Posted: September 30, 2004
A Study of Positional Truths
In our study of
righteousness this week, we take up the conversion of Abraham in Romans
4:1-5. In verse one Paul asks what did our Father Abraham find by the
working of the flesh.
In calling Abraham, Father, we are reminded of his patriarchal
position. He is the Father of all that believe. (Romans 4:26) What
does this mean? When studying Abraham’s conversion we should see the
same similarity in our conversion. He, being the Father of those that
believe, sees that the same kind produces the same kind. Abraham finds
nothing spiritual through the flesh. (The natural senses of man.)
In these five
verses, Paul tells us in a nutshell, the conversion of Abraham, the
friend of God and the Father of the Faith. To describe this great
conversion Paul uses several spirit filled statements of truth.
One of the phrases
justified by works.
(Verse 2) The Bible is very clear to tell us that a man cannot be
justified (brought into right standing with God) by works, but he must
be justified by faith. James tells us that man must be justified by
faith and works. (James 2:24) Do not get what Paul and James are saying
confused. They are both on the same page. In Genesis 15:6 when Abraham
believed, this is what God saw as faith and justified his soul. In
Genesis 22 when he was willing to offer his son as a sacrifice, this is
what man saw as the evidence of works. We are not saved by works, but
we must have a faith that will work.
There is another
phrase in our text in verse 5 that speaks volumes. “But
to him that worketh not…”
This statement must give our cult and Catholic friends fits. So much
more can be accomplished for God by doing nothing, than can be
accomplished by doing something. The work of God is not a work that we
can do. It is a work that He does through us. We are the channel. He
is the mighty force of working energy that flows in and through us. It
is not in our doing but in His done.
phrase that is so powerful in the truth of justification is in verse 3.
The word ‘believed’ means to entrust ones self, to commit or rest the
whole being upon another. Man in his natural state will not believe in
God. Paul said, “The natural man receiveth not the things of God…they
are foolishness to him.” (I Corinthians 2:14) There must be an
awakening in mans heart that causes such a work of believing. Paul
tells us in verse 5, this act of believing was a gift from and caused by
God. Once we believe, then God who
justifies the ungodly, counted him righteous.
(Verse 5) The word ‘ungodly’ has the idea of being irreverent or anti
God. He takes this one in an ungodly state and counts (to place to ones
account) righteousness. The word ‘righteousness’ has to do with all
that Christ is. (I Corinthians 1:30) I no longer have my account in
heaven which was black with sin. I now have the ledger account of
Christ. God sees me in Christ. What He knows to be true of Christ, He
thinks and sees me to be. He sees Christ as holy, pure, spotless, and
His beloved Son. He thinks all of this is true of me. Justified freely
through Calvary’s flood, Oh what a standing is mine.