|Romans 4 |
1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, has found out?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he has something about which to glory; but not before God.
3 For what does the scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness."[Abraham did not just believe that there was one most high God, he believed the words that God spoke to him enough to obey Him; that is believing in God, at least as defined in this book. A belief that Jesus is the Son of God is a belief in history, or Bible-faith. Similarly then, to believe in Jesus, as Paul has defined Abraham's belief, is to believe the words we hear Jesus speak to us; that is also faith as the Bible defines it in Romans, hearing the word of God in your heart so that you may obey it, Rom10:8,17, and believing. So Paul says that belief and faith mean hearing the Word of God speak to you from your heart and believing God or believing Jesus. You might be saying to yourself: "well if God told me to do something like he did Abraham, of course I would do it." From the Word of the Lord within: "Abraham willingly exposed himself to God's commands. " So too we must wait on God, watch, and silently listen for His commands to us, and then we must believe His words and obey them, just like Abraham did. From the Word of the Lord within: "Wait, expose yourself to His commands, and hear. Only the faith-that-frees imparts righteousness."]
4 Now to him who [does] works, the wages are not measured by grace, but as a debt for the works.
5 But to him who works not, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is counted for righteousness.1[To believe in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, is to believe the words you hear God or Jesus speak to you, just as Abraham believed God in verse 3 above; otherwise, you will stay ungodly and die in your sins to be banned from heaven. We start ungodly, God reveals the sins in our heart, and then He removes them by his grace. By grace he teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Tit 2:12 — thus the ungodly becomes godly. Only God can make an ungodly man godly by His cleansing, washing, purifying, grace. The faith that is counted for righteousness is the faith that Christ authors and is received along with the fruit of the Spirit, which occurs after you have crucified your sinful lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial.]
6 Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, to whom God imputes righteousness without works, [The imputed righteousness of Christ only comes to you after death of your selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, when you receive faith with the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, to then walk in love, obeying the continuous commands of Christ. Until then we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal. 5:5.]
9 Does this blessedness then come only upon those who are circumcised, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham as righteousness.
10 Then when and how was it accounted? After he was circumcised or before circumcision? Not after he was circumcised, but while he was uncircumcised.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith that he had received while still uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are not circumcised; so that righteousness might be imputed to them also.
12 And be the father of circumcision to those who are not of the circumcision only, but also those who walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had while still uncircumcised. [Note! It is belief that results in walking in the steps of faith. What steps did Abraham walk? From the Word of the Lord within: "Abraham willingly exposed himself to God's commands." He listened for God's voice, he heard, and then he believed him; he obeyed his voice, and he patiently endured before he obtained the promise. Believing in God or Jesus is to believe what he tells you. Our steps of faith are to listen to Jesus, the Word, Rev 19:13-16, in our heart, Rom 10:8; believe what the Son tells us, John 3:16; obey his commands, Heb 5:9; and endure with patient perseverance in good works, Rom 2:7. This is to deny our own will and pick up our cross daily to crucify our selfish, sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial; for you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, so that you should follow in his steps, 1 Pet 2:21; For if we are dead with him, we will also live with him. If we suffer, we shall also reign with him. 2 Tim 2:11-12. To do all of that with the name of Jesus in mind, you must seek by waiting on him, watching, listening in silence, hearing, and obeying God's voice; this is how you follow. And the evidence of our faith is to produce the fruit of the spirit, thus to show ourselves to be true followers of Christ, walking in the steps of faith. But the unperfected, blind guides of Christendom would rather have you dozing in the ditch, presuming to be saved, while still being slaves to sin: Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34; and if you die in your sins, you will be banned from heaven, no matter what your ministers told you.]
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of no effect,
15 Because the law works wrath. For where there is no law, there is no transgression. [The moral laws only end when a man's selfish spirit has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, and Christ Jesus is resurrected in him to totally control his thoughts, words, and deeds with the Law of the Spirit of Life. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh." See the footnote to Rom 3:28 for more understanding on why the moral laws must still be observed and are your schoolmaster until your thoughts, and words and deeds are under complete control of the Holy Spirit. The blind guides of Christendom point to this scripture and claim there is no longer any sin because the law has supposedly been done away with for anyone who believes in Jesus; they conveniently overlook the New Testaments' many warnings of sin that completely disqualifies you for salvation or heaven, (click to see); and they also overlook that every man will be judged on his works and words, click to see. Yes, there is a difference between good and evil; yes there is still sin; yes there is an inner law of God on every man's heart that must obeyed and that includes some of the old Mosaic moral laws such as: love your neighbor as you love yourself; don't steal; don't commit adultery; don't lie; don't covet; don't murder; and honor your father and mother. Every man in the world has these laws written on their heart, and if you continue to sin, every man will receive indignation and wrath from God.]
16 Therefore the promise results from faith, that it might be given by grace; so that the promise might apply to all his descendants; not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.
17 (As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations,") in the sight of God, whom Abraham believed; even God, who brings to life the dead, and foretells events that have not occurred as if they already had occurred.
18 Who without hope, believed in the hope that he would become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, "So shall your seed be."
19 Because he was not weak in faith, he did not consider his own one-hundred-year-old body dead, neither did he consider Sarah's womb dead.
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief; but he was strong in faith, giving glory to God; [He was strong in faith as evidenced by his belief in the promise and his obedience to Gods' commands that he heard spoken to him. If he had not walked in the steps of faith, being obedient as commanded, his righteousness would have been cancelled. So too must a Christian be strong in obedient faith, obeying the commands of the Lord that he hears spoken to him; and he must seek the righteousness of God as the highest priority in his life: But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; Mat 6:33.]
21 And being fully persuaded that, what God had promised, God was able also to perform.
22 And therefore his faith was imputed [credited] to him as righteousness. [Remember, faith is hearing the Word of God speak to you and believing it, just as did Abraham, and just as Romans 10:8,17 declare. You must hear, believe, and obey until the death of your selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, when you receive faith with the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, to then walk in love, obeying the continuous commands of Christ. Until then we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal. 5:5, as our obedience leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16. Without obedience to the Word of the Lord within your heart, such faith is only lip service — the faith of the hypocrite. When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live, and he trusts to his own righteousness and commits iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but he shall die for his iniquity that he has committed. Eze 33:13.]
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that righteousness was imputed to him;
24 But it was written for us also, to whom righteousness shall be imputed [credited],if we believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead;2
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised so we could become justified.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 to him who works not, but believes in the one who declares the ungodly righteous, his faith is counted for righteousness. This is a case of translation error. Most Bibles are translated to say: to him who works not, but believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness. The Greek word in the Net Bible is dikaiwyentev, (1344) of which the root is dikaioo, and most commonly means to render righteous. "Just" is very remote in the choices for the translators, but they took it. This verse is simply restating the imputed righteousness of Christ that comes to you only after the death of your selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, when you receive faith with the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, to then walk in love, obeying the continuous commands of Christ. Until then we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal. 5:5. See Footnote 2 in Romans 3 for the details of imputed righteousness. Faith within justifies; faith within purifies.
Isaac Penington writes of the impossibility of God justifying the ungodly in his Holy Truth Defended:
God justifies no man as ungodly; but calls upon men to repent, and turn from their ungodliness, and he will have mercy upon them, justify and save them. Now men are not ungodly after turning from their ungodliness, but changed; and so their state is in some measure changed before justified. If Abraham was ungodly when God called upon him; yet in forsaking his own country, and following the Lord, and offering up his son, he was obedient, and not ungodly, and in that obedience he was justified. A man may have notions of justification in his mind, and accordingly think himself to be justified, when he is not; but there is no man justified by the Lord until he be changed, translated into him [Christ] in whom God justifies, out of the place of condemnation into the place of justification. For until men are changed by the Spirit and power of the Lord, they are only darkness, and in the darkness, where no justification is. It is the believing, the obedient, the children of light, that are justified by the Lord.
What is the evidence of faith? Jesus told us: By your producing of much fruit, my Father is honored and glorified, and you show that you are truly my disciples [true followers]. John 15:8
And Paul defines that fruit: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faith, gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, passions, and desires). Against these there is no law. Gal 5:22-23
Faith is not just agreeing that Jesus is the Son of God, that is faith in history or Bible-faith. Faith is hearing the word of God from within your heart, Rom 10:8,17, believing it to be the Son of God, and obeying whatever you are commanded to do. What was the evidence of Abraham's faith? — he believed the voice in the vision that he heard to be from God, he believed the promise, and so he obeyed God's voice, Gen 22:18. He believed, and had faith enough to be obedient. To believe without obedience is a false belief, a false faith, the lip service of a hypocrite. So we too must believe enough to seek to listen for, hear, and obey God's voice — and the evidence of our faith is to produce the fruit of the spirit, thus to show ourselves to be true followers of Christ; and the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). The branches that do not produce fruit are cast into the fire to be burned. It is through obedience that fruit is produced. Obedience leads to righteousness, Rom 6:16. The words you hear spoken to you are Spirit and impart the life of God, John 6:63, which life is Christ, who is the life of God. When you possess Christ in full measure as a perfect man, Eph 4:13, you are righteous.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Abraham willingly exposed himself to God's commands." So too we must wait on God, watch, and silently listen for His commands to us. And Christians, so you too must do works as commanded by God to you to evidence your faith in what you are commanded to do. Faith without works is dead; not dead works that you decide to do based on some rule or your own decision, but works that are specifically commanded by God — which are works of love for God. The first works God will command of you are acts of repentance from your sinful, selfish behavior. Obedience leads to righteousness, Rom 6:16, as we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal. 5:5.
2 righteousness shall be imputed if we believe in him who raises up Jesus our Lord from the dead. If we believe who speaks to us from within our heart, the Word of God, who is one with the Father, then we believe who raised Jesus from the dead; and if we keep believing what we hear, as we wait and listen, we too will have Jesus raised in us by the Father.
Who raises up Jesus? — the Father. Who is dead? — we are dead in our sins, without the life of God. He raises up Jesus in a believer who has crucified his selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial:
And when we were dead in our sins, He [the Father] brought us to life in union and fellowship with Christ; it is through grace that you are saved;
And has raised [past tense, not future tense] us up together [with Christ], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Eph 2:5-6
If then you are risen [present tense, not future tense] with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Col 3:1
The righteousness of Christ shall be imputed to you also when you have crucified your selfish, sinful spirit and received the gift of faith with the fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-24; and when Christ is resurrected in you to be your true Lord and King, that is the end of imputation, and the possession of it. As Paul said:
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life, which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 5:20
Clearly, Paul possessed Christ. Clearly, He had crucified his selfish spirit before Christ being resurrected in him. Clearly, the righteousness of Christ had been imputed to Paul. Christ became Paul's true Lord and King, and Paul then lived by faith, speaking words as he was told, and doing whatever he was ordered. Since it was Christ in control, clearly Paul was practicing righteousness as Jesus practiced righteousness, as John told us must be done for anyone to be righteous:
Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.
He who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil.
Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed [Christ] remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed [distinguished]: whoever does not live righteously is not of God, neither is he who does not love his brother. 1 John3:7-10
From the Word of the Lord within:
"There is a righteousness imputed only after death;" which occurs when you have been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial.
"There is no righteousness apart from God;" and when Jesus is resurrected within you, you are in union with God, no longer apart from God.
"Awake to righteousness and sin not;" it is impossible to be righteous and still be sinning.
William Penn addressed the righteousness that we must obtain:
Christ clothes with his righteousness those who receive his grace in their hearts, and deny themselves, and take up their cross daily, and follow him. Christ's righteousness makes men inwardly holy, of holy minds, wills, and practices. Although we have righteousness, it is Christ's; for it is ours, not by nature, but by faith and adoption. It is the gift of God. But still, it is not ours as from ourselves, for it is Christ's, being of and from him. Yet it is ours, and must be ours in possession, power, and enjoyment, to do us any good; or Christ's righteousness will profit us nothing. In this way was he made righteousness, sanctification, justification, and redemption to the primitive Christians; and if ever you will have the comfort, kernel, and marrow of the Christian religion, in like manner you must come to learn and obtain it.
Simply put: the more you obey the commands of Christ heard from within your heart, the more of his Spirit you receive; the more of his Spirit you possess, the closer you come to salvation, purity, and righteousness. You receive more of his Spirit by hearing him speak words to you, which also puts to death your selfish, sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, until finally Jesus is actually resurrected in you; at which point you are righteous as he was righteous because he is in total control of you as your Lord. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7. When you possess Christ in full measure as a perfect man, you posses His righteousness too. Look at the many verses that support Jesus being raised in the believer:
And so do the scriptures that speak of an entirely new creature:
From the Word of the Lord within: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars."
You cannot create your own righteousness, however good a life you lead. To think you are righteous because you are kind and merciful is presumption.
The blind guides of Christendom tell you that you have the righteousness of Christ because you believe; that also is presumption.
They say to rely on the "imputed righteousness of Christ" to us, based on our faith; as it was with Abraham.
Abraham evidenced his belief by obedience: Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commands, my statutes, and my laws. Gen 26:5
And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice. Gen 22:18
There is imputed righteousness that comes after we have crucified our sinful nature by our repentant obedience on the cross.
Abraham exercised his faith in obedience to God's voice by being circumcised, just as we must receive the spiritual circumcision- our heart circumcised from sin.
Abraham exercised his faith in obedience to God's voice to leave his home for a new land — so we must forsake the world to enter God's Kingdom.
Abraham exercised his faith by obeying God's voice, willing to sacrifice Isaac, so we too must be willing to forsake everything and be obedient to the voice within.
Abraham was strong in faith as evidenced by his belief in the promise and his obedience to Gods' commands that he heard spoken to him.
Later, God ordered Abraham to "walk before me and be perfect," Gen 17:1.
If he had not walked in the steps of faith, being obedient as commanded, his righteousness would have been cancelled.
We must go to him. We must wait on him — listen silently, with humble silence in need of his changing power — grace.
Wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. We must endure to the end, when Christ brings salvation.
No, we must go to Him to receive his purifying grace to become righteous-
the fruit (effect) of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness is quietness and confident trust, (unquestionable assurance), forever. Isa 32:17.
Make-believe Christians have a make-believe righteousness, with make-believe peace and make-believe quietness and confidence forever.
When you receive the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, you then walk in love, obeying the continuous commands of Christ.
The below scriptures prove wrong the false prophets of Christendom, who say that only believing is necessary:
Paul clarifies: for we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness. Gal. 5:5
Paul further: You are slaves of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16
And Paul: Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Cor 15:34
(Notice: righteousness and sinlessness are co-dependent.)
Paul again: aim at and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in the company of those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22
Jesus told us to seek His righteousness as our highest priority in life, forgetting food and clothing,
saying: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Mat 6:31-33
Jesus also said: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, Mat 5:6
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7
Works of love, energized by faith, are essential to attaining righteousness.
Paul said, I declared..that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance. Acts 26:20
Paul: The cross is only obedience, and those who oppose it are headed for destruction, for their god is their belly. Phil 3:19
James said: You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? James 2:19-20
Paul further said, "Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12
Paul said: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Rom 2:10.
Paul said: To those who by perseverance in good works, seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. Rom 2:7
And For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, Eph 2:10;
Again Paul said, grace results in a people zealous for good works. Titus 2:14
Jesus said, unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3. Repentance requires effort on your part.
And, As many as I love, I chastise [reprove, discipline]. Be zealous therefore and repent. Rev 3:19 (Zealous is -ardent desire, enthusiastic).
Jesus further said, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. Mat 11:29
Jesus said, If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus mentions to every church how their works are key.
Jesus said, I have not found your works perfect before God. Rev 3:2-3. Jesus wants perfect works energized by faith.
Jesus said, Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes,
but strive and work and produce rather for the food which endures unto life eternal. John 6:27
James said: You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. James 2:24
So works of faith are essential to realizing righteousness, purity, salvation, and the Kingdom — given to us by grace, according to the obedience of our faith.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter