ROMANS 4:1-5:11, PSALM 47


Paul has already clarified that he is not anti-obedience, anti-works, or even anti-law. The laws of God, given to Israel are affirmed as vitally important by Jesus (Matthew 5:17-20), are loved by David (Psalm 119:16), and will be called “holy” by Paul later in this letter (Romans 7:12). However, Paul will teach in Romans 4, and many other places, that the promise given to Abraham is superior to the law given to Moses. Yes God gives both the promises and law. Paul still stresses the promise given to Abraham takes priority based on the fact it is older than the law (Romans 7:11-13) and alone can draw out the faith that justifies us before God (Romans 4:13). The greatest thing about the promises, if we read Paul's logic, is that it is completely dependent upon God's goodness which brings the type of certainty human righteousness could never achieve, as the law reveals. God's promise is superior because its stipulations rest entirely on God's righteousness and unchanging nature. As we see, God fidelity in spite of our lawbreaking is most epitomized by Jesus dying for us “while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8). God's promise doesn't come with contingencies, and it is not given based on peak performance. In fact the greatest kindness came to those mired in the greatest evil, our rebellion against our God and maker. We can with glad hearts say that the promises of God are invaluable, beautiful, and reveals God's holiness in ways even the law doesn't. For there is no law that can compel such lavish love. The love of God is unique, it is Holy.