Class Notes: 9/17/2023

The book of Romans part 166; Rom 4:1-2;

In our verse-by-verse study of Romans today we start chapter 4.

Rom 4:1; "What shall we say then" includes the nominative neuter singular from the interrogative pronoun "tis" (what) translated "what." The future active indicative from the verb "lego" (say) is a part of the idiom that forms a rhetorical question that occurs seven times in the book of Romans.

It is the debater's technique that also indicates a change of subject following Paul's general overall discussion of adjustment to God's justice and begins to address it from a different perspective.

This was first seen in Rom 3:5; and now in Rom 4:1; and we will see that it also occurs in Rom 6:1; Rom 7:7; Rom 8:31; Rom 9:14, and Rom 9:30. The future tense of "lego" (say) is a deliberative future tense that is used for a rhetorical question instead of a deliberate statement of fact.

A rhetorical question can be used to teach a point of doctrine in the same way as the dogmatic statement can be used. The active voice: Paul produces the action of the verb formulating a Greek idiom that demands a conclusion.

Rom 4:1; the conclusion that is forced is based on the first three chapters of Romans. The indicative mood is the interrogative indicative used for a rhetorical question. Also, an inferential postpositive particle "oun" (then) is used as a part of the rhetorical question and is translated literally as, "Therefore what then shall we say."

But a literal word for word translation is not the best translation because this is a Greek idiom so it is better to translate it. "Therefore to what conclusion are we forced."

"that Abraham our forefather, according to the flesh, has found?" The Perfect active infinitive of the verb "heurisko" (find or found) that means to find or to discover. In the New Testament "heruisko" is used in the sense of finding something out.

The prefect tense is the intensive perfect tense indicating completed action so the results are intensified because it emphasizes the results of the completed action. Abraham is recognized not only as the father of the Jewish race but he was also one of the greatest believers of all time because he is referred to as the "father of us all."

He produces the action, and every time he produces action the Jews are interested. The infinitive is the infinitive of an actual result. With this is an indeclinable proper noun, "Abraam" (Abraham).

Indeclinable means that it relates to his fame. Then an appositional accusative of general reference from "propator" (ancestor or forefather), plus the possessive genitive plural from "ego" (our) so we have "our forefather."

"Our" refers to the Jews who comprise the fourth human race that began with Abraham. Since Abraham had maximum adjustment to God's justice it is logical to assume that he had made all of the necessary adjustments to God's justice including salvation and rebound adjustment when necessary so it is accepted that Abraham came to have a mature relationship with the God's integrity

Abraham therefore becomes the perfect example for what Paul is teaching. The example is taken from the Old Testament, indicating that salvation is the same in the New Testament and the Old Testament. Salvation is always the same because God's perfect integrity does not change.

Then the prepositional phrase, "kata" (according) plus the accusative singular of sarx (flesh) "according to the flesh" a prepositional phrase that is used as an adjective referring to the physical human body.

Expanded Translation Rom 4:1; "Therefore to what conclusion are we forced, that Abraham our human forefather has found?" or "Therefore what do we conclude that Abraham our forefather has found?"

We see from this that Abraham is the example for the process of salvation. Salvation adjustment to the God's justice is the same for Old and New Testaments. This means that as goes Abraham so goes the principle of salvation adjustment to God's justice for everyone.

How Abraham is justified or how he became adjusted to God's justice for salvation indicates the pattern for Old Testament salvation. If Abraham was justified by faith apart from works then it follows that all salvation adjustment to God's justice is in the same pattern so it occurs in the same way.

Rom 4:2; In this verse Paul uses debater's technique to set up a straw man or an erroneous assumption and then logically hacks it to pieces to discredit it. The hypothetical supposition takes the side of the legalistic Jew or anyone else who contends for justification by works, or salvation by keeping the Mosaic Law.

This includes the human self-righteousness of the legalistic Jew. Hypothetical suppositions are generally given in the form of a conditional "if then" statement that is divided into a protasis and an apodosis.

We have seen this before. The first clause is the protasis, the second the apodosis. The protasis gives the basis from which the apodosis or conclusion is drawn. The apodosis is always an inference that is drawn from the protasis.

"For if Abraham were justified by works" the postpositive conjunctive particle "gar" (for) is used first as an inferential conjunction to introduce the hypothetical supposition. This supposition is based on the assumption that establishes the viewpoint of the legalistic Jews.

The conditional particle "ei" (if) introduces the protasis of a debater's first class condition in which Paul assumes the erroneous position of legalism, specifically the legalistic Jews who contend for justification by works in order to be saved.

The fallacy of the theory of justification by works is refuted by first of all assuming it to be true and then following up by showing how irrational it is. Then the aorist passive indicative of the verb "dikaioo" (justify or to vindicate).

Paul assumes the position of the legalists for a brief moment in order to show them how stupid they are and how fallacious their position is. This is a constantive aorist tense that contemplates instant adjustment to God's justice and gathers it into one bucket.

With the legalist there is no such thing as instant adjustment to God's justice because you have to keep the law over a long period of time. It takes a long time to develop self-righteousness by observing the Mosaic Law.

The constantive aorist is used in sarcasm. The passive voice: the subject is Abraham who receives the action of the verb under the assumption of justification by works. Abraham did not and could not use the Mosaic Law for salvation because it didn't exist yet.

The indicative mood is potential because this is not a real true statement. Next is a prepositional phrase, "ek" (from) then the ablative plural of means "ergon"(works).

The general way to state means is the instrumental case. The ablative case is also used to state means when the source is implied. The source here is 'ergon" ( works). The translation should be, "For assuming that Abraham has been justified by means of works." In this case "ei" (if) would be as "assuming."

Paul is going to explain that human works actually compete with and compromise God's work because justification is work that only God's integrity can execute.

Remember that righteousness is the principle of God's integrity and justice is the function of God's integrity. Justification is the judicial act of God whereby mankind makes salvation adjustment to God's justice freeing God's justice to provide God's righteousness resulting in vindication.

The imputation of God's righteousness at the moment of faith in Christ is the only way that God can justify or vindicate any member of the human race. Justification is the possession of God's righteousness that is the only basis for eternal relationship and blessing from God.

Justification is salvation relationship with God's integrity. Justification is not forgiveness because forgiveness is subtraction. Justification is addition. Forgiveness subtracts sin but justification adds righteousness. Only believing in Jesus can add God's righteousness.

Justification refers to salvation adjustment to God's justice because at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ God gives each one of us His righteousness. No works and no payment is involved because Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins on the cross when God's justice judged Him for our sins.

God's justice must judge our sins before the justice of God is free to bless us with the grace advantages of salvation. The mechanics for salvation adjustment to God's justice are summarized under the word grace. Grace is the policy of God's justice in blessing mankind.

"he has something to boast about" - the present active indicative of "echo" (he has) The present tense is a progressive present for action in a state of progress.

The active voice refers to Abraham who is the test case who produces the action under the assumption of debater's technique. The indicative mood is the potential indicative as a part of debater's technique. The accusative singular direct of "kauchema" (boast) "he has a basis for boasting."

"but not before God" the adversative conjunction "alla" (but) sets up a contrast between human assumptions and God's reality. Plus the objective relative adverb "ou" (not) that rejects the reality of their assumption.

Then the prepositional phrase "pros" (before or face to face with) plus the accusative of "Theos" (God) "face to face with or/before God."

Expanded Translation Rom 4:2; "Assuming that Abraham was justified by means of works, he has a basis for boasting, but not before God."

We see from this that God is not impressed with human ability, human personality, human good, or human works. God is only impressed with God's righteousness and God's works. Therefore all human good is completely rejected by God's integrity.

Salvation by works is man competing with God's work. Salvation by works is man declaring his self-righteousness is as good as God's perfect, eternal, infinite righteousness.

Therefore salvation by works is blasphemy because salvation by works completely rejects God's integrity and that means that salvation by works is maladjustment to God's justice. Maladjustment to God's justice means that God's justice can only condemn and punish in time and eternity.

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