Romans Study Lesson 6 – Romans 3:27-4:25

The Heart of the Gospel:
Justification by Faith

Romans 1:18-4:25 

Romans 3:27-4:25 – By Faith Alone

  1. Justification is by faith alone–introduction to the idea (3:27-31)
    1. v. 27-28 – There can be no boasting, because there is no mixture of faith and works.
    2. v. 29-30 – Is the Gospel for everyone?
          • Yes, because He justifies both the circumcised and uncircumcised.
    1. v. 31 – Does this undermine the Law and consequently the Old Testament?
          • No, see the next chapter.
Opening Statement in Ch. 3 Explanation in Ch. 4
No boasting (3:27) Abraham can’t boast (4:1-2)
Justified by faith, not works of the law (3:27-28) Abraham was justified by faith, not works (4:3-8)
Circumcised and uncircumcised are united in God through faith (3:29-30) Circumcised and uncircumcised are united as children of Abraham by faith (4:9-17)
  1. Abraham is the example. (4:1-25)
    1. Paul uses Gen. 15:6 as his text.
    2. Why Abraham? Judaism at this point stressed 2 things about Abraham:
      1. “He was counted righteous because of his faithfulness when tested.”
      2. “His faith in Gen. 15 needed to be coupled with his circumcision in Gen. 17.”
    3. Faith and works (4:1-8)
      1. v. 4-5 Faith/grace and works are very different.
      2. Given vs. Earned
      3. Reckoned (v. 4) compare with v. 23-24
      4. v. 5 compared with Exodus 23:7
      5. v. 6-8 Paul gives another OT quotation (Ps. 32:1-2)
        1. Justification is about a status, not a transformation (that’s another step)
        2. Forgiveness is clearly a part of  justification.

Excursion: Faith and Reckoning 

  1. Faith
    1. Faith and believe are different forms of the same word.
    2. Saving faith in the Bible carries trust as an intregal and required component.
    3. It could be thought of as our heart’s response to the revelation of God
  2. Reckon
    1. A theological term is imputation
    2. Accounting word originally about crediting something to a person
    1. Faith and circumcision (v. 9-12)
      1. v. 10 – Righteousness was imputed/credited to Abraham before the ritual
        1. Sign ceremony then becomes a confirmation of something earlier, internal.
        2. …like baptism?!
      2. v. 11 – We are then Abraham’s children and partakers of his promises on the basis of faith.
    2. Faith, the law, and the promise (v. 13-22)
      1. The promise is based on faith.
      2. v. 15 – Calvin: ““He who is not instructed by the written law, when he sins, is not guilty of so great a transgression as he is who knowingly breaks and transgresses the law of God.”
      3. The stool of religion: promise, faith, and grace
      4. Who are Abraham’s true descendants?
      5. v. 18-21 – The nature of Abraham’s faith
      6. v. 22 – The result of Abraham’s faith
    3. The connection between his faith and the Christians (v. 23-25)
      1. Though from a different age, the words of Gen. 15:6 are relevant for us today. (v. 23)
      2. The object of faith has grown more specific through the years. (v. 24)
      3. The resurrection??? (6:10; 1 Tim. 3:16)