In Search of Truth: Romans 4:1-2
“4) Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5) But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:4-5‬ ‭
Paul now sets up his primary argument about justification by faith. He basically asked the question; “Was justification with God earned by human merit, or was it granted by faith?” Paul then went back and applied that question to Abraham in the book of Genesis. He studied the Bible in search of truth.
Let me pause for a moment and make an important observation; what Paul did here is an amazing example of both inductive Bible Study and systematic theology. Rather than give his own quick opinion, Paul went back to the Bible in search of truth. He understood that God would not be silent on this issue. He looked for the biblical principle or biblical pattern taught in the Bible.
This is where the life of faith intersects with the Word of God. Paul became an example for every believer intent on building a solid walk with God on biblical truth. Take your questions back to the Bible and engage in a search for truth. In some cases that search might take years to unfold.
Let God speak for Himself in answer to your questions. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in your study. Take time and be open to new insights and be honest with your interpretation of Scripture. Don’t let your emotions or your religious background blind you.
Don’t be surprised if the Bible exposes theological bias you were taught years ago. I am constantly pulling out weeds in my thinking I have blindly cultivated for years. I am learning to put Gods Word above theological dogma and many times that creates an inner battle.
Let me point out that there were huge ramifications to the search for truth that Paul was pursuing. If Abraham was justified by his own goodness and works before God, then the whole concept of work based religion is established in the Bible and the gospel is void. However, if Abraham was sinful and lost, but God justified him by his faith, then works based religion is invalid and the Bible sets up a system of justification by faith.
At first glance, the whole Law system and Judaism itself looks heavily works based. Everything from circumcision to keeping the Law looked like self righteousness was the basis of salvation. What Paul laid out in the balance of Romans 4 was both radical and revolutionary. It actually got him martyred by the zealous religious community.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global