we get into verse 10-18, Paul did what most teachers did back then, they would start to pull verses in from different sources and put them together as if they were one. This is the breakdown of where the verses can be found.
3:10-12 – Psalm 14:1-3 & 53:1-3 – “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
3:13 – Psalm 5:9 & 140:3 – “There throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
3:14 – Psalms 10:7 – “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
3:15-17 – Isaiah 59:7, 8 – “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.”
3:18 – Psalm 36:1 – “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
3:19, 20 -- We know what the law says, and those who are under the law will be held accountable to God. No one can become righteous by observing the law, rather through the law we are made conscious of sin. (NIV)
The law, as stated in our first study and in 3: 19 & 20, was made known to us, not for us to follow but to be made conscious of sin, to show us what we do. Even the smallest of lies is still sin and when we break one, we are guilty of breaking them all. James 2:10 “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (NIV) It is hard as a human to keep even one of the commandments; this is where faith steps in. As you will read further in this study, you will find that faith out weights the law in all respects. It’s not our works that earn us grace; rather grace is a gift for our faith in Christ Jesus.

Righteousness Through Faith 3:21-31
So after reading this, one may ask themselves’, if we’re all sinners and can do no good, what’s the point? Well as we read on to verses 21-26, we see that there is hope and how we can have our lives changed from sinners to glorified children of God. However, we are going to just focus on verses 21-24, as I see it Good, Bad, Good:
Focus Verses 3:22-24
Now everyone knows 3:23, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ however, and this is our only set of ‘Focus Verses’ for chapter three and they are 22-24, I believe and I think it was something God wanted me to point out, why just point out the bad when we can have a good thing before and after the bad. We want to give people hope not just scare them.
22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. NIV
22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (ESV)
If we as Christians want those, who we are trying to sow the seed of faith in, to have hope why just give them bad news when we can include the hope right with it. Yes I know we have John 3:16 and other verses we can use for hope; however, when we just read 3:23 by itself, it’s what could be thought of as a downer, like there is no hope. Yet when we add the verse before and the verse after it changes the whole look and we can give even more hope. In those three small verses we see how righteous God is, our sins, and then the free gift of grace. God presented himself (through Jesus Christ) as atonement, (according to the Quest Bible some define it as at-one-ment, it is an act by which sinners are made one with God – when the barriers between God and sinners are removed) He did this to demonstrate his justice, because of his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished, his justices at the present time and be able to justify those who have faith in Jesus.
Now we come into the question of the law now. In verse 28 Paul makes a statement that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. So does this mean we no long have to follow the law? Paul makes this quite clear in verse 31 ‘Do we, then, nullify the law by faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.’
(Ok human me speaking here) Yes it can become confusing and this is one area of much prayer for me. In some cases, and this is how I was raised, we are to still follow the 10 commandments. Yet when I have talked with others, books from leading preachers and even one of my own pastors, they say when the New Covenant was made, by Jesus Christ, the old past away and the new took its place. Which means; that when Christ took our place upon that cross, faith took the place of works. This makes sense, because grace is a gift not something to be earned by following the laws. This is something we will see in a bit. So I will admit, and I still struggle with this, and I prayer that there are others out there, who like me wonder about this. I pray this is something we can discuss in the group.
Chapter 4
Abraham Justification by Faith
Chapter four Paul talks about the faith that Abraham had in God, he does this for a couple of reasons, the main reason was for those who are saying that what Paul is teaching is a lie and the other is for us to see how faith in God, not the law, that give us the gift of grace. Abraham’s life is an example of the type of life that we need to live. To truly know the whole story of Abraham, you’ll need to read Genesis 11:27-25:11. (As I write this, I will be using both of Abraham’s names. His first name was Abram (meaning “Exalted Father”) and later God starts to call him Abraham (meaning “Father of Many”). In the account of Abraham’s life, we see how many times his faith had been tested by God, and he always prevailed.
Abraham lived before the 10 commandments, before Christ Jesus and before circumcision (a seal commanded by God as a physical sign of their faith). I want to share a few verses from Genesis as examples of the faith that Abraham had, I will only give a summary of what the verses are about, if you would like, read them and see if you agree with what I have written.
Genesis 12:1-8, here God has told Abram to pack up all his belongings, including his household, and move to an area that would one day become Israel.  Without any second thoughts he did as he was told.
Genesis 15:1-6 At this time Abram and Sarai, (whose spelling was changed later to Sarah, both meaning Princess), were childless; God spoke to Abram and told him to go outside and count the stars if he could. This would be the number of descendants he would have. Abram had no doubt that God would follow through on his promise and because of his faith, God credited him as righteous.
Genesis 17:5 Abram name changed to Abraham and Sarai to Sarah. This is when Sarah became pregnant with Isaac.
Genesis 22:1-14 Here we read the ultimate test of faith that God places on Abraham, the sacrifice of his own son. Abraham trusted God enough that he was willing to follow the instructions of God to sacrifice Isaac; however, I believe that Abraham knew that God would provide another sacrifice in place of Isaac once they reach where they were going. Surely enough, an angel of the LORD stopped Abraham and a ram was stuck by the horns in the thickets close by, this was to be his sacrifice.
Abraham is truly an example that we should live by. It can be hard to let go, we are human after all, but when we give are all to God and fully trust and have faith in him then we are truly blessed. Paul quotes Psalm 32:1 & 2 that puts one of the blessings we receive in such a beautiful way.
This is our next set of focus verses (was going to be the only one for four, but you’ll see at the end that something else really called out to me)
Focus Verses 4:7 & 8
7“Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered,
8 blessed is the man whose sin the LORD will
never count against him.”

What a blessing to know that our sins will never be counted against us, all because of our faith in Jesus Christ. As I was writing up my notes for this I had K-Love* playing in the background and the verse of the day came on and I for some reason thought in fit so well within this study and wanted to share.

John 14:21 “Whoever, has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one, who loves me, will be loved by my father and I will love them and show myself to them.”
To me this verse is an underlining statement of what Romans is all about. Our love for Jesus Christ, and in turn the Heavenly Father, keeping him commands and have faith in Christ Jesus, we are blessed to know that our sins will be seen no more.

As we continue to read on in chapter 4, we know that now Abraham has two physical children, yet he became the father of so many more. Isaac had a son, Jacob, who in turn had 12 children that because the 12 tribes of Israel. Yet these are not the only descendants that God spoke of. He is also our Spiritual Father, this was in the promise that God made to Abraham. When we accept and have faith in Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we too become part of Abraham’s offspring; yes this includes you and me.

I am adding the last three verses into our focus verses. For some reason as I was rereading the passages again, I do this at least four times; these verses struck a chord with me this time around. I didn’t block them out when I did my page, but I did go back in to underline them because I felt they are important to remember.

No matter what Abraham faced, he always held on to his faith in God. 4:20-25 states it quite best on how much faith Abraham had in God and the type of faith we should also have so that we too can be ‘credited as righteous.’ We must have faith in Christ Jesus or Lord and Savior, who was delivered for our transgressions and was raised from the dead for our justification.

Focus Verses 4:23-25

23 The words “it is credited to him” were written not only for him (Abraham) alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Posing a Question for Discussion in the Group:

So I will pose a question here and if you would like to address it, let’s bring it up in the group. I will post a question on the board in regards to whether we should or shouldn’t still live by the law.  Because from what I understand, and correct me if I’m wrong: Paul is giving two different answers when it comes to the law; we shouldn’t follow it because it ‘nullifies faith’, but on the other hand he is saying we should ‘uphold the law.’
* K-Love is a Christian radio station that is available in most areas in the US. However, if you can’t get it where you live, they can be found on the IHeart Radio App and on the computer ate www.klove.com

Study Questions:

Chapter 3
  1. What value did the Jewish Nation have over the Gentiles? What did God entrust them with?
  2. When we lack in faith, does it nullify God’s faithfulness?
  3. I 3:7 Paul poses the question, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” What was his reason for asking this?
  4. When it comes to the law, are we able to keep them? What happens when we break even one of them?
  5. How do we receive grace? Can it be earned? Explain.
  6. Break down atonement and give its meaning.

Chapter 4
  1. Whose life does Paul bring up?
  2. What was his reason for doing so?
  3. Verses 7 & 8 tell us the type of blessing we receive, what is it?
  4. Abraham becomes a father both physically and spiritually. Why is the second one important to us and how does he become our spiritual father?
  5. When we have faith in God, not only does he gift us with grace, what else does he do for us?

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