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4, 5. For what saith the, Scripture? 2 For if Abraham were justified by … It was a sign of the original corruption of human nature. Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary (concise), Matthew Henry Bible Commentary (complete), California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. Salem Media Group. A seal - An assurance on God's part, that he accounted him righteous, upon his believing, before he was circumcised. Second: David sings of the same justification. Cometh this blessedness then, &c.--that is, "Say not, All this is spoken of the circumcised, and is therefore no evidence of God's general way of justifying men; for Abraham's justification took place long before he was circumcised, and so could have no dependence upon that rite: nay, 'the sign of circumcision' was given to Abraham as 'a seal' (or token) of the (justifying) righteousness which he had before he was circumcised; in order that he might stand forth to every age as the parent believer--the model man of justification by faith--after whose type, as the first public example of it, all were to be moulded, whether Jew or Gentile, who should thereafter believe to life everlasting.". was counted to him for righteousness--( Genesis 15:6 ). 3. 21. 9-12. but was strong in faith, giving glory to God--as able to make good His own word in spite of all obstacles. (7) All the Scripture examples of faith were recorded on purpose to beget and encourage the like faith in every succeeding age ( Romans 4:23 Romans 4:24 ; and compare Romans 15:4 ). Thus Abraham was the spiritual forefather of all believers, who walked after the example of his obedient faith. This last verse is an abridgement or summary of the whole gospel. him whom he believed--that is, "Thus Abraham, in the reckoning of Him whom he believed, is the father of us all, in order that all may be assured, that doing as he did, they shall be treated as he was." Paul reflects back to the Old Testament patriarchs who were justified by faith, not works, to illustrate his point. It was imputed to him for righteousness. 7, 8. 22. David also describeth--"speaketh," "pronounceth." but through the righteousness of faith--in virtue of his simple faith in the divine promises. Romans 4 (King James Version) 1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? his faith. Throughout this whole argument, faith is set in direct opposition to works, in the matter of justification--and even in Romans 4:4 Romans 4:5 . As God intended to give men a title to the promised blessings, so he appointed it to be by faith, that it might be wholly of grace, to make it sure to all who were of the like precious faith with Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles, in all ages. For if they which are of the law be heirs--If the blessing is to be earned by obedience to the law. For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God--"If works were the ground of Abraham's justification, he would have matter for boasting; but as it is perfectly certain that he hath none in the sight of God, it follows that Abraham could not have been justified by works." 2. The strength of faith appeared in its victory over fears. The justification and salvation of sinners, the taking to himself the Gentiles who had not been a people, were a gracious calling of things which are not, as though they were; and this giving a being to things that were not, proves the almighty power of God. 18-22. Who against hope--when no ground for hope appeared. This is quoted to justify his calling Abraham the "father of us all," and is to be viewed as a parenthesis. God honours faith; and great faith honours God. By his death he paid our debt, in his resurrection he received our acquittance, Isaiah 53:8. Faith is a grace that of all others gives glory to God. Romans 4:1-25 . Without noticing the years which passed before his call, and the failures at times in his obedience, and even in his faith, it was expressly stated in Scripture that "he believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness," Genesis 15:6. Therefore, &c.--A general summary: "Thus justification is by faith, in order that its purely gracious character may be seen, and that all who follow in the steps of Abraham's faith--whether of his natural seed or no--may be assured of the like justification with the parent believer.". But to him that worketh not--who, despairing of acceptance with God by "working" for it the work of obedience, does not attempt it. From this example it is observed, that if any man could work the full measure required by the law, the reward must be reckoned as a debt, which evidently was not the case even of Abraham, seeing faith was reckoned to him for righteousness. for where there is no law, there is no transgression--It is just the law that makes transgression, in the case of those who break it; nor can the one exist without the other. ( Rom 4:1-3) Abraham was not justified by works, but declared righteous through faith. And to this agree the words of Scripture. before--that is, "in the reckoning of." . (6) Nothing gives more glory to God than simple faith in His word, especially when all things seem to render the fulfilment of it hopeless ( Romans 4:18-21 ). Note, (1) The doctrine of justification by works, as it generates self-exaltation, is contrary to the first principles of all true religion ( Romans 4:2 ; and (2) The way of a sinner's justification has been the same in all time, and the testimony of the Old Testament on this subject is one with that of the New ( Romans 4:3 , &c., and (3) Faith and works, in the matter of justification, are opposite and irreconcilable, even as grace and debt ( Romans 4:4 Romans 4:5 ; and be, in any sense or to any degree, the ground of justification. It clearly appears from the Scripture, that Abraham was justified several years before his circumcision. The seal of the Holy Spirit in our sanctification, making us new creatures, is the inward evidence of the righteousness of faith. 13-15. (4) The sacraments of the Church were never intended, and are not adapted, to confer grace, or the blessings of salvation, upon men. Their proper use is to set a divine seal upon a state already existing, and so, they presuppose, and do not create it ( Romans 4:8-12). And being fully persuaded, &c.--that is, the glory which Abraham's faith gave to God consisted in this, that, firm in the persuasion of God's ability to fulfil his promise, no difficulties shook him. A. Abraham is declared righteous through faith. Copyright © 2020, Bible Study Tools. 1-3. What he was required to believe being above nature, his faith had to fasten upon God's power to surmount physical incapacity, and call into being what did not then exist. Romans 4: Justified By Faith. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. The history of Abraham, and of his justification, was recorded to teach men of after-ages; those especially to whom the gospel was then made known. When believers are justified by faith, "their faith being counted for righteousness," their faith does not justify them as a part, small or great, of their righteousness; but as the appointed means of uniting them to Him who has chosen as the name whereby he shall be called, "the Lord our Righteousness." Their proper use is to set a divine seal upon a state already existing, and so, they presuppose, and do not create it ( Romans 4:8-12 ). It is weakness of faith, that makes a man lie poring on the difficulties in the way of a promise. And it was such a sign as was also an outward seal, appointed not only to confirm God's promises to him and to his seed, and their obligation to be the Lord's, but likewise to assure him of his being already a real partaker of the righteousness of faith. THE FOREGOING DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH ILLUSTRATED FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT. But God having made the promise, Abraham believed Him in spite of those obstacles. He believed God's testimony, and looked for the performance of his promise, firmly hoping when the case seemed hopeless. Romans 4 is proof that faith has always been the means for justification. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap. This is still further illustrated in what follows. 1. Saying, Blessed, &c.--( Psalms 32:1 Psalms 32:2 ). was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law--in virtue of obedience to the law.

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