Coachlight Bible College Ė Romans Chapter 4

Justification By Faith


The Book of Romans has laid the foundational teaching that all are in need of Godís Righteousness.† The Jew and Gentile are both taken into consideration in chapters one and two, with Godís courtroom coming into view in chapter three.† Godís verdict in chapter three is that both Jews and Gentiles are in need of Godís righteousness, and that it is God Himself that freely provides the means in which we all can be imputed Godís Righteousness apart from the deeds of the Law.† This imputation is by faith, and Paul uses the illustrations of the lives of Abraham and David.

Paul anticipates that the Jewish reader would argue that he has some judicial privileges through his father Abraham, and that the Jew has his inheritance because of circumcision.† Paul describes the life of Abraham and demonstrates how Abraham was justified before he was circumcised.

Paul then teaches, at the end of this chapter, why Christ died, and why He rose from the dead.


I. Abrahamís Righteousness Ė Apart From Works


Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.


A. Paul Was The Best Apostle To Settle This Debate

1. Paul Was A Jew

2. Paul Was A Pharisee

3. Paul Had Been A Rabbi

4. Paul Had Been A Member Of The Sanhedrin

5. But Most Of All Ė Because He Said: ďFor what saith the Scripture?Ē

B. Paul Answers His Own Rhetorical Question By Quoting Genesis 15:6


Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted <3049> to him for righteousness. {accounted: or, imputed}

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.


3049 logizomai logizomai log-idí-zom-ahee†† middle voice from 3056; TDNT-4:284,536; v

AV-think 9, impute 8, reckon 6, count 5, account 4, suppose 2, reason 1, number 1, misc 5; 41

1) to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over

1a) to take into account, to make an account of

1a1) metaph. to pass to oneís account, to impute

1a2) a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e. as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight

1b) to number among, reckon with

1c) to reckon or account

2) to reckon inward, count up or weigh the reasons, to deliberate

3) by reckoning up all the reasons, to gather or infer

3a) to consider, take into account, weigh, meditate on

3b) to suppose, deem, judge

3c) to determine, purpose, decide


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.


1. Abraham Was Not Righteous

2. Justification Does Not Make A Man Righteous

3. Justification Does Mean By Manís Faith God Recons A Man Righteous

4. Justification Ė Able To Stand Before Godís Judgment Bar With Godís Righteousness Accredited To That Manís Account


C. Paul Further Explains Justification Ė Man Can Not Earn Godís Righteousness

1. If Justification Was By Works Ė Man Could Earn Godís Righteousness

2. Then Good Men Would Be Saved By Good Works

a. Wouldnít Be Godís Work

b. Wouldnít Be Free


II. Davidís Witness Ė Justification Apart From Works Of The Law


Romans 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

Romans 4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

Romans 4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

Romans 4:9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

Romans 4:10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

Romans 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Romans 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.


A. Two Or More Witnesses Proves A Point

1. The Law Taught About Two Witnesses Establishing A Matter In Court


Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.


2. Christ Taught About 2 Witnesses Establishing A Word Between Brothers


Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

Matthew 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Matthew 18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.


3. Paul Taught That Proof Came From The Mouths Of 2 Or 3 Witnesses


II Corinthians 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.


4. Paul Told Timothy 1 Elder Couldnít Accuse Of Sin Ė But 2 Or 3 Witnesses


I Timothy 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. {before: or, under}

I Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.


B. David Witnessed That Justification Is Not By Works But Godís Imputation


C. Abraham Was Justified Before He Was Circumcised

1. Abraham Justified By God At His Believing Godís Word Ė Genesis 15:6

2. Ishmael Was Born At Least 1 Year After Abraham Was Imputed Righteousness

3. Abraham Was 86 Years Old When Ishmael Was Born Ė Genesis 16:16

4. Abraham - Approximately 85 Years Old When He Was Imputed Righteousness

5. Ishmael Was 13 Ė When He They Were Both Circumcised Ė Genesis 17:25-26

6. So, Abraham Imputed Righteousness At Least 14 Years Before Circumcision

7. Circumcision Did Not Bring Righteousness

8. Circumcision - Sign To Abrahamís Descendants Of Imputed Righteousness


D. Davidís Witness After Circumcision Was Established - Sanctification


E. Baptism Is The Same Sign Today

1. Not A Means Of Justification Ė Only A Sign Ė Like Circumcision Was

2. Baptism Doesnít Save Ė God Does

3. Baptism Is A Sign Of Christís Finished Work On The Cross

4. We Raise Out Of The Water Ė A Sign Of The New Creature

5. Abraham Received Righteousness Before He Was Circumcised

a. Abraham Is The Father Of All That Believe Godís Word

b. Whether They Are Circumcised Or Not

c. Whether They Are Baptized In Water Or Not

d. Who Walk In The Steps Of Abraham Ė Faith In Godís Word


Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Colossians 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;


F. Circumcision Or Uncircumcision Ė Baptism Or Unbaptism Means Nothing


Galatians 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Galatians 6:17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.


G. Circumcision - Nothing To Do With Abrahamís Righteousness

III. Circumcision Has Nothing To Do With The Inheritance


Romans 4:13 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.

Romans 4:14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Romans 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. {before him: or, like unto him}

Romans 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

Romans 4:19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Saraís womb:

Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

Romans 4:21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.


A. Every Descendant (Seed) Of Abraham Expects To Receive The Inheritance

B. The Inheritance Given To Abraham Ė He Would Be Heir Of The World


1. It Is Implied In Genesis 12


Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


2. And Again In Genesis 18


Genesis 18:18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

Genesis 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.


3. And Stronger Again In Genesis 22 Ė After Abraham Offered Isaac


Genesis 22:13† And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.

Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. {Jehovahjireh: that is, The Lord will see, or, provide}

Genesis 22:15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,

Genesis 22:16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; {shore: Heb. lip}

Genesis 22:18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.


C. The Work Of The Seed In Which We Need To Believe Is Obviously Christ


Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.


D. The Inheritance Is In Relationship To Christís Future Kingdom


E. Abrahamís Inheritance Will Not Be Obtained By The Law

1. No Seed Of Abraham Can Keep The Law But One

2. The Only Seed Of Abraham To Keep The Law Is Christ

3. Righteousness Imputed Because He Staggered Not At The Promise


IV. Abrahamís Righteousness - Not Just For Old Testament Times


Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.


A. Christ Died For Our Transgressions Against God

B. Christ Was Raised Again For Our Justification

C. Galatians 3 Further Explains This Lesson:


Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christís, then are ye Abrahamís seed, and heirs according to the promise.



Justification Ė Able To Stand †Before Godís Judgment Bar With Godís Righteousness Accredited To That Manís Account


Why? Because That Man Knows That The Promises God Made Has Been And Will Be Performed