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Romans Chapter Four

Likewise, the root of the law is not sin, but truth. In having faith, the people of Israel that received the law were circumcised as a sign of their faith, but they are not justified through the law but by the righteousness of God that gave the law and kept the law in the life of Jesus Christ.

So what example do we have of this - why not take Abraham as an example (v1). Now his works are something to boast about - Abraham did many good things, gave offerings to God and kept the covenant he had with God and all that was required of him in it. But God's works are far greater than even Abraham's (v2) so Abraham must have realised that God is no respecter of works as justification, as works are simply grounds for having the respect of persons.

In fact, Abraham was imputed righteousness by God for his faith, because faith is that part of a man that is not rationally grounded in an event like a work is (v3). By grounding righteousness upon the fact of a work, a debt is incurred for reward. If so, then our owed debts from God are worthless compared to our debts owed God for His works, and there would be no righteousness given to us before God. (v4) Because all fall short completely.

Now through faith God justifies the ungodly, since all our works fall short except only our faith upon the perfection of God. (v5). Through faith we can know God as if our works were enough - by grace. (v6) In such grace for our faith God extends that which is required to overlook our faults (v7) because the blessings of righteousness are in respect to what is perfect. (v8) Then the righteousness imputed upon our faith far exceeds the righteousness of our works.

So, was this justification that exceeds the righteousness of works from circumcision, i.e. the law? or from faith apart from the law? (uncircumcision) (v9) For Abraham it was accounted for while he was uncircumcised and the law had not been given. (v10). The sign of circumcision as a seal to separate out Abraham from among the other people in the Earth is an astonishing thing.(v11) In order to separate out those with faith from those without faith, (the righteous from the ungodly) God started work on preserving a remnant of faith filled believers - a work that was finished at the cross of Christ. Whilst it is possible for a man to be circumcised physically and not believe; there is always an election of grace wherein a remnant of 'faith-justified' believers have correct standing before God. (v12)

Abraham's faith and good standing before God was not a physical bloodline-related promise to his descendents, but a promise for those that would believe, and keep his commandments. Then it was confirmed to Israel all the while God was working toward the cross of Christ. He showed grace to the believer while they would seek out the things of God, and repent accordingly.(v13) For if only works justify a believer, then are none justified before God because our works are not perfect, but faith on a perfect God in an absence of error is satisfying enough. Without faith then; are the mere works alone not already divorced, imperfect? (v14)

Alternatively, if the law exists not to justify ones faith, but to condemn someone as under a fault then keeping the law without correct faith is a pointless exercise. Just as it is true that being as one without law - or as one would say lawless or licentious - the faith of such a person is in error if they think they are justified. (v15)

By faith we may please God (and realise our faults) so that for the continuance of our faults God's grace is extended upon us, (in forgiveness) as we have righteousness clothing our faith so we may stand before him and not in license, irrespective of being of the circumcision or not. (v16) By faith's imputation of righteousness we are not also given over to a reprobate mind.

The promise to Abraham was not to Israel, but to many (v17) because God has not cut off the gentile from the blessings of faith: God is not one to desire that men should be reprobate, each and every one. God made the justification by faith enough for the resurrection and to justify us as if we were also as righteous as Christ. Abraham believed in the promises of God without fault - (though Sarai did laugh) - a work without a fault, (of the work being actually correctly preceived faith in God) is perfect also is it not?

These promises were such as to make Abraham the father of all others with Godly righteousness by faith (v18). He yet believed that despite his age and of Sarai that he would have an heir (v19), also believing without fault that God was perfect and at liberty to do all that He said - without being held back by his own creation, his imperfect self.(v20) God was the root of truth in Abraham's faith. God was the fact, and faith on His promises should entail logically given our creator's standing (v21). Therefore, without it being a fault, from faith righteousness was imputed Abraham. (22), As imperfect though he and we all (v23) are, our faith in God could far exceed the justification by our works only - being grounded in God and resting upon Him. (v24)

By faith in God and likewise upon Jesus Christ whom He raised from the dead, we rest upon fact. Our faith then rests on the promise of eternal life granted us through His resurrection, through the forgiveness of sins - (the grace extended over our faults both physical and of faith), so we could be reconciled to God. The righteousness imputed us is that of Christ because we share the faith of Jesus Christ as heirs of the promises of God. (Which are without circumcision only of the flesh, but are of the heart.) Christ is the foremost heir, being the Son of God who fulfilled the law and showed us our faith. (v25) Jesus was delivered, by His obedient example to us even to death, and is raised blameless and will be our judge - by resting in the grace extended us and within the truth of the Father's words - that to be reconciled is His will, we are imputed righteousness alike to Christ's own.

Good works as justification only, would make faith void as not a physical work: and all works would still fall short of God's own works. Redemption by the perfect keeping of the works of the law only - apart from faith - would make their own root (the faith of Abraham) no justification at all for a covenant. The perfection of God requires satisfaction; conditions are fulfilled but perfection must be satisfied. Works without faith are not satisfaction enough. The promises of God are ultimately by faith to the godly to whom God has imputed righteousness and not given over to a reprobate mind (and those promises are open to all). Were salvation from the law only, all the promises would be void to the law-keeper that is without faith.


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