Let’s look one more time at Romans 4:3-5
“For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,”
Abraham BELIEVED God and it was counted to him as righteousness.
What did his belief entail? Action. His belief resulted in what Paul calls the “obedience of faith” (Romans 16:26).
His faith resulted in action. Our faith, too, must result in action.
You say you believe? You do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder.
When you believe in God, you will hear from Him, by His Word and by His Holy Spirit and He will show you what He desires from you. By faith in Him, you will indeed be led to follow His law, but that law-following will be driven by faith in the one true God.
To make sure we are all on the same page –
1. None of us can EARN our salvation by our deeds.
2. Everyone is SAVED by faith, not by works.
3. Our faith will result in WORKS motivated by FAITH.
Interestingly, I still haven’t even gotten to my big ‘aha’ in reading Romans 4:4-5. But, before I could get there, we had to go through these other foundational ideas.
Back on the idea of wages and earning, I was thinking about how many Christians live their lives as though they can EARN, MERIT, WORK for God’s favor. This is why it’s so important to understand that our salvation is by our faith, but every time I say that, I just cannot help to think of Romans 6:23. Here it is:
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Do you see it? Does it jump out at you like it did to me? Did you catch it?
What are our wages due? What do we deserve? What are we really earning? Death. Truly. The wages of our sin, past, present and future is DEATH. That is what I am due. That is what I deserve. That is what I have earned. Death.
But God has given me the GIFT of eternal life by the blood of Jesus, who paid my debt by His death on the cross. This is a gift. It is NOT what I am due. Remember, Romans 4:4-5 “Now to the one who WORKS, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.”
Do you see how offensive us trying to work to merit our salvation must be to God? Every day I choose to wake up and thank God for His GIFT, it humbles me. In my flesh, I deserve death, yet thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. His gift of salvation, by His gift of faith, in His Son whom He sent as a gift.
Thank you, Father, for giving me that which I did not deserve. Thank you for showing your love for me in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me, the ungodly.
Yes, there might be more. I’ve been doing a whole word study on ‘wages.’ Stay tuned for that!