Full text of Derek Prince’s teaching on the book of Romans (Romans 4:1 – 4:25)): Justified by Faith
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Derek Prince – Bible teacher
We’re beginning now, stage 5, in this pilgrimage that we’re making, of which the destination is Romans chapter 8. We’ve covered a lot of ground, but we have a lot of rather difficult countries still to cover before we get into our destination.
In the previous session, we looked at God’s provision for man’s problems. That was at the end of chapter 3. Up to that point, Paul had simply been unfolding the problems and the problems had been intensifying.
But in the latter part of Romans chapter 3, beginning with verse 20 and onwards, he unfolds God’s final total, all-sufficient sacrifice, which is through faith in the atoning death and the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, in this session and the next, we’ll be dealing with Romans chapter 4. And in essence, in Romans chapter 4, Paul looks to two of the great fathers of Israel, Abraham and David. And he proves from Scripture that each of them was not justified by works, but by faith. He focuses mainly on Abraham, who is the father of all who believe. But he also quotes from a Psalm of David.
So we’ll look now and start reading. In chapter 4, we read verses one through five.
‘What shall we say then that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?’ Now this is a very important question for all of us, for Jews and Gentiles, how did Abraham achieve righteousness with God?
‘For if Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scriptures say? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Now, to the one who works, his wage is not reckoned as a favor or as grace, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.’
Now, here’s one of the most important passages from the Old Testament, Genesis chapter 15, verse 6. Because of its importance, we need to turn there and look briefly at it.
Abraham has been having a conversation with the Lord about the fact that the Lord has made great promises to him, all dependent upon his having an heir, and he has no heir. And there follows this conversation between the Lord and Abraham.
In Genesis 15:6: ‘He, (the LORD) took him (Abraham) outside and said, ‘now look toward the heaven and count the stars.’ Obviously, it must have been at night. ‘If you are able to count them, and He said to him, (that’s God said to Abraham), so shall your descendants be.’ That was the promise.
And then the comment is, ‘Then he, (Abraham), believed in the LORD, and He (the LORD) reckoned it to him, (Abraham) as righteous.’
Abraham at that point did absolutely nothing but believe. And Paul and also James and his Epistle points out that was how Abraham achieved righteousness, he didn’t earn it. It was not on the basis of what he had done, but it was credited to his faith.
And Paul says, going back to Romans, chapter 4, verse five: ‘But to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness.’