The Berean Expositor
Volume 20 - Page 155 of 195
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The Epistle to the Romans.
The promise versus the law (3: 30 - 4: 25).
pp. 4 9
In Rom. 3: 31 the apostle meets the charge of making void the law through faith.
He now retorts, with effect, that law and works make faith void and the promise of none
effect (4: 14).
Our study will largely be the relation of promise to law. In the first place let us take
note what is said concerning the promise of God:--
"The promise that he should be heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed,
through the law, but through the righteousness of faith" (Rom. 4: 13).
"For if they which are of the law be heirs is made void, and the promise made of none
effect" (Rom. 4: 14).
"Therefore it is of faith that it might be by grace, to the end the promise might be sure
to all the seed" (Rom. 4: 16).
"Being fully persuaded that what He had promised, He was able also to perform"
(Rom. iv.21).
We see here certain important connections. The promise is essentially associated with
inheritance, but not by the operation of law, for this is contrary to both faith and promise.
The reason why faith is the principle is that the whole may be by grace, and grace and
works of law cannot agree. The fact that the promise rests on the principle of grace and
faith, and not works of law, makes it sure, and at the last the certainty of the promise is
derived not from the faith of the believer, but the faithfulness of the Promiser. In this
group of passages promise, grace and faith are ranged against law, instability and works.
The next group is found in Rom. 9::--
"To whom pertain the adoption . . . . . and the promises" (verse 4).
"They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the
children of the promise are counted for the seed" (verse 8).
"For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son"
(verse 9).
The relation of adoption to promise is clearly established by the structure of the