Date: July 26, 2011
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures…They are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
Author: Bob Moses
Commentary on Romans
We enter now, into another realm of this most provocative Epistle of Paul. Verse one states, “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh… moving then to verse two, “For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof, to glory: but not before God. Vs. 3: “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” What the Apostle is explaining, is the fact that works, of themselves, are meaningless. It is our “faith” which sets us apart. Abraham and his “faith” toward God, were the cornerstones for the embodiment of the Jewish religion. Please make note of the fact that Abraham was a Gentile, not a Jew, when God called him to be the father of that great nation. Abraham, himself, was the leader of the Jewish nation, as God ordained. Why? Because, Abraham “Believed”. And so our faith, to this day, rests upon our “belief”. Total faith is so simple, yet so complex, that the common man cannot comprehend it. And yet, we proclaim this as the information age!! Go figure!! This gets even more compelling as we progress through this Chapter.
Verse’s 4—5; “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifeth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”. In other words he that tries to work his way into heaven, is not coming to God through grace, but rather attempting to satisfy a debt unto God. Therefore one who “believes” in Christ, even the ungodly (Gentiles), his faith is counted unto him for righteousness, because he “believes and has faith in the blood of Jesus”, who died on the cross for our transgressions.
Verse 6—16; “Even as David also described the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputed righteousness without works, 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. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcison also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? (Paraphase… After he had been circumcised, or before he was circumcised.” The fact is his faith was reckoned for righteousness, not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. In other words, before he became the “father” of the Jewish nation, which of course, means while he was as yet uncircumcised, being a Gentile.) “And received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised: that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: And the father of circumcision to them who are not of circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had, being yet uncircumcised. 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 worketh wrath; for where no law is, there is no transgression. 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 to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all”.
Circumcision was a seal of the covenant or agreement between God and Abraham. As you will recall, Abraham was nearly 100 years old. Nevertheless, before God appointed him as the heir of the Jewish nation, God required him and all his sons to be circumcised, as a sign of the difference between Jew and Gentile. This was Abraham’s part of the deal. Therefore Abraham is the father of all of us in the family of faith, both Jew and Gentile, because he both believed and obeyed God.
We shall skip to verse 19—25: “And being not weak in faith, he (Abraham) considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb (Sarah was well into her nineties, yet they conceived their son, Isaac), 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 (God) had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him (Abraham) for righteousness. Now it was not written for his (Abraham) sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him (God the Father) that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification”.
There are some in our audience who will undoubtedly proclaim, how do you correlate this with the Book of James, Chapter 2 and verse 24 which states: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”. This is a fair objection, but it falls short of the mark. If one would take the time to read down to verse 26, of this same Chapter; of James; which reads; “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also”. James is making the same point as that of Paul. The slight difference is that these are two aspects of the same one truth. Paul speaks of that which justifies man before God, viz: faith alone, wholly apart from works; James of the proof before men. God sees faith, men see works, as the visible evidence of faith. Man cannot see faith except as manifested through works; whereas, God views the heart of man, which is that of faith. Man looks upon the visible, God looks upon the spiritual. One may wave the flag, of Christianity, but the act in itself, does not guarantee your eternal destination. It is the heart wherein, God judges man. I have often stated that many claim Christ, but they do not know Him. I would suggest that you take the time to become more acquainted with the Lord of your life, for if you are indeed a Christian, you shall spend eternity with Him. Learn now, for the end in this life, draweth nigh! How many pledge alliance, but in reality, have no allegiance whatsoever?
To save you from having to refer to a dictionary; (however I would encourage you to do so in order to validate my interpretation), allow me to explain the difference between alliance and, allegiance. An alliance is a common bond; whereas an allegiance is a loyalty to the cause; therefore many will agree to an alliance, but few will commit to an allegiance, the cause. We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, for which it stands One Nation under God! Thus it is with our Lord. Many agree, and claim their blessedness and feel safe in their alliance, but few commit to the allegiance God requires!! The difference is vast and will only be taken up by our Lord, at the Judgment seat. A classic example is that many nations are quick to proclaim their alliance with the United States of America, but none adopt an allegiance to our nation. We have many Allies, but who has pledged an allegiance?
Searching the Scriptres
“Search the Scriptures…they are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
Author: Bob Moses
Questions and Answers
Romans Chapter 4
In my most recent article on Romans Chapter 4, I have received several questions from our Readers. I wish to respond to them in this format for the benefit of all you who read these articles. I find the questions upon this article especially interesting because this is one of my shorter articles (two and a half pages). Another factor which I will readily admit is my fault; is the fact that I assume the reader is familiar with the personages or passage’s which I refer to. Please forgive me for this oversight, and please bring things of this nature to my attention. There is no such thing as a dumb or stupid question. If you do not understand it, I assure you there are others who feel the same as you. Bringing these things to my attention, creates a dialog, and perhaps will encourage others to ask more questions.
The subject upon which I referred to was Abraham and the comment that he was first a Gentile before he became a Jew, and not only a Jew, but the father of the Jewish nation Israel. This comment sparked two questions from different readers. The questions and answers almost serve as bookends. The first question was if Abraham was a Gentile, where did he come from? The second, was where did he go?
The answer to the first question is Abraham was born in Ur of Chaldees, which was a Gentile city and it was also the birthplace of his father Terah. This place was located in southern Babylonia in the lower area of Mesopotamia. Modern excavations began in 1854 by J.E. Taylor, we do not know what happened to Mr. Taylor, but in 1918 H.R. Hall resumed excavations and Sir Leonard Woolley conducted excavations in 1922. The Hebrew Bible is quite clear in its statements that Abraham’s home was originally in Lower Mesopotamia in the city of Ur and that he emigrated to Haran and Upper Mesopotamia on his way to Canaan. Ref: Ungers Bible Dictionary page 1126.
Canaan is where Abraham went after being called by God: “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen 12: 1—
The people of Ur and Haran worshipped idols. Joshua 24: 2—3; “ And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor; and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.” Joshua is not talking about the deluge of the earth here but another flood, possibly the Nile or the Jordan rivers. The point is that these cities of Ur and Haran were Gentile, heathen, and idol worshipping cities. The moon god of the cities of Ur and Haran was Nannar. So we can only assume that Nannar was, at lease, one of the idol gods referred to. Woolley: Abraham; Recent Discoveries and Hebrew Origins, (London 1936, pp. 72-117
I mentioned above that Abraham journeyed to Cannan to dwell after God called him. Abraham and Lot traveled together with their families and flocks and herds. “And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together; for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together”. Gen: 13: 5 & 6. “And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before Thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me; if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.” Gen: 13: 8 & 9. To condense the story, Lot chose the plain of Jordan and dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. After they had separated God appeared to Abram and said: “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breath of it; for I will give it unto thee.” Gen: 13 14—17. So Abram claimed the land of Canaan which for the most part did not have large cities and there he dwelt in the plain of Mamre, and built an altar unto the Lord. Vs. 18.
Thus we see that Abraham was born in Ur of Chaldees, migrated to Haran, and took possession of the land of Canaan. That he was indeed a Gentile; and most likely worshipped idols, in his early years, as did his father Terah. The saga of Abram appears in the Book of Genesis from Chapter 11 verse 27 and continues through Chapter 24 and verses 1 thru 11 of Chapter 25. The Lord willing, I would pray to be enabled to write a “Study” or perhaps even a book on the man Abram who God changed his name to Abraham (Gen: 17: 5). God then established his Covenant with Abraham known as the Abrahamic Covenant; wherein Abraham’s part of the Covenant was to circumcise every man child among those that were born in his house, or any stranger bought with money, which was not of the seed of Abraham. (Gen: 17: 6 thru 14). God’s part of the Covenant is found in Gen. 22: 15—18. “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
There are pages upon pages of teaching presented here, but they fall out of the scope of our answer to the questions presented by our readers. What we have just learned is that Abram was a Gentile and God called him out from his land, his people, and his kindred to follow God. He had no idea where he was going. The fact is that he “believed” God and it was accounted unto him as righteousness. So Abram acted in faith. God led him to the land of Canaan which in our modern time, we know as the land of Israel. God made a Covenant to Abraham to both give him the land and also a people. The people, of course, is the Jewish Nation of Israel, or the Jew’s; and it is them, that the seed of Abraham has been blessed and become manifest, just as God promised.
Let it suffice for now, that I have answered the questions presented to me. I apologize for such a long explanation, nevertheless, I felt it necessary to not only answer the questions, but to further back-up and defend my initial comments. I hope you find these explanations satisfactory. Please continue to make comments, ask question or present a dialogue on any subject you may choose. I will respond honestly and truthfully; and if I do not know, I will tell you that as well. May God BlessYou.