Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Romans was taught by Dr. James Modlish



Outline For The Chapter

Abraham - A man made righteous by Faith 

I. The Father of Faith (1-12)

A. How was Abraham made righteous? (1-8)

[1]. One possibility - performance (1,2)

    (a). Boast before men

    (b). Worthless before God

[2]. What he did - believed God (3)
(a). Believed about coming seed
(b). Counted unto him for righteousness

[3]. An illustration (4,5)
(a). Work earns payment
(b). Abraham was given a gift-righteousness

[4]. An illustration from scripture (6-8)
(a). David was immoral and guilty
(b). Yet given the gift of righteousness

B. When was Abraham made righteous? (9-11)

[1]. Before circumcision

    (a). 14 years after declared righteous

    (b). No value in ritual

[2]. Circumcision's purpose
(a). A sign to remind
(b). A seal to guarantee

C. Why was Abraham made righteous ? (11,12)

[1]. To make him a father

    (a). Of all uncircumcised who have righteousness by believing (11)

    (b). Of all circumcised who are made righteous by faith (12)

[2]. We are all children of Abraham by faith

II. The Faith of our Father (13-25)

A. What faith is not. Not trying to keep the-law (13-15)

[1]. The promise to Abraham not associated with law

[2]. To add a condition after a promise disannuIs the promise

[3]. Conditions of the law only produces wrath

B. What faith does (16,17)
[1]. Allows the promise to rest on grace
[2]. Guarantees it to all Abraham's descendants

C. How faith works (17-22)
[1]. Relies on the character of its object
    (a). A God who gives life to the dead
    (b). A God who sees things that are not

[2]. Faces all obstacles squarely
    (a). Hopeless circumstances
        (1). Abraham's dead body
        (2). Sarah's closed womb
    (b). Staggers not

[3]. Acts in accord with invisible reality
    (a) . Grew strong in faith
    (b). Gave glory to God

C. Grasped the promise

D. Who faith benefits (23-25)

[1]. Helped Abraham

[2]. Helps us - frees us from quilt and grants us worth

Many call Hebrews Chapter (11) "The Faith Hall of Fame", or the great faith chapter of the Bible. If there is another chapter in the Bible that challenges this second title, it is Romans Four. This chapter continues Paul's systematic presentation of the gospel of the grace of God.

Chapter One shows us the sinfulness of man and his "hopelessly" lost and decaying condition. Chapter Two introduces us to God's principles of judgment, judgment levied on sin. Chapter Three reveals to us man's accountability and responsibility for his sin, and introduces us to God's gift of righteousness. Chapter Four shows us the means by which we can have God's righteousness imputed, or credited to our account by faith!!

Chapter Four answers seven important questions:

1. How was Abraham made righteous?
2. When was Abraham made righteous?
3. Why was Abraham made righteous?
4. What faith is not.
5. What faith does.
6. How faith works.
7. Who benefits from faith.



4:1 We begin chapter four with one of the greatest problems (some say contradictions) in the New Testament. The conflict arises here where Abraham is said not to have been justified by his works here in Chapter four and the statement in (James 2) that he was justified by his works. The Scofield Reference note begins to head in the right direction as we see:

"Cf. (James 2:24). These are two aspects of one truth. Paul speaks of that which justifies man before God, viz.: faith alone, wholly apart from works; James of the proof before men, that he who professes to have justifying faith really has it. Paul speaks of what God sees - faith; James of what men see - works, as the visible evidence of faith. Paul draws his illustration from (Gen. 15:6; James from Gen. 22:1-19). James' key phrase is "ye see" (Ja. 2:24), for men cannot see faith except as manifested through works."

"Our father" - Abraham here is the father of the Jew. In (4:16) he is father of all nations. Abraham has two seeds, a physical seed and a spiritual seed.

4:2 "Justified" - (Rom. 3:28; 5:1,9)

See (Rom. 2:13). There is apparently a justification in attempting to keep the law that is not a justification before God. Someone would say "no one can keep the law". I agree, but what does (Lk. 1:6 and Phil. 3:6) mean? Is it merely an external justifying? Example: (Matt. 12:37)

(James 2:21) says Abraham was justified by his works; reference the offering of Isaac, (Gen. 22). (Ja. 2:23) says "the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God...", the quote is (Gen. 15:6). Abraham receives his imputed righteousness many years before he was justified. The Christian receives imputed righteousness and justification at the same time. We believe .... righteousness is imputed, Christ died on the cross, we are justified by his works. (Rom. 5:9; 4:25).

Job asked, "How then can a man be justified with God?" (Job 25:4)

The Psalmist said, "...for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. (Ps. 143:2)

Isaiah said, "In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory." (Isa. 45:25, See Acts 13:39; Tit. 3:7)

4:3 (Gen. 15:6; Ja. 2:23; Gal. 3:6) - Abraham not only believed in God, he believed God.

4:4,5 (Rom. 3:30)

Imputation - definition theologically: The vicarious attribution of personal guilt or personal righteousness on account of the sin or righteousness of another.

Impute - definition, To set to the account of; responsible originator or possessor; to impart, give. Synonym - Attribute, reckon.

"Worketh not" - (Eph. 2:9; Rom. 3:20; Tit. 3:5; 2 Tim. 1:9)

4:7 (Ps 32:1,2) - Here are two classes of people, those whose sins are covered, those who do not have sin imputed to them.

4:8 This verse does not say that this man did not sin, it says God won't charge it to his account.

For Old Testament example see: (Mic. 6:5; Num. 23: 18-21). Then look back at (Num. 16,21, etc.! Ex. 4:22), it appears God gave Israel a national imputed righteousness.

4:9,10 Abraham receives his imputed righteousness in (Gen. 15:4-6) He is circumcised in ( Gen. 17:11).

4:11 Circumcision is said to be a "sign". (1 Cor. 1:22). "The Jew seeks for a sign." (Eze. 20:12). To study signs in the Word of God one must begin with the sign of circumcision and the signs given to Moses, (Ex. 4). Circumcision was a sign of something he already had.

"the father of all them that believe..." - (verse 16) "...that righteousness might be imputed..." - (verses 8 and 22)

Covenant theologians teach that water baptism replaces circumcision under the new covenant. Water Baptism is never said to be a sign or a seal. It is called a "figure" in (1 Pet. 3:21). If Baptism had taken the place of circumcision, then only eight day old male babies would be eligible. Why do we baptize women? Women were never circumcised!

4:13 "...heir of the world...", (Gen. 17:4 ff). Note (Gen. 17:8) says, "...I will give unto thee ... all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession." This speaks of eternity, beyond the 1,000 year reign of Christ. The Jew will inherit the earth. (2 Sam. 7:16). (Gen. 15:7,8)

The Bride of Christ (Church) - inherits New Jerusalem. The Gentile populates the New Heavens; the Jews inherit the New Earth. The original promise preceded circumcision and the giving of the law.

4:15 One of the most frequently asked questions by the new Christian is, "What happens to children when they die?"

Or, "What about the Mongoloid or mentally handicapped child, where do they go?"

"...where no law is, there is no transgression." (Rom. 5:13), says, "...but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Even though a child is born in the image of Adam, with a sin nature, flesh and blood, with the potential to sin, God will not impute (lay to their charge or account) sin to them. Paul said in (Rom. 7:9), "For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." Apparently Paul was alive spiritually once, when the commandment or law came and he reached a place of accountability for it, sin was made alive and Paul died. spiritually, fellowship was severed with God (and relationship!)

Age of accountability biblically is when one comes to the knowledge of good and evil and transgresses God.

See Adam and Eve; (Gen. 3:5), "Knowing good and evil." They ate, "the eyes of them both were opened" - spiritual eyes, the first sign of this .... they knew that they were naked (See Deut. 1:39), "Moreover your little ones ... and your children ... had no knowledge between good and evil ... God did not hold them accountable for the lack of faith of their parents ... how old were "the children"?

See (Num. 14:29,30). "... from twenty years old and upward..." The children were 19 and under in this passage. See also (2 Sam. 12:15-23)

If death is automatic because a baby is born into Adam's family, could not eternal life be automatic because Jesus died to free us from the penalty of sin? (Rom. 5:17,18)

4:17 "Father of many nations" - (Gen. 17:5; Rom. 4:12).

"Those things which be not as though they were" - the eyes of faith. (1 Cor. 1:28).

In these following verses are some tremendous characteristics of faith. The eyes of faith (verse 17). who against hope (verse 18) ... being not weak in faith (verse 19) ... He staggered not (verse 20)...strong in faith... fully persuaded (verse 21)..."

4:18 (Gen. 15:4-6)

4:19 (Gen. 17:17)

4:20 Physical impossibilities did not interfere with Abraham's faith. We believe that God can do anything, our faith falters because we just don't see howl

"Giving glory to God" - (Rom. 1:21)

4:21 "Fully persuaded" - (Phil. 1:6; 2 Tim. 1:12).

"He was able to perform" - (Heb. 11:19).

4:24 "Believe" - (Rom. 3:22; 10:9; Gal. 3:22; Phil. 1:29; 1 Tim. 1:16).

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