Romans 3 — No One is Righteous, Righteousness of God Through Faith
Romans 4 — Abraham Justified by Faith
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One Reply to “Sep 12 — Romans 3-4”
Paul continues his discussion about Jews, the Law and Faithfulness, with special emphasis on circumcision. Apparently, there must have been much debate about those who are circumcised and those who are not, those putting great emphasis on the covenant of Abraham. No doubt, there were many who claimed some special rights because of their loyalty as demonstrated through this physical example. Much the same with discussion of “works” over “faith” alone. At the end of chapter 2, in just 5 verses (verses 25-29), the word circumcision (or derivative) shows up 9 times. Paul is obligated to add some clarification and he does so as we begin to read chapter 3, even more in chapter 4 in the discussion of Abraham’s justification.
We shift our focus from the physical act of circumcision to the idea of being called righteous. “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Romans 3:20). “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (3:22). And we need this righteousness because, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (3:23). Both Jew and Gentile, those raised in the church and those who have never experienced the love of Christ. All have fallen short. The only way to redemption is through faith in Jesus, “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law” (3:28).
Chapter 4 focuses on Abraham’s righteousness. Paul clarifies “that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness” (4:9) with this key concept: “Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before” (4:10). This argument defuses those who are maintaining some special rights above others because of circumcision. It’s all about the condition of our hearts.
Lord help me to walk in your ways and in your will, “justified by faith apart from any works” (3:28), lest I boast about my good deeds. Amen.