Word Study/Righteousness

B. The Example of Righteousness (4: 1– 25) Romans

4: 1 Abraham our father. Paul uses the model of Abraham to prove justification by faith alone because the Jews held him up as the supreme example of a righteous man (John 8: 39), and because it clearly showed that Judaism with its works-righteousness had deviated from the faith of the Jews’ patriarchal ancestors. In a spiritual sense, Abraham was the forerunner of the primarily Gentile church in Rome as well (see notes on 1: 13; 4: 11, 16; cf. Gal. 3: 6, 7).

4: 2 justified by works. Declared righteous on the basis of human effort (see note on 3: 24 ). boast. If Abraham’s own works had been the basis of his justification, he would have had every right to boast in God’s presence. That makes the hypothetical premise of verse 2 unthinkable (Eph. 2: 8, 9; 1 Cor. 1: 29).

4: 3 A quotation of Genesis 15: 6, one of the clearest statements in all Scripture about justification ( see note on 3: 24 ). believed. Abraham was a man of faith (see note on 1:16; cf. 4: 18– 21; Gal. 3: 6, 7, 9; Heb. 11: 8– 10). But faith is not a meritorious work. It is never the ground of justification—it is simply the channel through which it is received and it, too, is a gift. See note on Ephesians 2: 8. accounted. Cf. verses 5, 9, 10, 22. This word can also be translated “imputed” (vv. 6, 8, 11, 23, 24). Used in both financial and legal settings, this Greek word, which occurs nine times in chapter 4 alone, means to take something that belongs to someone and credit to another’s account. It is a one-sided transaction. Abraham did nothing to accumulate it; God simply took His own righteousness and credited it to Abraham as if it were actually his . This God did because Abraham believed in Him (see note on Gen. 15: 6 ). righteousness. See notes on 1: 17; 3: 21.

Key Word Justification: 4: 25; 5: 18— derived from the Greek verb dikaioo, meaning “to acquit” or “to declare righteous,” used by Paul in4: 2, 5; 5: 1. It is a legal term used of a favorable verdict in a trial. The word depicts a courtroom setting, with God presiding as the Judge, determining the faithfulness of each person to the law. In the first section of Romans, Paul makes it clear that no one can withstand God’s judgment (3: 9– 20). The law was not given to justify sinners but to expose their sin . To remedy this deplorable situation, God sent His Son to die for our sins in our place. When we believe in Jesus, God imputes His righteousness to us, and we are declared righteous before God. In this way, God demonstrates that He is both a righteous Judge and the one who declares us righteous, our justifier (3: 26).

4: 4, 5 Broadening his argument from Abraham to all people, the apostle here makes it clear that the forensic act of declaring a person righteous is completely apart from any kind of human work. If salvation were on the basis of one’s own effort , God would owe salvation as a debt— but salvation is always a sovereignly given gift of God’s grace (3: 24; Eph. 2: 8, 9) to those who believe (cf. 1: 16 ). Since faith is contrasted with work, faith must mean the end of any attempt to earn God’s favor through personal merit.

MacArthur, John F. (2005-05-08). The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Kindle Locations 50010-50037). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

(2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 4037-4038). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.


3 What does Scripture say ? “Abraham believed God , and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

(2013-09-24). The MacArthur Study Bible, NIV (Signature) (Kindle Locations 262941-262943). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

How many people would rather split the church than relinquish control?



Thinking out loud,





Inclusion is a term that educators use for special needs students. In an inclusion setting students with special needs are main streamed into the general education classroom.  The classroom usually has a general education teacher, special education teacher, and a paraprofessional.  These individuals work together as a team, providing the best environment for all students.  The students should not be segregated.  When walking into an inclusion setting you should not be able to distinguish non typical peers from typical peers.  “Your students” and “my students” are phrases that should never be used.  This classroom will function differently from other classrooms and should be allowed to meet the needs of those particular students.  If led correctly the classroom can be a positive experience for all individuals.  The general education teacher is usually the leader of the classroom.  She/He sets the tone of the environment.  How the typical peers react to the non typical peers depends on the general education teacher.  If she/he accepts the non typical peers the typical peers will embrace them.  If she rejects them, the typical peers will reject them also.

Now lets shift this term to the church.  How inclusive are we?  Are we accepting of those individuals who are different?  Are they segregated?  Are we (Christians) the typical peers?  Are they (non Christians) the non typical peers?  Does the ministerial staff embrace them?  Is the church ready to embrace those who are different?  Is the church ready to embrace the whore, the prostitute, and the drug addict?  Are we ready to help individuals with special needs? How will we treat their children?  Will we make the children pay for their parents mistakes?  Will we refuse the help them financially? Do we use the phrases “We” and “They”?

How inclusive was Jesus?

What does hope look like?

What does hope look like?  Can it be disguised?  How is hope recognized?  Hope can come when it is least expected.  I do not believe all hope comes in prosperity.  However, I do believe hope can be seen in hurt and sorrow.  Think about Peter and his denial of knowing Christ.  Could this have been his hope?  Would he have been the dynamic speaker had he not denied Christ?  Did Saul receive hope on his way to Damascus?  I believe he did!  Your biggest disappointment can be your greatest hope!  The loss of a job or having to make a career change can all be disguised as hope and will be missed if you do not look carefully.  So stop what you are doing!  Take inventory of your surroundings!  Find your hope!  It’s there!  To find it you will have to dig deep, deeper than you have ever dug before!


Lifeway Worship, L. (2008). Baptist Hymnal. Nashville, TN: Lifeway. Worship.

If you would like to see what hope looks like you may want to watch McFarland USA.  Hope was found in the least likely place!


Messenger of the Lord’s Army

go on . . . .

We have two small dogs that stay inside.  Waldo has lived with us since he was a puppy.  He is very secure and trusts us completely.  I can carry him in my left arm and he has all the confidence that he will not be dropped.  However, Teddy is a different story.  We are his third home and he is very insecure.  When I send him outside I will often have to say “go on” several times to get him out the door.  He continues to look back to make sure I am still standing there.  Maybe it’s because he has been left for long periods of time.  Maybe he looks back to make sure I will be there when he returns.  Whatever the case, his insecurity is real.

I completely understand about the looking back thing.  I too, am insecure about someone being there for me.  It scares me to think that no one will be waiting for me when I return.  This will be a problem in March.  We are visiting our daughter in Spain and I am reluctant to go for fear I will not get back home.  However, the tickets are bought and plans are made.  I must trust God and know that he is with me no matter where I travel.

What about you?  What foreign land is God asking you to walk on or maybe he is asking you to walk on water.  You remember Spontaneous Peter, jumping out of the boat to greet Jesus.  Peter’s land was unbelief.  Maybe you are like Doubting Thomas, asking to see the hands of Jesus before you believe.  Thomas also had a belief problem.  So, let me ask you again.  What foreign land is God asking you to walk on?  What is your water?  Know for sure that God is standing at the door watching you, telling you to “go on” and know that he will be waiting on you at that same door when you return.  If by chance you lose your way, know that he will come and fetch you wherever you may be.

Now, “GO ON”!  Walk out that door!  Never fear! God’s got ya!


11For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that. 12At that time , you will call out for Me, and I will hear. You will pray, and I will listen. 13You will look for Me intently, and you will find Me. 14Yes, I will be found by you,” says the Eternal, “and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations where you’ve been scattered— all the places where I have driven you. I will bring you back to the land that is your rightful home.”  Jeremiah 29:11

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 918). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.



thinking out loud,


Hmmm . . .

What happens when you have a team within a team?

What do you do when the team within the team does not want you to be part of “their” team?

How can you continue to do your job and be effective?

What should you do to not let this isolation discourage you?

Hmmm . .

Thinking out loud . . . .

coalesce. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 10, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coalesce

coalesce . . .


verb (used without object), coalesced, coalescing

  to grow together or into one body

  to unite so as to form one mass, community, etc.

  to blend or come together

  to cause to unite in one body or mass


coalesce. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 10, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/coalesce

team . . . . .





A team is a group of people who unite together to combine their talents.  The purpose of the allying is to merge as one, making a strong fortress that cannot be broken.


whole  . . . . undivided . . . . to share a common opinion . . . to be unified in purpose . . .


Still thinking . . . .


Messenger of the Lords Army





unite. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved January 10, 2015, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/unite

normal . . . .

Can someone please tell me where I can find the “normal” stick.  You know that stick we use to judge everyone (young and old).  Personally, I do not believe it exists and is a figment of our imagination.  The only “stick” we are to judge ourselves with is God and we are told not to judge others.  This can be hard because Satan uses this tool to keep us divided and in constant disarray.  We must remember God’s words:

Jesus: 1If you judge other people, then you will find that you, too, are being judged. 2Indeed, you will be judged by the very standards to which you hold other people.

C15 So when someone is tempted to criticize his neighbor because her house isn’t clean enough, she seems ill-tempered, or she is a bit flighty— he should remember those same standards and judgments will come back to him. No one should criticize his neighbor for being short-tempered one morning, when he is snippish and snappish and waspish all the time.

Jesus: 3Why is it that you see the dust in your brother’s or sister’s eye, but you can’t see what is in your own eye? 4Don’t ignore the wooden plank in your eye, while you criticize the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eyelashes. 5That type of criticism and judgment is a sham! Remove the plank from your own eye, and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly how to help your brother flush out his sawdust.

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 1159). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

13For You shaped me, inside and out. You knitted me together in my mother’s womb long before I took my first breath. 14I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul. 15You see all things; nothing about me was hidden from You As I took shape in secret, carefully crafted in the heart of the earth before I was born from its womb. 16You see all things; You saw me growing, changing in my mother’s womb; Every detail of my life was already written in Your book; You established the length of my life before I ever tasted the sweetness of it.

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 727). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

73Your strong hands formed me and established me; give me understanding so I can learn Your commands.

Nelson, Thomas (2012-04-10). The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture (p. 716). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Now go and sin no more!

Sofia, Messenger of the Lord’s Army!

points to ponder . . . . . . .

  • I am still reeling in the emotions from the movie “The Judge”.  I was not ready to have a front row seat to another dysfunctional family.  This is why I do not watch movies that depict real life.
  • I’ve been thinking about the church of my youth.  I attended First Baptist . . . .   They had a bus ministry and would pick me and my sister up  and carry us to church.  It was a difficult church to attend because I always felt I could never dress good enough.  Also, I do not remember the preacher every speaking to me.  He was more concerned with keeping the members who paid the bills happy.  You also had to be a professional singer to ever get recognized by the minister of music.
  • I have attended two churches where I live.  Two positives that came from this first church. My daughter had the best children’s minister and I was fortunate to have met the sweetest preacher’s wife ever!
  • I visited a local church that is different from all others.  They were baptizing 200 hundred people during three services.  These people were not your every day Baptists.  They were tattoo wearing, biker riding, blue jean kind of people.  There were many!  They waited patiently for the doors to open so they could hear God’s word.  I’m not sure traditional churches are prepared for these people or if they want them in their church.  If these people were to visit our churches, I not sure they would come back.  There would be no blending in with the congregation.  These people would stand out like a sore thumb.  I once questioned the validly of this church, but not any more. In  Mark 9:38-41, John tells Jesus that someone who does not belong to their group is preaching the gospel.  This does not please Jesus.  Jesus then tells them “If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally“.   Jesus is saying “leave them alone”, they are fulfilling a need that needs to be met.


thinking out loud . . . . .


Messenger of the Lords Army


the walking dead . . . .

While sitting at my computer working on my assignments I often hear The Walking Dead playing in the living room.  Most of the time I will just listen.  However, sometimes I stop working and watch.  This particular episode involved eye patch man and Rick.  Eye patch man wants the prison and gives Rick an ultimatum; leave or die.  Rick tries to reason with him by offering to share the prison but eye patch man refuses.  Thus, the war begins.  This is not a “win-win” situation and all will lose.  The prison becomes uninhabitable and many die.  All this happens because eye patch man refuses to be reasonable and selfishly wants it all.  I do realize this is just a TV series but the circumstances can mimic real life.

How often have we destroyed someone to get what we want?

How many bodies have we left wounded or dead?

Have we become a society that takes what we want at all cost?

Do we see this attitude in the church?

What steps can be take to ensure this mentality is not exhibited in the church family?

thinking out loud . . . .

Ours is the victory!

I’m just going to say it!  I am crazy for the Lord, and the older I get my love for him grows deeper!  However, with this love comes trials.  Trials are not meant to hurt us.  They are meant to help us.  Also, with this love comes knowledge.  The knowledge that some battles are meant to be fought spiritually!

On our knees!

Marching around walls!

With arms raised (Moses)! 

Being still!

With one smooth stone!

With an ox goad!

. . . . . . . .

Now go and submit to the Lord Almighty, seeking guidance for all you do!  March around your walls of unbelief with your arms raised!  Use God’s word as your smooth stone to goad your situation into submission!  Fall on your knees worshiping and thanking him, giving him the glory!



Messenger of the Lord’s Army!



change . . . .

It was a battle to be top dog, music director against preacher.  He (music director) thought he was superior and wanted control.    His (music director) body language screamed superiority, down to the smirk on his face.  He (music director) was jealous and wanted his way. This did not sit well with Moses.  However, Moses turned it over to the Lord to be dealt with once and for all.  And the Lord did, eliminating the troublemakers quickly and swiftly! The ground opened up and swallowed the tribe. This story is very much real.  You will find the passage in Numbers 16.  It was real then and is real now.

God is the head of the church and the preacher is the messenger!  It would be in our best interest to follow God’s directions.  To not decide is deciding!  To often the church is controlled by people who want their way.  When left unchecked the church becomes dysfunctional and ceases to serve its purpose.

What’s a church to do?  Humble yourself before the Mighty Hand of God.  Seek God’s guidance and take the steps necessary to bring the situation under control.  There is work to do and people to save!  Now get busy and get this thing done!

calling . . .

I believe there is a difference between your calling and God’s calling.  Your calling may be something you do well and comes natural.  It could be something you enjoy and gives you great satisfaction.  God’s calling could possible be something that does not come natural to you.  You would have to work at it continually, depending on God to get you through.  Ask yourself this question.  Am I following God’s calling or am I following my calling?  Am I refusing to let go of something that is not fulfilling HIS purpose?  Am I putting my will before God’s will?

Thinking out loud . . . . .

progress . . . . .

Are you hindering progress?  Are you refusing to step aside so something new can be established?  Are you letting pride keep you from doing God’s will?  Change may not be wanted but it is often necessary for survival!  And all God’s children said, AMEN!

Yeshua is our anchor!

“What The Storm Does Not Know” by Paid In Full is a song in which I have not heard. However, the title pierced my soul this morning during worship.  What does the storm not know?  Let me tell you!

The storm does not know that Yeshua is our anchor in which we hope!

The storm does not know that Yeshua is the beacon that guides us when the road is dark, wet, and cold!

The storm does not know that Yeshua is the foundation on which we stand!

The storm does not know that Yeshua is the ONE who will calm the storm and give us safe passage!

Isaiah 43:2 

I Am   –  Crowder

the highway of life . . . .

I try to leave a little before 7:00 to make sure I get to work on time.  This allows me to take my time and not feel rushed.  However, I have noticed that some people are in a hurry and are not patient with my leisurely pace.  They will often pass me so they can get to their destination quicker.  I find this humorous because I often end up next to them at the red light.   They are stuck behind several vehicles while my lane is empty.  This can happen to us as we travel the highway of life. We often feel that others are passing us while we are standing still.  Just because the are passing us doesn’t mean they are getting somewhere.  It just means they are in a hurry.  More than likely we will end up next to them at the red light.  They will be behind several other people while we are free to move forward. Don’t sweat it!  Keep looking forward! Remember they may be headed to a dead-end road but can’t realize it because they are in such a hurry!  Keep the faith! Keep on keeping on!

and he laughed . . . .

Right about now Satan is leaning back in his chair, his feet are on his desk, his hands are behind his head, and he is grinning from ear to ear.  He has us doing what he loves for us to do, Argue! Yep, he loves it when we (Christians) argue. He loves it when we act like Pharisees!  Why in the world would people want to belong to a group that argues? We argue in our churches, we argue in our denominations, and we argue with other denominations.  Sometimes I don’t want to be part of the arguers!  Sometimes I would rather stay at home and watch a preacher on my computer.  However, that is not what we are called to do.  We are call to witness to a lost world!  We are called to represent Christ!  We are called to live in unity!  We are called to live at peace with one another!

We must stop arguing, we must stop arguing, we must stop arguing!

The Member

We “the members” have deemed ourselves judge, jury, and executioner of the church.  God is not happy with us and is telling us to “step away” from the church.  He is not telling us to leave the church but stop trying to own something that is not ours. The God of the New Testament is the same God of the Old Testament.  He can smite us (take us out) in a heartbeat but chooses to show us Love, Mercy, and Amazing Grace.

thinking out loud . . .

I have never looked through the eyes of Joshua.  My view has always been through the eye of the Israelites.

  • What was it like to have a whole generation not listen?
  • How did it feel to see his words fall on deaf ears?
  • What was it like to continually be compared to Moses?
  • Was someone in the camp making sure Moses didn’t stay dead?
  • What was it like to see family and friends die rapidly?


hmmmm . . . .


Messenger of the Lord’s army.

It occurred to me last week that Joshua had two stages in his life.  Before the wilderness and after the wilderness.  He gave God’s message to the Israelites and it fell on deaf ears.  Joshua did not fail! Joshua did enter the Promise Land!  The Israelites wilderness was his mission field.  Someone had to teach the next generation about God.   Here’s to all God’s messengers who boldly speak God’s word Sunday after Sunday.  Keep on keeping on!  God is watching!  He knows your commitment!  Your Promise Land is just around the corner!


Messenger of the Lord’s army!

tradition . . . .

Have you ever heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”?  Let’s stop and think about this phrase for a minute.  How do we know it is not broken?  How do we know that it doesn’t need fixing?  By the time Jesus comes on the scene the Pharisee’s six hundred plus laws were expected to be followed.  The Pharisee’s were broken and they were passing that brokenness  on to God’s people.

We are broken as a nation!

We are broken as a church!

We are broken as a people!

This saddens God very much.  He desires for us to be a people of unity!  He desires for us to love and worship him!  We must not let modern day Pharisee’s lead us astray! Stop and watch!  Who are you following?  Are they following man or are they following God?  Tradition doesn’t equal right!  Tradition can equal brokenness!


Messenger of the Lord’s army

God is with us always . . .

Joseph watched her through eyes of compassion and love.  He was even going to divorce her quietly because he did not want to expose her to public disgrace.  Then an angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream and reassured him that all was well and he was to take Mary as his wife.  They were unaware of my presence as I watch from the corner of the room.  I had to see for myself the Savior of the world. The One who would save humanity!  As Yeshua nursed from his mother’s breast I watched Joseph excuse himself giving Mary the privacy she needed.  You could see the questions in Joseph eyes wondering if he could raise the Christ child!  Abba knew .  . . .


Messenger of the Lord’s army