• Not by Works Devotional

    Romans 4:1–3

    We’ll consider the nature of justification and faith in more detail over the next few days. Today we note the significance of the opposition of doing and believing with regard to justification. Faith is something we exercise, but Paul does not consider it a work in the same way that obedience to the law is. Works involve the bringing of what we do to God and saying that we deserve justification. Faith involves the admission that nothing we can do makes us deserving of salvation. View Resource

  • Faith and Righteousness Devotional

    Romans 4:1-5

    On an earthly level, we consider it unjust for a person to be tried for the same crime twice. So it is in our justification by God. It would be unjust for Him to declare us righteous and then go back and pronounce us unrighteous. Once God declares us righteous in His sight, we enjoy that verdict forever. We no longer have to fear the judicial sentence of condemnation if we are in Christ View Resource

  • Faith Is Counted Devotional

    Romans 4:1–8

    Again and again the New Testament warns us that our works cannot add anything to our justification. Neither can sin take away the right status of all those truly justified, though it may disrupt our fellowship with God (Eph. 4:30). Have you done something that, deep down, you consider unforgivable? If you have repented of your sin and trusted in Christ, then you need not fear the Lord’s wrath. Ask God to make His forgiveness real to you today. View Resource

  • The Great Exchange Devotional

    Romans 4:1–8

    The doctrine of imputation is under serious fire in our day, but it must never be negotiated. If we make our works part of our justification in any way, then we lay an unbearable burden on ourselves because then we are “obligated to keep the whole law” (Gal. 5:3). Yet Christ has kept the commandments of God perfectly, and we must simply trust in His obedience to be justified. Let us rest on Him today and know that if we are in Jesus, all is forgiven. View Resource

  • The Great Exchange Devotional

    Romans 4:1–8

    If we are in Christ, if we trust in Him alone, we have His righteousness credited to our account. When God looks at us, He sees the righteousness of Christ and no longer deems us guilty. This is the good news — that we who by no means could earn God’s favor have been freely granted it on the basis of Christ’s work alone. Spend some time praising God for His great gift, and remember that if you truly believe in Jesus, God has imputed His righteousness to you. View Resource

  • Counting Faith as Righteousness Devotional

    Romans 4:4–5

    A desire to obey God and do good in itself is not opposed to faith. The problem arises when we see our works as the basis upon which God declares us righteous. John Calvin comments, “It is not he, whom he calls a worker, who is given to good works, to which all the children of God ought to attend, but the person who seeks to merit something by his works: and in a similar way he calls him no worker who depends not on the merit of what he does.” View Resource

  • Justification and Sin Devotional

    Romans 4:6-8

    Nothing can change the fact that we have sinned. But what can change is our status before God’s judgment seat. In justification, our sin and guilt are removed and we are covered by Christ’s obedience, enabling God to declare us righteous in His sight. If we are in Christ, our sins will never be held against us on the day of judgment. In Christ, we are truly free of condemnation. That is a cause for great rejoicing. View Resource

  • The Non-Imputation of Sin Devotional

    Romans 4:6–8

    As we will see in due time, the counting or imputation we enjoy in justification is not merely a negative imputation but also a positive one. Dr. Sproul also writes, “The only righteousness we possess is the righteousness of Christ, and we possess it by transfer, by reckoning, by imputation.” We stand before God in Christ; though He knows we have sinned, He does not regard us as unrighteous but as righteous. He gives us eternal life according to Christ’s righteousness, not our own. View Resource

  • A Double Transfer Devotional

    Romans 4:9–10

    Martin Luther comments: “Righteousness is given through imputation without works, and … this takes place through the nonimputation of unrighteousness. It is the same thing, whether we say, ‘to whom God imputes righteousness’ or, ‘to whom the Lord does not impute sin,’ that is, unrighteousness.” Justification frees us from the burden of our guilt. If we are in Christ, we never have to fear that God will hold our sin against us because it has been removed from our account. View Resource

  • Before the Law Devotional

    Romans 4:9–12

    In Matthew 18:21–22, Jesus tells Peter that His disciples must freely forgive others. One of the ways we can be sure that we have received forgiveness from God and are truly justified is that we are quick to forgive those who have wronged us. Are you struggling to forgive someone who has wronged you? Remember that you too do not deserve God’s pardon, and ask Him to help you forgive the one who has offended you. View Resource

  • Not by Any of Our Works Devotional

    Romans 4:9-12

    Justification is by faith alone. We must be clear on that word alone, for without it we do not have the gospel. If we try to add one work of ours to Christ, then we are accountable to do all the law and to do it perfectly for our justification (Gal. 5:3). And of course, we cannot do this. We must stand firm on the doctrine of justification by faith alone and never compromise it lest we be cut off from Christ and His perfect righteousness. View Resource

  • Signs and Seals Devotional

    Romans 4:9–12

    We are creatures with both physical and spiritual components. We understand what happens to us physically when we are washed with water and when we eat, and the sacraments portray spiritual realities to us by way of analogies with our physical experience. The Spirit truly washes us clean of sin, and we truly receive necessary spiritual nourishment from Christ. Baptism and the Lord’s Supper help us understand these truths better. View Resource

  • Signs and Seals of the Covenant Of Grace Devotional

    Romans 4:11a

    Dr. R.C. Sproul writes in his commentary Romans, “In the sacraments, God guarantees the consequences of justification to all who believe, not to all who receive the sign.” For those who believe, the sacraments provide further confirmation that God cleanses us and nourishes us in Christ. They strengthen our faith, so we should not think that we can make little of the sacraments and remain equipped to serve God and stand firm for His truth. View Resource

  • The Sign and Seal of Righteousness Devotional

    Romans 4:11–12

    Under the new covenant, baptism signifies and seals our separation from the world unto the Lord (Col. 2:8–15). Like circumcision, baptism is not faith or justification, but it points beyond itself to justification for those who believe. Moreover, like circumcision, the value of baptism is not tied to the moment it is administered. The most important thing about baptism is that we possess the reality it signifies, not whether we receive it before or after coming to saving faith. View Resource

  • Becoming Heirs of the Kingdom Devotional

    Romans 4:13–15

    Romans 5 and 7 further develop the role of the law in regard to justification and its purpose in intensifying sin. For now it is enough to note that faith and works of the law are opposed in justification because even the good we do still falls short of God’s glory. Thus, to seek justification by the law invalidates God’s promise; it makes it impossible for sinners to find peace with the Lord because sinners cannot obey God perfectly. We look not to the law for our inheritance but to Christ. View Resource