"Faith is accounted for righteousness."
Text: Romans 4:5
CLEARING UP ANY POSSIBLE MISUNDERSTANDING
The word “grace” is so rich and deep. It has many beautiful facets. But it is possible to misunderstand it. Let us consider the following text.
“But to him who does not work but believes on Him
who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
1. “To him who does not work but believes”
Misunderstanding can be disastrous. With misunderstanding, misapplication of a Biblical text will compound the problem. Thus every effort must be made to clear up any possible misunderstanding.
a) This phrase can be easily misunderstood.
b) Possible ways of misunderstanding and misapplying the text.
i) There is total exclusion of works.
ii) Faith and works become diametrically opposite entities.
2. A seeming contradiction
We also have a seeming contradiction arising, if we compare the following texts.
“Who will render to each one according to his deeds:
eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good
seek for glory, honour, and immortality.”
“But glory, honour, and peace, to everyone who works
what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek”
a) At first glance
It would appear as if “works” is given prominence, with reference to the way God judges and grants eternal life.