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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 4

Romans 4:1-8 (4)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 1 Study # 4
September 13, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

(158)

Thesis:The debate over the method of justification can also be resolved by understanding what is required in forgiveness.

Introduction:In our studies of Paul's arguments regarding how a man is justified before God, we have seen that he deliberately "loaded" his readers up with the pressures of the "demand/performance" methodology. He set forth the scenario of the judgment of the Day of Wrath as a legal evaluation which includes both actions and motives so that no one can easily wiggle free of the sense of doom that is involved if an action or motive is discovered that is contrary to the demand of the Law. He then "unloaded" on those who would attempt to present themselves as capable of coming out of such a Day unscathed by scathingly accusing them of some of the sheerest forms of hypocrisy. And finally he quoted multiple Old Testament texts which declare the proposition that man is bereft of the kind of glory necessary to be sin-free.

Then, having made justification by works an impossible dream, he set forth the proposition that the Bible had always presented an altogether different method for gaining a decree of justification from God. He said that the Law and the Prophets gave witness to a "gift-righteousness" which was both the equivalent to the Righteousness which characterizes the glory of God and a gift that is given at the point of faith in the One Who justifies the ungodly. By this argument he made real justification a real possibility rather than an impossible dream.

The only thing that remained for Paul to do was to establish the legitimacy of his claim that this "gift-righteousness" was truly available from God by faith instead of by performance. This he set out to do by appealing to both Abraham and David. In our studies to date, we have looked into the evidence from Abraham's experience. This evening we are at least going to begin to look into the evidence from David's experience.


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