Romans 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
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.
10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
Anyone who reads the Bible will find that God is love, and He is also a Judge. God placed one tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden that He told Adam not to eat the fruit of. Placing that tree there was an act of judgment. There was something in that Garden that was not good for man to eat. Adam was told that the day he would eat of that fruit, he would die. Adam chose to reject God’s law and he ate of that fruit. He died spiritually that very day, as did his wife Eve. The entire creation, except for the good angels, was put on a trajectory of death.
This week there was a report of a senior “Pastor” from Ohio who gave some very typical, but very ungodly counsel. He is described as having a reputation as a sound Bible teacher who gets invited to “conservative” religious pulpits. This man was asked if a “Christian” woman should attend a sodomite wedding. The question was in relation to her grandson getting “married” to a sodomite. That means her grandson is a sodomite as well. This so-called sound pastor counselled that this woman should go to the wedding and even bring a gift, as long as she has made it clear to her grandson that she does not agree with what he is doing. This heretic stated that if she did not go, she would be encouraging the thought that she was being judgmental of her grandson and of sodomites.
This heretic dismissed the FACT that God has already decreed that sodomy is an abomination to Him. God created Adam and Eve. He created man, male and female. He forbids man lying with man and woman with woman. He condemns that entire scene.
Here is what Jesus said about the truth:
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
True peace cannot exist apart from knowing the Prince of Peace — the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who want to defy God are living under His condemnation. The solution is for them to repent and be saved. Those who want to condone sin, are partakers of the sin.
I Corinthians 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
We talked yesterday of how “evangelicals” are afraid to identify as born again Christians in the presence of Muslims. The term “Christian” has been redefined many years ago. The redefined view is the accepted view today. Biblical Christianity has always been a minority position. God is overall, but He is rejected by the majority of mankind.
Careless Christianity cannot survive. Careless Christianity is unacceptable to God. We need to know the truth and identify with the truth.
In verse 6 of our text God directed Paul to use another Old Testament character that was well known to the original recipients. Even today, most people with even a superficial belief in God, know the name David as the king of Israel. From time to time we read of ungodly reporters referring to a “David and Goliath” situation that someone is facing. God pointed to David as a man of God whom He directed to write some important truths.
The apostle Paul referred back to Psalm 32:1-2. The blessedness of the Lord is reserved for those whose sin has been forgiven. The Greek word translated as “Imputeth” means: “to take an inventory”. It is the same Greek word translated as “counted” in verse 3 and as “reckoned” in verse 4. God looks at the man who is saved and He does not credit them with their sin any longer. It has been forgiven. As we see in the life of David and Abraham, there were still consequences for their sin, but their sin would not stand against them before God. The blood of Jesus Christ applied to their hearts would remove the condemnation of sin. However, they would live with the grief of seeing others suffer due to their wrong example.
God warned David that his “secret” sin with Bathsheba would become a public sin for Absalom with some of David’s concubines. God is showing us the blessing of being forgiven and knowing God’s peace in our hearts. God also reminds us of the importance of listening to Him first, rather than sinning and then coming running to Him for forgiveness. The Catholics and many others teach that sin is not good but not that serious either. After sinning, they teach that you can do penance and be absolved of the sin. Theirs’ is a false religion that appeals to the flesh. Most people have some negative influence from this lie in their lives.
Paul was directed by God to teach us the truth. The truth is what makes us free. The apostle Paul could write that he was ready to be offered up. He knew there was a reward awaiting him. He did not write that as a deluded man. He wrote that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He also stated that all those who “love His appearing” can have the same confidence. When we get a better glimpse of the holiness of God, we know we can not look forward to His appearing if we are guilty of sin.
God directed Paul to write of the blessing it is for a man to be free from guilt before God. It is a blessing when God looks at a man and cannot credit sin to his account.
In verse 9 we see how this can be accomplished. Paul began with a question. Is this blessing only for those who are circumcised (the Jews)? The uncircumcision are the Gentiles. God again pointed back to Abraham for the answer to this question. God counted Abraham’s faith as righteousness in Genesis 15. God gave the law of circumcision to Abraham in Genesis 17. Thus God shows us that circumcision had nothing to do with declaring Abraham righteous, In Genesis 17 God told Abraham that as His righteous child, he needed to obey the law of circumcision. This law required a very personal act demonstrating how the saint needs to separate from ungodliness. Gentiles are not commanded to be circumcised, however, they are commanded to separate from sin if they are saved.
In verse 10 God showed that this righteousness of Abraham was reckoned to him in uncircumcision. We have already noted that.
God wanted the Roman saints of Paul’s day to know that works could not save them. Those who would read this letter also needed to understand this fact. As Martin Luther studied this book, he should have paid attention to what he was reading. He read it through his Catholic lenses and thus he did not come to the knowledge of the truth.
As we mentioned in our opening remarks in this devotional, it is quite possible to be in a position of religious authority, but still be lost. There are people who reject God because they see the hypocrisy of those who claim to be saved. I have mentioned that I did that as a young person. The answer to that is not to reject God, but rather to listen to God as He convicts of sin in your conscience. As He convicts of sin, He will also guide you to the right place to get the answer to that guilty conscience. God is good. He does not leave man without the needed opportunity to find the truth. Those who are saved need to be faithful in praying and going to the lost. Those who are lost need to let God lead them to the truth.
Throughout my Christian life, God has proven Himself faithful to His Word. He has led me to individuals who have been seeking truth. He has also led individuals who are seeking truth to where I have been able to help them. God does not force anyone to remain lost and go to hell. He provides all that is needed for a person to be saved. The key is to listen to God’s leading.
I know there are people that God has led me to, who claim to believe, but prove they do not. They insist on their false beliefs and thus I cannot help them. A person that rejects God’s Word has condemned himself. The wise person learns the lessons God gives us from Abraham and David.