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God does some odd things which humans can not do. For example: Making a barren lady pregnant or making a sinner righteous.

Romans 4 talks about these two odd things God did. In all the oddness, it shows that God is able, but men are limited.

It should be common sense for Christians to know that Romans 4 used Abraham as an example of faithfulness, meanwhile, it is also important for Christians to learn that this chapter used Abraham as an example of the limitation of a man. So what were Abraham’s faith and limitation?

“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.” – Rom 4:19

Abraham was about one hundred years old and tried to have a child with his wife Sarah whose womb was dead. What made these two old people even consider having babies in this impossible situation was that God spoke this odd idea to them:

“And I will make of thee a great NATION, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a bless­ing.” – Gen 12:2

“For all the LAND which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ev­er.And I will make thy SEED as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can num­ber the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed al­so be num­bered.” – Gen 13:15-16

God promised Abraham a nation and a land, which Abraham could not achieve through his own efforts. Something even harder to achieve was having a baby with his barren wife. God didn’t seem to be bothered by their problem, HE said their children would be as many as the dust on the earth.

Abraham thought Sarah couldn’t have children, so he tried to fulfill the promise by having a child with another woman. Abraham offered this child, Ishmael, to God.

“And Abra­ham said un­to God, O that Ish­mael might live be­fore thee! And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son in­deed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will estab­lish my cove­nant with him for an ev­er­last­ing cove­nant, and with his seed af­ter him.” – Gen 17:18-19

God denied Abraham’s offer and confirmed the promise through his barren wife. There’s no work that Abraham could do about Sarah’s dead womb. He and Sarah were hopeless, but only trust Gold to perform a miracle to make this odd thing happen.

“And[Abraham] be­ing ful­ly per­suad­ed that, what he[God] had promised, he[God] was able al­so to per­form. And there­fore it was im­put­ed to him[Abraham] for righ­teous­ness.” – Rom 4:21-22

Abraham rested on his efforts but trusted God’s ability to fulfill the promise. His faith, not his works, pleased God.

“For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scrip­ture Abra­ham be­lieved God, and it was count­ed un­to him for righ­teous­ness.” – Rom 4:2-3

Romans 4 also mentioned King David who had a promise from God that his seed would be the eternal king. David didn’t deserve this glorious promise. He robbed Uriah’s wife and murdered Uriah. David was supposed to have a death sentence according to God’s law, but he was forgiven by God. 

“Even as David al­so de­scri­beth the blessed­ness of the man, un­to whom God im­puteth righ­teous­ness with­out works, Say­ing, Blessed are they whose in­iqui­ties are for­giv­en, and whose sins are cov­ered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not im­pute sin.” – Rom 4:6-8

David didn’t say blessed is the man who has a report of all good works. Instead, it is an unworthy man who sinned and had no good report, meanwhile, he was forgiven by God?! This is odd!! 

Justifying a sinner is as odd as a barren lady having a baby. It is odd to require people to perform what they don’t have. We are trapped in this oddness as well. We are like Sarah who was hopeless in this corrupt flesh but eager to have a perfect body. We are like David who is sinful, lustful, selfish, proud, and serving his own interest; but seeking forgiveness and sanctification from sin. The only hope for us is to believe that God is able to justify sinners and change our corrupt bodies.

We are like Romans 4:18 “Who[Abraham] against hope be­lieved in hope”.

Just like how Abraham’s faith in God’s ability pleased God, so does our faith in God being able to justify the sinners.

“But to him that wor­keth not, but be­lieveth on him[God] that jus­ti­fi­eth the un­god­ly, his faith is count­ed for righ­teous­ness.” – Rom 4:5

“Now it was not writ­ten for his[Abraham] sake alone, that it[righteousness] was im­put­ed to him[Abraham]; But for us al­so, to whom it shall be im­put­ed.” – Rom 4:23-24

David praised God for not imputing sins to sinners, but he didn’t know how could that happen. Now we know the answer because God has revealed it:

“If we be­lieve on him[God] that raised up Je­sus our Lord from the dead; Who was de­liv­ered for our of­fences, and was raised again for our jus­ti­fi­ca­tion.” – Rom 4:24-25

David didn’t know his lord would die on the cross for his murder. Christ took our punishment which is how God can justly impute righteousness to sinners. God is full of GRACE.

G. God’s

R. Riches

A. At

C. Christ’s

E. Expense.

If you are eating a free lunch, it is free to you but someone else must have paid for it. A free lunch is not truly free. Now a man is justified by faith without works, that’s because Christ did the work on the cross. So we can have a free gift. 

​”Now to him that wor­keth is the re­ward not reck­oned of grace, but of debt.” – Rom 4:4

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eter­nal life through Je­sus Christ our Lord.” – Rom 6:23

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of your­selves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Eph 2:8-9

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