CMF eZine

The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Romans 5:03 - Rejoice

"And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;" (NASB)
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;" (KJV)
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance." (NLT)
"Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance," (NET)
καυχω?μεθα kaucho?metha. The meaning is, that we rejoice not only in hope; not only in the direct results of justification, in the immediate effect which religion itself produces; but we carry our joy and triumph even into the midst of trials.  In accordance with this, our Savior directed his followers to rejoice in persecutions, Matthew 5:11-12.  Compare James 1:2, James 1:12. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
But we glory in tribulations also - All the sufferings we endure for the testimony of our Lord are so sanctified to us by his grace, that they become powerful instruments of increasing our happiness.
Tribulation worketh patience - Υ?πομονην, Endurance under trials, without sustaining loss or deterioration. It is a metaphor taken from refining metals. We do not speak thus from any sudden raptures, or extraordinary sensations we may have of spiritual joy: for we find that the tribulations through which we pass are the means of exercising and increasing our patience, our meek forbearance of injuries received, or persecutions experienced, on account of the Gospel. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
Tribulation itself gives us different and various occasions to rejoice, and more than this it does not make us miserable. Afflictions make us use to being patient, and patience assures us of the goodness of God, and this experience confirms and fosters our hope, which never deceives us. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)

We have a trust in Him who died for us that allows us to know that whatever comes our way will become an opportunity for our betterment as God works in us to make us in the likeness of His Son.  It is not that we enjoy crisis.  Rather, it is that we recognize the preeminence of God's sovereignty in all things.


Romans 5:02 - Undeserved Privilege

"through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God." (NASB)
"By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (KJV)
"Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God's glory. " (NLT)
"through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God's glory." (NET)
Remark here also the difference of Abraham's faith and ours.  He believed God could perform what He promised.  We are called to believe He has performed.  Faith in God's word, believing God, and this faith laying hold on His power in resurrection, is faith that this has lifted us out of the whole effect of our sins...The work is done; the believer has part in it, and is justified. Having been justified, we have peace with God, we stand in divine favor, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  We believe in a God who has intervened in power to raise Him from the dead who had borne our offences, and who, being raised, is the eternal witness that our sins are put away, and that the only true God is He who has done it in love. I have then peace with Him; all my sins are blotted out — annulled — by the work of Christ; my unburdened heart knows the Savior God. I stand as a present thing in that grace or favor, God's blessed present favor resting on me, which is better than life.  Through Christ, entered into His presence, I am even now in the enjoyment of His favor, in present grace.  All the fruits of the old man are cancelled before God by the death of Christ.  There cannot be a question as to my sins between me and God. He has nothing to impute to me — that has been all settled in Christ's death and resurrection.  As to the present time, I am brought into His presence in the enjoyment of His favor. Grace characterizes my present relationship with God. Further, all my sins having been put away according to the requirements of God's glory, and Christ being risen from the dead, having met all that glory, I rejoice in the hope of the glory of God It is a full well-grounded hope of being in it, not a coming short of it.  All is connected with God Himself, with, and according to, His perfections, the favor of God, and His glory for our hope.  All is connected with His power in resurrection — peace with God already settled, the present favor of God, and the hope of glory. (Dr. John Darby)

Romans 5:01 - Faith Plus Nothing

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (NASB)
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:" (KJV)
"Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us." (NLT)
"Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," (NET)
The apostle takes it for granted that he has proved that justification is by faith, and that the Gentiles have an equal title with the Jews to salvation by faith.  And now he proceeds to show the effects produced in the hearts of the believing Gentiles by this doctrine.  We are justified - have all our sins pardoned by faith, as the instrumental cause; for, being sinners, we have no works of righteousness that we can plead.  (Dr. Adam Clarke)
THROUGH false emphasis by many religious leaders, Christianity has become in the estimation of a large part of the public no more than an ethical system.  The revealed fact, however, is that the supreme feature of the Christian faith is that supernatural, saving, transforming work of God, which is made possible through the infinite sacrifice of Christ and which, in sovereign grace, is freely bestowed on all who believe.  Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Grace

Faith plus nothing!  This is the Amazing Grace we receive when we first believe.  Though there be many in Christendom who would add to this requirement, they do so in error.  The salvation provided by the Omnipotent is not dependent upon the created!  To the contrary, if it were not for the Lord "succoring" us in the day of salvation we would be lost forever.

Romans 4:25 - Jesus Our Sacrifice

"He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." (NASB)
"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." (KJV)
"He was handed over to die because of our sins, and He was raised to life to make us right with God." (NLT)
"He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification." (NET)
"Because of our sins he was given over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God." (GNB)
For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, (Romans 3:25 NLT)
But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6 NLT)
Who was delivered up to death as a sacrifice for our sins; for in what other way, or for what other purpose could He, who is innocence itself, be delivered for our offenses?
He was raised that we might have the fullest assurance that the death of Christ had accomplished the end for which it took place; viz. our reconciliation to God, and giving us a title to that eternal life, into which he has entered, and taken with him our human nature, as the first-fruits of the resurrection of mankind. (Dr. Adam Clarke)

Romans 4:24 - Written for Us

"but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead," (NASB)
"But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;" (KJV)
"for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (NLT)
"but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (NET)
"They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death." (GNB)

The written encouragement from the Throne Room of Grace that transcends time and space so that we may rejoice in Him who is our guarantor of our salvation. Not a superstition or a fable, but a covenant written by the very hand of God.

...that we might have an example of the way in which people may be accepted of God.  It is recorded for our encouragement and imitation, to show that we may in a similar manner be accepted and saved. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
The mention of this circumstance has a much more extensive design than merely to honor Abraham.  It is recorded as the model, according to which God will save both Jews and Gentiles: indeed there can be no other way of salvation; as all have sinned, all must either be saved by faith through Christ Jesus, or finally perish. If God, therefore, will our salvation, it must be by faith; and faith contemplates his promise, and his promise comprehends the Son of his love. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. (Romans 15:4 NET.)


Romans 4:23 - To Our Benefit

"Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him," (NASB)
"Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;" (KJV)
"And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn't just for Abraham's benefit. It was recorded" (NLT)
"But the statement it was credited to him was not written only for Abraham's sake," (NET)

We see that Abraham became the forerunner of our faith. He is the example of God's method of saving us all! By faith we are joined with Christ in His death and raised with Him into a new life. Because of our faith in His sacrifice, His righteousness is credited to our account.

The record of this extraordinary faith was not made on his account only; but it was made to show the way in which men may be regarded and treated as righteous by God. If Abraham was so regarded and treated, then, on the same principle, all others may be. God has but one mode of justifying people. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
The record of this extraordinary faith was not made on his account only; but it was made to show the way in which men may be regarded and treated as righteous by God. If Abraham was so regarded and treated, then, on the same principle, all others may be. God has but one mode of justifying people. (Matthew Henry)
Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled. (Romans 15:4 NLT)
Wasn't He actually speaking to us? Yes, it was written for us, so that the one who plows and the one who threshes the grain might both expect a share of the harvest. (1 Corinthians 9:10 NLT)

Romans 4:22 - Righteousness Imputed

To count something to somebody means to reckon something to a person, to put to his account, either in his favor or for what he must be answerable. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D, General Editor)
"And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness." (KJV)
"And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous." (NLT)
"So indeed it was credited to Abraham as righteousness." (NET)

The object of our faith (the Lord Jesus Christ) though our faith may be the size of a mustard seed is sufficient because Jesus Himself is sufficient for our every need. The path to an unwavering faith such as Abraham's is first to confess our lack and trust that the Lord will lead us into a deeper relationship with Him.

His faith was so implicit, and so unwavering, that it was a demonstration that he was the firm friend of God. He was tried, and he had such confidence in God that he showed that he was supremely attached to him, and would obey and serve him. This was reckoned as a full proof of friendship; and he was recognized and treated as righteous; that is, as the friend of God. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
Abraham’s strong faith in the promise of the coming Savior, for this was essential to his faith, was reckoned to him for justification: for it is not said that any righteousness, either his own, or that of another, was imputed or reckoned to him for justification; but it, i.e. his faith in God. His faith was fully persuaded of the most merciful intentions of God’s goodness; and this, which, in effect, laid hold on Jesus Christ, the future Savior, was the means of his justification; being reckoned unto him in the place of personal righteousness, because it laid hold on the merit of Him who died to make an atonement for our offenses, and rose again for our justification. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
Not because his faith was strong, and he had a full assurance of it, but because it was right, resting on the promise of God, and relying upon his power and faithfulness to perform it; for though the righteousness of faith is not imputed to any sort of believers, not to mere nominal ones, yet to all such as have true faith, though it may be but weak; for faith, as to nature, kind, and object, though not as to degree, is the same in all true believers, and the same righteousness is imputed to one as to another. (Dr. John Gill)

Romans 4:21 - fully persuaded

"and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform." (NASB)
"And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." (KJV)
"He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises." (NLT)
"He was fully convinced that what God promised he was also able to do." (NET)
And being (s) fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
(s) A description of true faith. (Geneva Bible Study Notes)

We often struggle with the substance of true faith. What is faith and of what does it consist? Here we have the concise answer! God is able to make good on all of His promises. The greatest of all the promises is to "know Him." There is no greater joy!

"Don't let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God, and trust also in Me….I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me.  If you had really known Me, you would know who My Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!...Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me.  And because they love Me, My Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal Myself to each of them." (John 14:1, 6-7, 21)


Romans 4:20 - Don't Waver

"yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God," (NASB)
"He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; " (KJV)
"Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise.  In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God." (NLT)
"He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God." (NET)
"His faith did not leave him, and he did not doubt God's promise; his faith filled him with power, and he gave praise to God." (GNB)

When faced with the insurmountable we tend to withdraw or turn aside (stagger - waver).  Because it was God Almighty that gave the promise to Abraham, wavering would have been tantamount to calling God a liar.  God is absolutely faithful to do what He promises.

There is no reason to stagger at, or hesitate about any of the promises of God, since they are made by him that cannot lie; his faithfulness is engaged to perform them; with him all things are possible; every promise is in Christ, yea and amen, and never did any fail; and yet so it is, that some of God's children. (Dr. John Gill)
"But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind." (James 1:6 NLT)

Romans 4:19 - against the tide

"Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah's womb;" (NASB)
"And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:" (KJV)
"And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah's womb." (NLT)
"Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah's womb." (NET)

With God all things are possible!  If we are asked to do those things that can be done in the power of the flesh only what would be the point?  Our path of hope is one of endless impossibilities made possible by a loving Heavenly Father.  When the impossible becomes the reality then it is clear who receives the glory for the things HE has done.

Oh we of little faith stumbling ever in the dire straights of the day,
walking forlorn amongst the shadows of doubt with chin and chest in union stay,
Never seeing the light of life that shines down from above,
feeling not the warmth of being wrapped in the Savior's love.

He considered not - He did not regard the fact that his body was now dead, as any obstacle to the fulfillment of the promise. He did not suffer that fact to influence him, or to produce any doubt about the fulfillment. Faith looks to the strength of God, not to second causes, or to difficulties that may appear formidable to man.  Now dead - Aged; dead as to the purpose under consideration; compare Hebrews 11:12, “As good as dead.” That is, he was now at an age when it was highly improbable that he would have any children; compare Genesis 17:17. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
Jesus responded, "Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!" Then He got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.  (Matthew 8:26 NLT)
Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. "You have so little faith," Jesus said. "Why did you doubt Me?"  (Matthew 14:31 NLT)
Then He said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and look at My hands. Put your hand into the wound in My side. Don't be faithless any longer. Believe!" "My Lord and my God!" Thomas exclaimed.  (John 20:27-28 NLT)

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