Righteousness of Faith

Many believe Judaism is a faith of works.  They believe Jews are saved based on their works.  Quite the contrary, this has never been the case.  For if salvation ever came by works, no man would be saved for we all have sinned.  As we read last time, Paul is making the this very point in Romans 4:1-12.  He continues speaking about this very subject in the next few verses.

For the promise to Avraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Torah, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Torah are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;  for the Torah brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.  Romans 4:13-15

Paul is reminding everyone that the promise to Avraham was through faith.  G-d himself signed the covenant.  Remember in Genesis 15 G-d was the one who walked through the cut up animals, thus signing the covenant.  Many Ancient Near East covenants were signed by cutting up animals and walking through them.  The context is if whomever breaks this covenant may the one breaking the covenant be like this animal.  Notice that Avraham did not walk through the animal.  G-d did.  So the covenant was guaranteed by G-d himself.  Avraham could do nothing to fulfill the covenant.  All the promises of the covenant were up to G-d.

Regarding the last verse, the Torah brings about wrath, this is not a negative statement regarding Torah.  For what brings about the wrath?  Disobedience…sin.  Sin brings G-d’s wrath.  Hence, the need for a savior to remove this wrath against us, which is exactly what Yeshua did per Colossians 2:14.  Are we then to continue to sin?  Paul answers this several times in his letters and we just went over one of those verses…Romans 3:8.  Also Romans 6:1-2a – What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!

What about the rest of the verse 15?  Isn’t this more evidence that Paul is saying the Law is null and void?  NO!  Paul had answered that question in Romans 3:31 – Do we then nullify the Torah through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Torah.  Remember Paul is emphasizing justification by faith.  He is saying the Torah reveals our sin.  He is repeating the same concept of verse 3:20.  The Torah is our life guideline and when we do not perform according to the guideline then we know we have sinned.  Which is why we need justification by faith!

Baruch HaShem!  I hope this has been helpful to you.  Please, if you have any questions or comments let me know.

Until next time…kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is HaShem!