Thoughts of John

What is on my mind.

Bible Study on Romans: Justification Illustrated: Romans 4:1-5

Summary: Paul has been explaining the righteousness of God and justification by faith in the Lord Jesus from 1:18-3:31. Christ is both “the just” as well as “the justifier” so that there is no room for boasting on anyone’s part. That would include Abraham, who Paul uses to illustrate his point that everyone is dependent on the work of God for salvation.

1. A. Review the main point of Paul’s explanation of Rom. 3:19-31 and what are they?

B. Explain the argument Paul uses to develop these points.

C. Are you prepared to explain these issue to others who need Christ?

2. A. Who did Paul use as his first illustration for justification by faith, and why? (Romans 4:1-2)

B. Identify and explain “the 3 imputation” from Scripture, and how they fit in with Abraham. (Romans 5:12-14; Isaiah 53:6; and II Cor. 5:21 with Romans 4:3)

C. How have you responded to this definition of justification found in Romans 4:3?

3. A. What is the main idea of Romans 4:4?

B. Explain what this implies about God, and why it is so wrong. Can God be in debt to anyone? (Dan. 4:32; Ps. 49:7-8; Romans 11:36; Romans 9:31-33)

C. Are you self sufficient, so that God owes you something? How do you handle this? (Luke 18:9-14; Matt. 19:14; Dan. 4:37; James 4:13-16

4. A. According to Romans 4:5, who is it that God justifies? How are they described?

B. What does this mean about how much they contribute towards their salvation? (2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 9:31-33)

C. So what is our part? What can we actually do? (Micah 6:8; John 15:5; 2 Peter 3:18)

For a discussion on this Bible Study go to the discussion forum: Active Bible Study or leave a comment.


February 2, 2010 - Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation, Book of Romans, Christian, Christianity, God, New Testament, Religon, Romans, Theology | , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Regarding imputed righteousness, here are my thoughts:

    In my study on this topic, the Greek term “logizomai” is the English term for “reckon/impute/credit/etc,” (all terms are basically equivalently used) and when I look up that term in a popular Protestant Lexicon here is what it is defined as:

    QUOTE: “This word deals with reality. If I “logizomai” or reckon that my bank book has $25 in it, it has $25 in it. Otherwise I am deceiving myself. This word refers to facts not suppositions.”

    The Protestant Lexicon states this term first and foremost refers to the actual status of something. So if Abraham’s faith is “logizomai as righteousness,” it must be an actually righteous act of faith, otherwise (as the Lexicon says) “I am deceiving myself.” This seems to rule out any notion of an alien righteousness, and instead points to a local/inherent righteousness.

    The Lexicon gives other examples where “logizomai” appears, here are some examples:

    Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude [logizomai] that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    Rom 4:4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted [logizomai] as a gift but as his due.

    Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon [logizomai] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Rom 8:18 For I reckon [logizomai] that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

    Notice in these examples that “logizomai” means to consider the actual truth of an object. In 3:28 Paul ‘reckons’ faith saves while the Law does not, this is a fact, the Law never saves. In 4:4 the worker’s wages are ‘reckoned’ as a debt because the boss is in debt to the worker, not giving a gift to him. In 6:11 the Christian is ‘reckoned’ dead to sin because he is in fact dead to sin. In 8:18 Paul ‘reckons’ the present sufferings as having no comparison to Heavenly glory, and that is true because nothing compares to Heavenly glory.

    To use logizomai in the “alien status” way would mean in: (1) 3:28 faith doesn’t really save apart from works, but we are going to go ahead and say it does; (2) 4:4 the boss gives payment to the worker as a gift rather than obligation/debt; (3) 6:11 that we are not really dead to sin but are going to say we are; (4) 8:18 the present sufferings are comparable to Heaven’s glory.
    This cannot be right.

    So when the text plainly says “faith is logizomai as righteousness,” I must read that as ‘faith is reckoned as a truly righteous act’, and that is precisely how Paul explains that phrase in 4:18-22. That despite the doubts that could be raised in Abraham’s heart, his faith grew strong and convinced and “that is why his faith was credited as righteousness” (v4:22). This is also confirmed by noting the only other time “credited as righteousness” appears in Scripture, Psalm 106:30-31, where Phinehas’ righteous action was reckoned as such.

    Comment by Nick | February 7, 2010 | Reply

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