Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 4

I truly hope that each one of you have been having a great week. Insert honesty here: This has been the most difficult week mentally speaking for me that I have had in months. The enemy of our souls has been on my back all week, y’all. I hope you haven’t gotten tired of the past couple of boasts being all about my mess & bad days. I just know that I could sit here and type about how everything in life is always going to be rainbows & butterflies but y’all, that’s just not truth. Thank God for His supernatural strength & GRACE. Can I get an amen?! Needless to say, I am so excited for the weekend to jump off tomorrow.

I look forward to this time with you all every week. I hope that you have been learning much but more than that, you feel closer to God. If you’re not there yet, please hear me out: WE NEED HIM. Desperately. Without Him, all is darkness. In fact, life just isn’t bright without His presence. He is light after all. I pray that as you read and study Romans with us, light will sneak into your heart a little more & more each day. He is good.

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Paul spends time in chapter four remembering men of great faith in God. Can you recall any beloved friends or family members who have left a great impact on your life for the cause of Christ? Do you know anyone who has great faith in God? God uses people with great faith in Him to encourage others. God wants you to have great faith in him! He wants to use you in ways both small and large to impact others!

Romans Chapter Four {verses 1-8}

What is this passage saying?

First up is Abraham. Paul used Abraham’s life and testimony to emphasize the great impact & significance of faith in God. Abe dude was a man of faith in a great God. Abraham was also a man who went through a lot of crazy circumstances. Sometimes, he failed and other times, he succeeded. Regardless of how many times he failed, he was still righteous in God’s eyes. Because Abraham had faith in GodFaith alone in God dubs you and I righteous. It is not by works like Jews believe.

I love verse five. “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” Paul also reminds us of David’s words in Psalm 32, “blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

We are righteous, right with God, through faith in Him ALONE. It is not through how good we are or how many times we pray, help others out, or memorize scripture that we find our salvation. It is through faith alone. I believe that God wants us to write this on our hearts & mind since it has come up in scripture over these past four chapters. But there is more! I am reminded by the Holy Spirit that faith in God is just the start. Faith in Jesus Christ is the solid rock on which we stand. True faith in God is LIVING. God uses James to tell us that faith without works is dead. {James 2:26} Works are the natural by-product of faith. A genuine faith stirs the heart to glorify God through practical actions!*

Do you consider yourself a woman or man of faith in God? I encourage you to ask God to strength your faith in Him. He is faithful to answer that prayer!

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verses 9-12

What is this passage saying?

Paul writes a lot about circumcision. Honestly, I’ve never studied a lot about this topic & the reasons about why it was so important to ancient believers. Although it seems somewhat “old school”, I trust that God can still use it to speak Truth into our hearts. Do not be quick to look over certain things in the Bible if it looks impractical. I can promise you that God has purpose for everything! I do know that circumcision was a sign of the covenant between God and Israel in the Old Testament days; a religious ritual.

“Circumcision was a physical sign or seal of the covenant between God and His chosen nation (see Genesis 17) But God did not give Abraham this sign of the covenant until Abraham was 99 years old (Gen. 17:1-14) Many years prior to that time,  Abraham had responded to God in faith and received right standing before God. He was justified before he was circumcised. (Gen. 15:6)” This is from my NKJV study bible commentary. It is eloquently conveyed to us & easy to understand.

Paul reminds the readers of this specific letter to remember that their righteousness has nothing to do with outward deeds, appearance, or rituals. It’s a heart issue. It’s about faith.

I hope that you learned something new as I did today! Now, what can we do with this new truth?

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

“circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”

Today, if you have been saved by the blood of Jesus & have been born again through faith, you are “spiritually circumcised”. Christ’s holy spirit & presence replaces your sinful spirit & nature!

To better explain, let me send you over to Colossians 2. Paul explains how circumcision still spiritually applies to you today!

In Him, you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven all your trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

Colossians 2:11-14 {bold, italics, ul mine}

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verses 13-25

What is this passage saying?

Paul recounts the story of Abraham and Sarah. A beautifully broken story of infertility, hope, hardship, & faith. You can read it all in Genesis 15 but I’ll sum it up in a few sentences: Abe & Sarah are married & old {like in their 90’s, old.) Sarah is way past her prime to be childbearing. But, God promised Abraham that he would have kids one day. Unfortunately, Sarah was a little impatient. Because she thought she would never be able to birth children for her husband, she told her beloved husband to sleep with their servant girl. Things start going downhill when Abraham agrees. Welcome to the world, little Ishmael. But what’s this? Sarah is pregnant! Just as God had promised.

Paul recounts this in Romans 4 yet leaves out all the dirty details. Why? Because Abraham had faith in God despite all that had happened & that’s all that matters. I believe that it represents God’s thoughts towards us. Despite our imperfection, He always honors & remembers our faith.

Paul tells us that those who trust and have faith in God are following in Abraham’s footsteps of true & genuine faith in a great God.

How can I practically apply these truths to my life?

How can we have faith in someone we hardly know? Get to know God by being in His Word and letting His Word penetrate your heart. Pray to him. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Spill your heart to Him. Thank Him. Praise Him. Ask Him questions. Each time you do, you draw closer to Him & He draws closer to you! {James 4:8}

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Next week, we will be studying chapter 5 AND 6! So, come read to study Romans chapters five AND six!

Meet me back here at this time next Thursday with your favorite treat, journal pages full of questions & remarks, and an open heart! See you then, friend!

YOU ARE LOVED!

-Katie

 

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3 thoughts on “Summer Bible Study: Romans // Ch. 4

  1. Thank you for this reminder: true faith in God is living. I seem to disconnect what I read and the world around me but having faith means living (not just reading) for God. Thank you for having this bible study!

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