Thursday, June 28, 2012

Romans 4

Abraham Justified by Faith

Works are good, something to boast about, but not before God. "To the one who works, wages are not gifts but his due." What about the one who does not work but believes? His faith is counted as righteousness.

This also doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Belief in God is all that matters. If you do good works, that's nice, but it is just what it expected so don't expect any praise. If you believe and don't do anything though, you are still good.

The Promise Realized Through Faith

Abraham was promised that his offspring would be heir of the world not because of the law but because of faith. Even when Abraham's body was failing he had faith.

So faith is good, I get it.

v15:"For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression."

I'm not really sure what to make of this verse. It seems to be saying laws are bad because they bring wrath. All I can figure is that since we are talking about faith, the point is to focus on faith instead of focusing on the law. It doesn't seem to be saying that you should disobey the law or anything (although I could imagine people reading it that way). Anyone have a good idea what this verse is getting at?


  1. The verse means that without the law of God there could be no transgressions. Meaning that without the law of God, we would not know right from wrong. It's another in the long line of proclamations that you can't have morality without religious faith.

    1. Welcome to the blog Don :)

      I think you hit the nail on the head, that makes a long of sense. Thanks!

  2. Something interesting that was pointed out to me once. Abraham needed God's help to have a child after a hundred, but he had no trouble having the next six on his own.

    1. Interesting. Is it possible that for the first one God fixed his body so the next children were an extension of God's previous work?

    2. That sounds like a plausible explanation actually. One of the things that bothers me about trying to piece together contradictions in the Bible is that you have to assume that a lot of things happened that aren't in the bible. I think of the story about Judas. I've heard an explanation where he tried to hang himself, then he fell and his bowels burst out. For this one, I am forgetting about things like who purchased the field. Other times, you can't really explain them away. One only needs to look at how different the accounts of the resurrection are. One angel vs two, or one man vs two. They are very different.

    3. I have always liked trying to make things work. I do it when I watch movies and TV all the time. With pretty much every story there are things that don't quite fit together and it will bother me. But I have fun trying to figure out what else could happen behind the scenes to make it work out. It's a lot of fun.

      The thing about doing it with the bible, there are so many contradictions that you can find as many ways around them as you want and there will still be more to look at. And some are so blatant that there is no way around it. The story you mentioned with Judas is a great example, there are different accounts that are different enough that they just can't be reconciled. People try to do it anyway but I've never seen one that is remotely satisfying for that story.


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