ROMANS - Chapter 4 and 5: 17-18 - GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS Print E-mail


Romans 5: 17-18

Tuesday Morning Bible Study, 2/13/18, the Year of Our Lord

Preached by:  Pastor Carolyn Sissom

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Those who are righteous in Christ do not fear the reproach of men.  Self-righteousness is religion and measures others by its own ego.  When we know who we are in Christ Jesus and bear upon our backs His stripes, we can stand before man and God in boldness and confidence.    


Included in our confidence are our justification and our acceptance.  The Greek of acceptance signifies “we are the object of divine delight.”


We no longer look within and say there is nothing acceptable here, for our eyes and heart have been joined to Christ and we know we are accepted in Him.  Let no man touch what God has anointed.   When we are attacked or tempted by the devil, we are of good cheer, not fear.  We know Satan knows our name.   We are accepted in Him who has broken Satan’s head, and he cannot destroy us.  Our Heavenly Protector foresees all the attacks which Satan has planned for us.  He prays for us that our faith will not fail when we are sifted as wheat.”  Watchman what of the night?  You sound the alarm and give us the consolation also!  This is our Heavenly Protector who will warn us just as Joseph and Mary were warned that Herod planned to kill Jesus.  The Lord often warns me in dreams when someone is coming against our Church; or He will have a Watchman call me with a warning.


False religion, corrupted politics, unethical and immoral societies tremble before the Holiness and Righteousness of Christ in a people of God joined inseparable to the Body of Christ through the Blood of Christ.   Their presence is a living indictment---even in their silence.  Do not doubt the presence of Mike and Karen Pence at the Olympics was like an earthquake in the realm of the second heaven as they faced down the demons aligned with the “dragon and the illuminati.”


The liberal media is the voice of the “illuminati” (one world power) and North Korea, South Korea and China are the “dragon” who together has conspired to take down the Trump presidency.


The Lord is raising up and calling forth warriors who know who Christ is in them.  They love not their lives unto the death.  They walk in a power thought dead.  They will face down this universe of perversion, twisted morals, ethical disaster and call the nations to repentance in the power of John the Baptist.


John the Baptist and Jesus did not fear when they spoke truth to the highest religious, social and political figures of their day.  Both Jesus and John the Baptist confronted them. 


The nations of the world set their banners upon the mountains (kingdoms).  But the LORD of Hosts will call His mighty ones as He musters the host of heaven to the battle.  They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the LORD, and the weapons of His indignation, to destroy the whole land. (Isa. 13: 2-5).  Vs. 11:  I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.


“A spiritual resurrection has begun stirring the hearts of the faithful and true to a swelling, shaking, hungering for holiness and righteousness, the likes which have not occurred since the time of Christ.  Though dead, the two witnesses rise up in the very streets that exulted in their death.” (C. R. Oliver – Holiness and Righteousness, the Regal Pair).


 The Gospel brings to us not a work to do, but a Word to believe about a work done!  When we believe it by Faith, then like Abraham our actions will reflect our Faith.


The powers of heaven are being shaken, according to the prophetic word.  Great and momentous spiritual battles are being fought and won in heavenly places.  Spiritual hosts of wickedness are beginning to feel the impact of the saints who are pressing in by the Spirit and beginning to possess their possessions in “the heavenlies.”  And above all, the saints of God are receiving gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is giving ministries to the church---and these ministries constitute God’s only method “for perfecting the saints, for the work of the ministry, for edifying of the Body of Christ; till we all come into the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4: 12, 13)



Job asked the question, “How then can man be justified with God”?


It is written:


  1. BY WORDS:  Matthew 12: 33-37:  For by your words, you shall be justified, and by your words, you shall be condemned.”
  2. HIS NAME:    1 Corinthians 6: 9-11:  (Vs. 11b) “You are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
  3. BY FAITH:      Romans 5: 1-2: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  4. BY CHRIST:    Galatians 2: 15-16:  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
  5. IN THE SPIRIT:  1 Timothy 3: 14-16:  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God  was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
  6. BY GRACE:       Titus 3: 3-7:  “That having been justified by Grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
  7. BY WORKS;       James 3: 14-26:  “Faith without works is dead… (Vs21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works (actions- acting on our Faith) when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar?


God made three promises to Abraham, all incredible to a childless man in his nineties:


  1. A seed was to be born to him in which all the families of the earth would be blessed.  That seed is Christ Jesus (Gen 15:6).
  2. A spiritual seed was also to be given to him, which would be as numerous as the stars of Heaven.  This consisted of all those who would believe God as Abraham did.  This made him a spiritual father of all those who are saved by Faith in Jesus Christ.
  3. A piece of real estate was to come to his heirs.  This was the Palestine area.  All this was promised because of the faith of one man.


Abraham was entered on God’s accounting books as a righteous man.  Righteousness here is a right relationship to God conferred by a divine sense of approval.  Remember he did not receive the righteousness.  It was merely accounted, placed on deposit, reckoned or imputed to him.  The gift of righteousness was not available and wouldn’t be until the Righteous One, Jesus, provided it.   So he was merely regarded as righteous until he could personally receive it from Jesus after the atonement was completed at Calvary.   All Old Testament saints died in faith without receiving the promise. (Heb. 11: 13, 39, 42).


Rom. 5:17-18: For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in light through the One, Jesus Christ.  As by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.


The faith-righteous man has been brought within the circle of the new humanity headed by, and summed up in Jesus Christ.  King death and King Sin no longer has the right to enter into a Christian.  We are urged to shut all doors against it.


Romans 4: 4-5:  “Now to him that works is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.  But to him that works not, but believes on him that justified the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”


This reward for work means deserved wages.  God would surely pay deserved wages.  If Abraham’s righteousness was imputed to him because of works then God in that same measure would owe him salvation.  The only thing Abraham did was believe God.  Because of this, his justification and righteousness came as a free gift.  We are His guests all the way.  “Empty hands outstretched in faith are all that man has to show God.” 


Paul momentarily leaves the case of Abraham to consider the person who has no works at all, one who is an out and out sinner.  Can such a man be justified?  Yes, even he is accepted by God and declared to be righteous on the basis of his faith alone.  This does not mean he is just pardoned, No!  He is actually examined and found not guilty.  Wow!!!!


The worst man and the best man are on the same level when it comes to salvation.  No matter how good we are, we all have to receive Jesus.  The moment a man puts his trust in Jesus; his soul receives the righteousness of Jesus as a gift.   This is not in conflict with James’ statement that Faith without works is dead.   Crediting righteousness means not crediting sin.  William Temple said, “The only thing of my very own which I can contribute to my redemption is the sin from which I have been redeemed.”


Paul is speaking of salvation.  James is speaking of a Christian’s life after salvation by Faith.  Works do not produce spiritual life, but spiritual life must always produce works.


4: 7-8:  “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. 


Paul gives us a second witness from the Old Testament---David.  Abraham lived 500 years before the law.  A Jew might argue, “Could a person born under the law be declared righteous by faith?”  David was almost equal to Abraham in the eyes of the Jewish people.  God made promises to David as startling as those made to Abraham.  He was told him that his Kingdom would last forever; that from his line would come an eternal King who would occupy an everlasting throne.


In Psalm 32: 1-2, David is referring to himself when he says, “Blessed is the man whose lawless acts are forgiven.”  This is after his sin with Bathsheba.


David was a murderer and an adulterer.  But he confessed his sins and was forgiven.  His Psalm describes the happy state of any man whom God considers righteous apart from works.


For David to say a man is no longer regarded as a sinner is the same as saying he is righteous.  When we are truly forgiven, we forget our sins.  This is why the redeemed are so joyful.  Paul’s point by David’s example is that God’s grace also applies to those under the law.


4: 9-11a: 
Is this blessedness then upon the circumcision only or upon the Uncircumcision also?  For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.  How was it then reckoned? When he was in circumcision, or in Uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but Uncircumcision.  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had not yet  been circumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:”


So far Paul has used only Jews to prove his point.  He is now going to prove that everyone can be saved the same way.  Abraham was a religious Gentile (rank heathen to Jews) until he stood before God and believed him!  The moment he believed that special promise he was saved.  He remained a saved Gentile more years before he became a Jew by the rite of circumcision. (Gen. 15:6 – Genesis 17)  Consequently Abraham’s circumcision had nothing whatever to do with his salvation. Paul declared that the Father of all who believe was accounted righteous by faith.  It was not circumcision or uncircumcision (the Jews called circumcision the seal of Abraham), but the “Seal of Righteousness” by faith which made him the man of promise.


Circumcision was only a sign or symbol of the righteousness he had already received by Faith.


4: 12:  “And the father of circumcision to them are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. “


God is our spiritual father.  Abraham is called father because he is the head of a family of people who believe by Faith.  He is the model believer.  He was circumcised that he might be the father of both Gentile and Jewish believers.  Paul has shown by the history of Abraham that both human works and divine ordinance are meaningless as a basis for salvation.


4: 13-15:  “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.  Because the law works wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression.”


Note the promise to Abraham that one day his “Seed” will be the heir of the world.  Adam once owned the world.  God gave it to him. Adam surrendered it to Satan.  We know that the seed, the Lord Jesus, is due to return and wrest the world from Satan’s hands.  We are to share in this promise.


4: 16-17:  “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but so that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations.  Before him whom he believed even God, who quickened the dead, and called those things which are not as though they were”


All who are “sealed by faith” are the Sons of Abraham.


Righteousness is so important in the factor of the seal that Paul used the term sixty times in Romans.  “Present your members slaves of righteousness for holiness. (6:19).”


Paul is using the power of reasoning.  The Jewish readers had to be stunned by what Paul is saying.  Promises and Faith are Gentile matters.  The Law and circumcision are Jewish matters.  The man who lives wholly by God’s grace lives constantly in the light of His mercy.


4:18:  “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall your seed be.”


Abraham walked before God for ten years before his faith reached this point…God proved himself to this patriarch many times.  As shocking as God’s promises were, he believed God.  His act of faith reveals:

His dwelling became a tent.  His desire was to build an altar and to commune and to fellowship with the Lord.  His driving motivation was a promise from God.


C. S. Lovett points out that Abraham was in the same category as Cornelius.  He says that during these ten years that Abraham was learning about God until He believed that he was to have a supernaturally born son through who would come the Savior of the world.  He was only a religious, good man who obeyed God’s commands.  Even Abraham had to believe in the Savior.


Hope is the feature that made Abraham’s faith outstanding.  God’s promise was against all natural probability.  God’s promise awakened a supernatural hope in him, a hope based on God’s ability to call people into existence even though nature forbids it.  Isaac couldn’t add to anything.  He was himself a miracle.  Isaac was a child of faith as are we who are supernaturally born of the Spirit.


True faith is counting things that are not as though they were.  This is what God exercised when He spoke the world into existence.  Abraham knew the Lord had created the world.  It couldn’t be too hard for him to have a son even if it took a special act of creation.


“God placed in the soil of earth everything He needed to create a man.”


He even trusted God to resurrect the lad when he was called on by God to offer him as a sacrifice.  Abraham’s faith embraced the truth of resurrection.  That is why Abraham above all others had so much favor with God.


4: 19-25:’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:  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. Who was delivered for our offences and was raised again for our justification”


Had Jesus simply died for our sins, we could not be justified.  We could be forgiven for Jesus’ death satisfied the death penalty for us all.  Forgiveness alone does not make people righteous.  Therefore we need more than the death of Jesus to go to Heaven.  We also need His Life.  The righteousness of God is in Christ.  We are made righteous as we share Jesus’ life.  That is possible only through a living union with him.  Jesus is alive – Praise His Name!!!!  Because he lives, we live too!!!  When Christ came to dwell in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, He brings us both His death for sin and His righteous life.  This is why we have both the bread and the cup at the communion.


His resurrection was certification to the world that all who place their faith in Him become righteous.


The next four chapters of Romans, 5, 6, 7 & 8 are considered by some to be the most important of all Paul’s writings.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

Scripture from K.J.V., I entered into the labors of C.S. Lovett’s Lights on Romans; F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary;  Matthew Henry’s Commentary; Holiness and Righteousness, The Regal Pair, by C. R. Oliver ---- sermon notes on Romans by Carolyn Sissom. Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those from who I gleaned.

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