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FROM THE PASTOR'S STUDY

Topic: Message Outlines: Chapter 4

Romans 4:16-22 (1)

by Darrel Cline
(darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)

Chapter # 4 Paragraph # 3 Study # 1
November 8, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

(174)

Thesis:The plans of God must rest upon God's performance because man's is disastrous.

Introduction:For many weeks we have been looking into the question of what Abraham discovered as the original recipient of the promise of God. We have seen that Paul has focused his attention, and ours, upon the "bottom line": righteousness before God. Clearly, God cannot "bless" a man with any provision of "good" unless something is done to free God's actions from the necessities involved in Justice. Justice is not "optional" and refraining from giving man what he deserves is "unjust". It is no accident that Paul strives in 3:25-26 to argue that God was not being "unjust" by not treating men justly in the time before the coming of Jesus; nor is it any accident that 1 Peter 1:20 and Revelation 13:8 tell us that Jesus was "ordained" to be "slain" from the foundation of the world. The Gospel is that God Himself satisfied the true necessities of Justice so that He could be free to treat men as though they did not deserve His wrath. Thus, the question has always been, not whether men have sinned and deserve eternal condemnation, but how those sinners might be treated by God as saints. Paul's answer is that Abraham discovered that a person can be "reckoned" righteous by God on the basis of faith in what God has done, not merely said. It, obviously, begins with what He says; but what He says must come about in history in actual action, or the saying becomes a lie.

This is what is involved in our study this evening: the issue of whether God's words can be turned into lies. In Romans 4:16 Paul addresses the issue of whether God's "promise" can be turned into a lie. His answer is, obviously, "No", but it is important that we understand how that "No" is absolutely true.


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