Class Notes: 11/5/2023

The book of Romans part 177; Rom 4:13;

In our verse by verse study of Romans we previously completed Rom 4:12; with the Expanded Translation "And the pattern of circumcision, not only to those from circumcision [Jews], but also to those who advance in the ranks from the source of doctrine, like our father Abraham in uncircumcision."

Verse 12 tells us that that not only did Abraham set the pattern for salvation adjustment to God's justice for salvation as an uncircumcised Gentile but he also set the pattern for maturity adjustment to God's justice in that same status of uncircumcision as a Gentile.

We see from this that ritual has nothing to do with salvation or maturity adjustment to God's justice. The issue is believing the doctrine,

Rom 4:13; goes on to explain that only God's righteousness, not self righteousness from keeping the law, is the predicate for receiving blessing from God's justice.

We have previously seen the word order in the Greek is often different, and sometimes significantly different from English translations, this is also case in this verse so we will follow the Greek word order,

"For not through the law" the explanatory conjunctive particle "gar" (for) plus the objective negative adverb "ou" (not) rejecting the reality of an alleged fact, plus the preposition "dia" (through) with the genitive of the noun "nomos" (law).

Then we have to insert the verb "eimi" (is) because we have a predicate nominative of "epaggelia" (promise) so we have "is the promise." Plus the nominative feminine singular from the definite article "ho" (the) used as demonstrative pronoun to emphasize the Abrahamic covenant. Note that the words "the promise" are monadic.

A better translation is, "For not through the law is that promise," referring to a specific part of the Abrahamic covenant. Plus the dative singular indirect object from the definite article "ho" (the) that is used to indicate the case for the word "Abraham" the proper noun "Abraam" (Abraham).

This is dative of indirect object that is also a dative of advantage. It is for Abraham's benefit that that part of the Abrahamic covenant was given to him.

Then a dative singular indirect object from the definite article "ho" (the), plus the dative from "sperma"(seed) then "autos" (him). Our Expanded Translation so far: "For not through the law is that promise to Abraham, or to his seed."

Abraham's seed has three components. The most important is the Lord Jesus Christ who is called the seed of Abraham several times in Scripture. First Jesus Christ is called the seed of the woman in Gen 3:15. He is called the seed of Abraham in Gen 22:18; and quoted in Gal 3:16.

The line of Christ runs through Abraham and Isaac, not through Lot or Ishmael according to Gen 15:4. But Jesus as the seed of Abraham is not always in view in every context, and definitely not in our verse Romans 4:13 where the seed does not refer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The possessive genitive singular from the intensive pronoun 'autos" (he or his) j, is used as a possessive pronoun that is translated (to his seed) in this verse eliminates the Lord Jesus Christ.

The second use and meaning in the Scripture for Abraham's seed is the actual physical seed of Abraham. This includes all of his descendants through Isaac and Jacob or the racial Jew. It also includes many of Arab nations. The physical seed of Abraham is comprised of both Jews and Gentiles.

Sometimes it refers just to the Jews as his racial seed because Abraham is the father of the Jewish race so the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are often in view.

As the father of the Jewish race Abraham's seed would include all of the Jews, and this is illustrated in Gen 13:15,16; 28:14; but this is not in view in our verse either.

A third use of the word "seed" and the one that is in view here in Rom 4:13 is a reference to Abraham's spiritual seed. This includes racial Jews who acquire salvation adjustment to God's justice by believing in Jesus Christ.

The Abrahamic covenant is a blessing from God's justice so to receive this blessing the racial Jews must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be qualified by having received the imputation of God's perfect righteousness.

The predicate for all direct blessing from God is the imputation of God's righteousness at the point of salvation so in this verse Abraham's seed only refers to Jews who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ because they have God's imputed righteousness.

There is also a spiritual seed of Abraham comprised of Gentile believers described in Gal 3:29 but here in Romans the reference is only to Jews who have believed like Abraham believed.

Rom 4:13; "that he would be the heir of the world" the accusative singular from "autos" (he or him) the intensive pronoun used as the subject. This is the accusative of general reference that emphasizes the greatness of a person.

"autos" can also be translated as a reflexive pronoun, "he himself," because the intensive is often reflexive. Plus the present active infinitive of the verb "eimi" (to be).

The definite article denotes a previous reference to a specific person in this case Abraham. "That he would be", has the definite article "ho" (the) followed by the present tense of "eimi" (to be).

This is a futuristic present describing an event that has not yet occurred but is so certain that it is a fait accompli. The active voice: Abraham produces the action of the verb. The infinitive expresses God's purpose described in the Abrahamic covenant.

"the heir of the world." the definite article "ho" (the) plus the accusative singular direct object from the noun "kleronomos" (heir or inheritor) plus the objective genitive of "kosmos" (world).

"but through the righteousness of faith" the adversative conjunction "alla" (but) sets up a contrast between acquiring something through the works of law keeping versus receiving something on the basis of grace through faith adjustment to God's justice.

The preposition "dia" (through) plus the genitive of "dikaiosune" (righteousness "from righteousness," the imputed perfect righteousness from God at the moment of salvation. Plus the ablative singular from "pistis (faith) used here to indicate the mechanics of salvation as faith or non-meritorious perception.

This is an ablative of means describing how it occurs. When the expression of means or how something occurs includes the source. The source of salvation is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Expanded Translation Rom 4:13; "For not through the law is that promise to Abraham and to his seed, that he will be the heir of the world, but through righteousness (imputed) by means of faith."

This verse explains that justification is the predicate for all direct blessing from God because only the possessor of God's righteousness is justified. Justification means to be recognized as righteous by God.

Justification must precede all other blessings from God's justice. Justification only occurs at the moment of faith in Christ as a result of the imputation of divine righteousness.

The chronological sequence for these events is faith in Christ, then the imputation of God's righteousness, followed by the judicial act from God's justice called justification.

God recognizes His own righteousness wherever it is found. It is the recognition of God's righteousness that forms the basis for all direct blessing from God's justice because justification is the prerequisite, for all direct blessing from God's justice.

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