Romans 4:14-22 We must know where we stand, on Law or on Grace

July 28, 2017

Romans 4:14 “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness”.

 

In this same book Rom. 6: 23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. I have seen that verse plastered on almost every church banner I’ve come across ever since I was a kid. Most street preachers shout it at the top of their lungs. However, before becoming a Believer, myself included, had ever really given those words a heck of a lot of thought. Maybe more people would stop and think more if those who proclaim The Gospel added just a little bit more of an explanation. For instance, why do wages have anything to do with death? After all, everybody dies eventually. Wages usually have to do with payday, money earned at the end of a hard weekly or bi-weekly tour of blood, sweat, and tears. In Romans 6: 23 death is the payday. However, the catchword between “wages” and “death” is “sin”. Whether we live a godly or ungodly life, one-day death will come knocking at your door. On the one hand, there is a gift at the end of this earthly life; it’s called “the gift of God…Eternal Life”. On the other, the Word of God has concluded that we have a choice, we can believe and be baptized into Christ, or we can choose not to believe and received condemnation (Mark 16:16).

 

The Apostle Paul always made a clear distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous. Yet, many Christians who say that they study their Bibles seem to discount the verses that repeatedly say the same thing. Here is one example:

1 Timothy 1:8 “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,” (NASB). Please take note of everything on that list. Look, I did not make this list, I just added the numbers. So go dig Paul up and stone him.

  1. ungodly 

  2. sinners

  3. unholy

  4. profane

  5. those who kill their fathers or mothers

  6. murderers

  7. immoral men

  8. homosexuals

  9. kidnappers

  10. liars

  11. perjurers

  12. whatever else is contrary to sound teaching

It doesns’t mean we are condemned because we’ve done these things, we are only condemned if we continue to practice these things… there is a difference. Done/Doing. And it’s not like we’ve not been given a choice about what we can practice. There should be no qualms about it, the Law is a good thing when used “lawfully”. I think it’s important to know what he meant by “lawfully”. It’s the Greek word “nomimōs”: “1) lawfully, agreeable to the law, properly”. The proper use is simply to just agree with it with The Law. A righteous man has no need to fear The Law because it wasn’t made for him, it was made for those listed above. Maybe I’m the only one that sees this, or maybe I’ve gone off the deep end. What I see is a distinction between a righteous man or woman and the unrighteous. Look at the verse again because someone really needs to hear this, I know someone will get mad at me or take this personally, but I am bound by that same Law which is good to agree and tell the truth. Verse 9 says, “realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are…fill in the blank. So we all must ask ourselves, where do we fit in the grand scheme of things?

Our faithful father Abraham had an incredible relationship with God. He gained the favor of God 430 years before The Law according to Galatians 3:16-17. After taking God at His word in believing that one day, he would bring to life his wife’s dead womb; he was willing to sacrifice his one and only son. This man imitated the very thing that God would eventually do. Our God brings the dead back to life, he makes what is seemingly impossible, possible. There is no need to go into detail because most of you know the story, if not read Genesis 22. My point is this, because of this man’s faith, because he “hoped against hope”. In the more literal translations Romans 4: 19 says he did consider his body and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. In other words, he weighed his aged decrepit body and the deadness of his wife’s womb against the promise of God. In spite of circumstances that screamed “no way Jose”, still, he chose the ladder. That’s why it says he hoped against hope. He actually looked at the wind and the waves, as it were, but turned back toward the promises of God. That is one of the reasons his faith was added to his account as righteousness, in the eyes of God. He also imitated “God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Rom. 4:17).

My friends, I don’t care what you’ve been told by the Pastor, Dr., Apostle, Lawyer, tradition or friend, if you’ve been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus Christ you are not under The Law. Either you’re under The Law, which required the blood of animals, or you’re under Grace, which required The Blood of Christ…you can’t have both, that is what the Book of Hebrews addresses. That is not how redemption works. Christ has fulfilled the righteous requirements of The Law for us because we could not. In doing so, He didn’t just add to our account righteousness, in Him, there is something new… we’ve been made new, in spite of our being dead in our trespasses and sins He made us alive together with Him (Eph. 2:4-5):

2nd Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”.

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