Chapter 4
{Salvation Always Has Been By Faith In Christ - Not By Keeping the Mosaic Law}
{Illustration and Pattern of Justification - Abraham}
1~~To what conclusion are we forced (?) . . .
  {idiom: literally: 'what shall we say?'}
that Abraham, our human fore-father/ancestor
  {idiom: Literally: 'according to the flesh'},
has obtained/discovered/found {heurisko} {referring to salvation}?

{Note: This is a rhetorical question. Rhetorical questions are used when the speaker believes the hears are skeptical about the accuracy in his statements. It is very similar to sanctified sarcasm.}

{Note: This verse is setting up the first section of the Chapter. Paul is asking his legalistic Jewish audience, how was Abraham saved . . . considering he lived before the Mosaic Law was given to Moses!}

{Hypothetic Supposition - the Strawman Debater's Technique}
2~~'For assuming'/
'For if and we assume it to be true to prove it false',
that Abraham has been justified/'declared righteous' {dikaio}
by means of works {of the law},
he has the basis for boasting . . .
but, in contrast, absolutely not {ouk}
before/'in the presence of' God!

{Note: Under the 'Strawman Debater's Technique', a debater assumes the position of the opposition to prove it false.}

3~~Now what does the scripture say {Genesis 15:6}?
"Abraham had believed {in} the God {Jehovah/Adonay/Elohiym},
and it {faith in Christ} was credited {logizomai}
'to his account'/'to him' for righteousness."

{Note: The righteousness here is one half of the integrity of God. In order for you to be justified, you must have God's righteousness. This righteousness is imputed to all believers at the point of salvation. It is one of the many gifts from God that is given to believers at the point of salvation. All discipline and all blessings from God come from His justice. When we share His righteousness, His justice is free to bless us.}

4~~Now to the one {legalistic Judaizer}
who works {for salvation in view here},
his compensation/wages/reimbursement
is absolutely not {ouk} credited {logizomai} 'to his account'/'to him'
according to grace
but, in contrast, according to debt {opheilema}.

{Note: The more you work for salvation, the deeper you go INTO debt! It is like trying to get out of debt by taking out a new loan! (more debt)}

5~~But to the one who does not {me} work,
but believes on Him {Jesus Christ}
Who justifies/'declares righteous'
the ungodly/impious {referring to unbelievers}
his faith {in Christ} receives credit {logizomai}
'as righteousness'/'for the imputation of divine righteousness'
  {dikaiosune - meaning salvation -
  imputed righteousness of God at the point of salvation}.

{Verses 6-8: Documentation from the Old Testament and Paul States His Point}
6-8~~Even as David also confirmed/communicated {Psalm 32:1-2}
happinesses/blessings {mararioi} . . . {to} the man
to whom God credits/imputes {logizomai} righteousness {dikaiosune}
apart from works, 7~~
"Happinesses {makarioi} . . . {belong to} those
whose lawlessnesses/'lawless deeds'
{this includes sin, but is anything outside the plan of God}
have been pardoned/cancelled/remitted,
and whose sins have been covered {by the blood atonement}. 8~~
Happy {makarios} . . . {keeps on being} the Nobel Man {aner}
to whom the Lord absolutely not
ever credits/imputes { logizomai} sin {hamartia - singular}."

{Note: Verse 8 is not a direct quote from Psalm 32:2. Paul as his right as the writer of scripture uses 'noble man' instead of man and he puts 'happy' and 'sin' in the singular to indicate not even ONE sin is ever imputed by God to a believer with His imputed righteousness. The point is 'forgiveness of sin' is a 'take away' or subtraction. Imputation of divine righteousness is an addition. It is the 'addition' of the imputation of divine righteousness that permits saved humans to live with a perfect God - and we do not earn it or deserve it - it is a gift from God.}

9~~Is this happiness/blessing {singular - one of the many in view}
then for the circumcision {Jew}
or also for the uncircumcision {Gentile}?
For we contend,
that his faith was credited/imputed {logizomai}
to Abraham for righteousness."

10~~How then was it {divine righteousness}
credited/imputed {logizomai} to him {Abraham}?
Was he circumcised at the time, or not?
  {idiom: literally 'when he was in circumcision or in uncircumcision'}
Absolutely not {ouk} in circumcision,
but, in contrast, in uncircumcision!

{Note: We saw earlier that Abraham believed and it was credited to his account for righteousness. It was many years later (age 99) that he was circumcised. Until that time, he was uncircumcised and a gentile. He became a Jew at age 99 with the ritual of circumcision.}

{Imputed Righteousness of God must Proceed Any Blessings from God}
11~~In fact, he {Abraham} received
the sign/token/'ritual mark' of circumcision
as a seal/guarantee {sphragis}
from the source of the dikaiosune/righteousness
which he had/exercised by faith {pistis}
while he was still uncircumcised,
for the purpose that
the same one {Abraham} might be
the pattern/father/ancestor {pater}
to all who believe
though. . .{they are} in uncircumcision/'have never been circumcised',
that they too might have righteousness/dikaiosune
credited/imputed to them.

{Note: Abraham was the first Jew and the 'ancestor'/'father' of all Jews. However pater is also used when someone sets a pattern that is followed by others. This is the primary use of the word here - pattern.}

{Note: In the ancient world a seal {sphragis} was used to show that this was something of importance. It was used on the King's official papers and on the King's treasure to show it was his and under his authority.}

{Change Now to the Maturity Adjustment to the Justice of God}
12~~And {Abraham is} the pattern/father {pater} of circumcision
absolutely not only to those {who are of the pattern}
from circumcision {Jews},
but also to those who advance {stoicheo} in the ranks {ichnos}
from the source of doctrine {pistis - passive tense}
like our ancestor/father/pattern Abraham
in uncircumcision {as Abraham did as a gentile}.

{Note: Abraham was circumcised at age 99, when he had achieved his maximum adjustment to the justice of God - spiritual maturity. circumcision was a sign of his spiritual maturity, not his salvation.}

{Note: This verse also points out that spiritual maturity comes from TWO related things: 1) studying doctrine AND 2) working with others under authority (advancing/marching in ranks).}

{Righteousness Through Faith As Opposed to the False Concept of Following the Mosaic Law}
13~~For absolutely not {ouk} through the law . . . {is that} promise
to Abraham or to his seed
  {referring to his physical Jewish descendants here}
that he would be the heir of the world,
but through the {imputed} righteousness
by means of faith {in Jesus Christ}.

[Note: See also Galatians 3:16.]

{Strawman Debater's Technique}
14~~For if they who are . . . by means of the law . . . heirs
- and we assume they are {to prove this wrong} -
then that faith is 'voided in the past with the result
that it has been permanently invalidated'
and that promise {of blessings from the Justice of God}
has been cancelled.

{Note: Paul takes the position of his detractors to prove their premise wrong. This verse takes the premise that salvation is by works in order to prove it wrong.}

15~~For the law {Mosaic Law} brings about wrath,
for/but where the law does not exist,
there is also no distortion {parabasis} {of that law}.

{Note: Parabasis usually means to transgress. But it also means to disregard or to distort. Here distort is the most appropriate. In context, the Judaizers were distorting the purpose of the Mosaic Law from one of demonstrating that all men are sinners and need a savior, to the distorted purpose of setting up the Mosaic Law as a MEANS of salvation or a MEANS of spiritual growth. Both are incorrect. Salvation is by faith. Growth is by means of replacing human norms and standards with divine viewpoint - and the only way to do that is to study, study and study some more - all while in fellowship and guided by God the Holy Spirit.}

16~~'Because of this'/'for this reason'
it {salvation} is by means of faith
in order that . . . {it might be}
'according to grace'/'in accordance with grace'
that the promise may keep on being valid/permanent/fulfilled
to all the seed {Jew and Gentile alike} . . .
absolutely not {ouk} only to those from the law
  {meaning Jews evangelized by studying the law -
  Christ in shadow form},
but, in contrast, also to those {Gentiles} from Abraham's faith,
who {Abraham} keeps on being the pattern/father {pater}
with reference to all of us . . .

{Verses 17-21: A Parenthesis}
17~~(as it has been written in the past with results
that continue forever {Genesis 17:5} -
"I have appointed/decreed you
a father of many {Gentile} nations".
In the sight of Him {God}
he {Abraham} believed . . .
even God . . . Who gives life to the {sexually} dead ones
  {Abraham and Sarah - Hebrews 11:11-12}
and designates/'calls into existence'
those things {plural - sexual parts of Abraham and Sarah}
which did not exist {became sexually dead with age}
as existing {He said you have it,
  and they were sexually alive again}.

{Note: Abraham was 99 and had been sexually dead for 13 years. Sarah also was way past the menopause at 90. So this is sexual death that was restored in the context here. When Abraham's phallus was circumcised, he became very fruitful as God had promised.}

18~~ Who {Abraham} . . .
beyond hope/'absolute confidence' {elpis}
  {of having sexual prosperity} . . .
Abraham believed in {the principal of} 'hope'
  {of fulfillment of the promise - he was not discouraged}
in order that he might become the father of many nations
according to 'the pronouncement'/'that which was spoken' {end of Genesis 15:5},
"so shall your seed/descendants exist/become."

19~~And so, 'not {'me'} beginning to falter'/
'not becoming weak' in that faith {pistis},
he 'completely understood' his own body
which had received {sexual} death
  {he understood the issue completely}
'being approximately'/'when he was approximately'
one hundred years old
likewise {he completely understood}
the deadness of Sarah's womb.

{Note: 'Me' is the Greek negative that 'denies the idea' in contrast to the stronger 'ouk' that denies the fact. Abraham had faith in God and denied the idea that God might have been wrong in his being the father of many nations. Lack of doctrine leads to weakness in the soul. Doctrine in the soul leads to absolute confidence in the promises of God and great strength of faith.}

20~~That is, with reference to the promise of God,
He {Abraham} did not waver/stager/doubt in unbelief
but, in contrast, received power/'dynamic capacity'
  {endunamoo - power was poured into him from the doctrine
  resident in his soul - invigorated - capacity to enjoy life}
by means of doctrine {pistis - passive tense - that which is
  believed - doctrine},
giving glory {doxa} to God.

{Note: Unbelief is a malfunction of the faith rest technique. It can come from carnality - usually verbal sins, mental attitude sins or a combination of both. Secondly, it can be caused by reversionism - long-term rejection of doctrine - then the believer becomes always off balance.}

{Note: Endunamoo means to 'become strong'. In the Greek, the words for strength came from two stems - duna and ischu. Duna has the basic meaning of being able - to have capacity - the potentiality. Ischu connotes the factuality of the ability.

21~~ He having been fully convinced
|that what He {God} . . . Himself had promised
He {God} kept on being able also to accomplish.)

{Last Phrase of Verse 16}
22~~ . . . and therefore it {faith in Christ}
was imputed/credited to Abraham
as {divine} dikaisune/righteousness.

{Note: So the entire verse of 16 and 22 reads:
Because of this, it {salvation} is by means of faith - in order that
{it might be} in accordance with grace . . .
that the promise may keep on being valid to all the seed . . .
'absolutely not only' to those from the law {Jews}
but, in contrast, also to those {Gentiles} from Abraham's faith,
who {Abraham} keeps on being the pattern
with reference to all of us and therefore it {faith in Christ}
was imputed to Abraham as {divine} righteousness.}

23-24~~ Now it is not written for his {Abraham's} sake alone
that it {righteousness} was imputed/credited to him, 24~~
but also for our own sake . . .
to whom it {righteousness} was destined
to be imputed/credited . . .
when we believed on Him {God the Father}
who resurrected Jesus our Lord from deaths {nekron - plural}.

{Note: Salvation is faith in Christ. This is important or you MIGHT mislead some poor soul. But RBT says there are at least two verses in the bible (this and John 5:24) in which salvation is mentioned as believing in God the father. This is because the emphasis in those verses is on His part in the salvation work of Jesus Christ. The Father had to judge His Son. All salvation is only possible because of the salvation work of Jesus Christ on the cross. BUT NOTE: These two verses and others, tell us that when you believe in Christ, you ALSO are believing in the Father and at that point righteousness is imputed to you and that is the point of salvation (RBT Series 458 - lesson 127) and John 5:24 says:
  "I {Jesus} tell you 'the truth'/'a point of doctrine' . . .
  I keep on communicating to you for your own advantage . . .
  he that hears and obeys My word {gospel message/good news
  about salvation} and believes on the One {God the Father}
  Who sent Me . . . has everlasting life,
  and shall not come into judgment,
  but has passed from death into life {I John 5:11-12}."}

{Note: Nekros is the singular word for death. Nekron is the plural word - deaths. Jesus Christ died twice on the cross. His first death was a spiritual death and that was when our sins were imputed to Him and judged. Later, after He said 'It is finished', then He died again physically.}

{Justification Related - Strategic Victory of Jesus Christ on Cross}
25~~ Who {Jesus our Lord} was delivered over {for judgment}
because of our transgressions
  {saving work of Christ on the cross - spiritual death}.
And, {Jesus our Lord} was raised again
because of our justification.

This page is sponsored by Kenneth Sidley, CPA and MoxFor Pain Free .