Friday 16 April 2021

Bible Book:

...blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin. (v. 8)

Romans 4:1-8 Friday 16 April 2021

Psalm 118:5-18


Paul has been setting out for the Romans the message he proclaims. He has argued that everyone, whether Jew or Gentile, has sinned and fallen short of the glory God intended for them. But God’s response is to offer forgiveness through faith in Christ to Jew and Gentile alike. Paul's Jewish critics however would object that his teaching does not accord with Old Testament scripture. What about Abraham, who according to those scriptures was not only the one from whom all Jews were descended, but their role model in his devotion to God?

Paul’s argument depends on two Old Testament passages. In verse 3 he quotes Genesis 15:6. Abraham’s faith in God’s promise was ‘reckoned’ as righteousness. But if that faith had been an act of obedience (as Paul’s Jewish critics would argue) it would not have been ‘reckoned as’ – treated as though it was – righteous, but would have actually been righteous. Faith is not an act deserving reward, but the acceptance of something offered.

Paul reinforces his point in verses 7-8 by quoting Psalm 32:1-2. God’s blessing is received in forgiveness, and forgiveness is only needed by those who have something to be forgiven.

To Ponder:

  • Is faith never an achievement?
  • What is wrong with the saying, "God will forgive, it is his business"?
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