You are on page 1of 11

How people twist Paul's words in Romans Chapter 4 to say something he never said.

Romans 4 is the favorite for the "belief" alone crowd, who teach that we must continue in sin so
that grace may abound, the "license to sin" crowd who turn grace into an occassion for satisfying
the flesh. They like to make it to say the following:

1. Abraham had no works of righteousness only BELIEF in God.

2. Abraham's belief was "imputed" (counted) as righteousness so that Abraham could continue
in sin and still be considered "righteous before God.
3. They only have to "believe" in God like Abraham (and in Jesus) and they will be saved no
matter how unrighteously they live, because their belief is "counted as righteousness."
4. That David also had no works of righteousness.
5. That because they believe they can sin and God won't count their sin against them (license to
sin because they believe).

This is the basic way millions of Christians have been taught to read Romans 4.

Unfortunately for them, it doesn't even come CLOSE to saying any of these things.

Let's start from the beginning and go over the entire chapter:

1. What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for

The key word in the opening remarks of this chapter is "justified." Christians have TWISTED that
word. What it means to them is that even though they sin, they are "justified" anyway because
of their belief. So, they proceed through verse 3 of the chapter with this preconceived notion
and in typical circular logic, because they believe they are "justified" without living "justly"
therefore when it says "IF Abraham WERE justified by works..." since they already believe that
one can be unjust and still be "justified" because one believes in God, then this verse 2, to them,
confirms it.

Yet, when Paul says "works" in this chapter he's talking about "works of the law" (not the
righteous works born out of faith as we will soon see by the end of the chapter).
Paul starts out by pointing out that Abraham believed God (before there even WAS a law) and
this was "counted as righteousness."

We have to stop here and ask what does it mean to "believe God" in this scripture. In order to
understand we must jump forward in the chapter....

Romans 4:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory
to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Abraham believed and as a result REPENTED of his sins and did God's will! He was "able to
perform" God's will because he truly believed. So, Abraham's faith was made perfect by what he
DID, by his performance. This is the SAME THING that James taught. Many erroneously think
that Paul's teachings contradict James' but as we see now they are in perfect harmony.

James 2:
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the

22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto
him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Both James AND Paul agree that Abrham's faith was accompanied by WORKS (Paul uses the
word performance which is a more accurate word because in the world of Pharisess from which
Paul was taught, "works" refers to works of the law) and the works James' refers to here in his
example were not "works of the law" but were performed BEFORE the law was given, as Paul will
point out shortly in Romans 4.

Romans 4:
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is
counted for righteousness.

This is a favorite one of the license to sin crowd. "See," they say, Abraham didn't do works of
righteousness, he believed only and it was "counted" as righteousness. They seize on the phrase
"him that justifieth the ungodly" and actually preach from the pulpit that you have to be
"ungodly" to be justified. They preach "God only justifies ungodly people." Which is a complete
logical fallacy. Because it says that God WILL justify ungodly people (if they repent and do his
first works) it is logical fallacy to conclude that God "only" justifies ungodly people.

It would be like if I go into church all dripping with mud and smelling badly because I am
homeless and they let me in, and sit me in the front row, and then someone sees this and
concludes in their minds that you only get to sit in the front row if you are dirty and smelly.

Yes, God DOES justify ungodly IF they REPENT of their ungodly deeds! (Repent means to turn
away from and cease doing them).

Also, in verse 5 where it says "to him that worketh not" it's once again talking about "works of
the law." That is the overall CONTEXT. Christians rip that verse and others like it out of the text
and make it to say that Abraham had no righteous works through FAITH!

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth
righteousness without works,

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

In the above 3 verses Christians attempt to say that David himself was an "ungodly man" whom
God "counted as righteous." Obviously they have never read the FULL story of David, for aside
from a few major sins for which he repented and was sorely punished, David was "a man after
God's own heart" and did MANY righteous things in his lifetime.

All verses 6 through 8 are saying is that David was familiar with REPENTANCE and his words
underscore how God will "not remember the sins" of he that repents and "lives justly."

We see this process described in great detail in Ezekiel 18.

21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes,
and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his
righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he
should return from his ways, and live?

So, to not have sins imputed means to REPENT and DO THE FIRST WORKS! It means you turn
from your transgressions and do what is lawful and right! In fact, Ezekiel 18 begins by explaining
what "justified" means in scripture:

Ezekiel 18
4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul
that sinneth, it shall die.

5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right,

6 And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the
house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a
menstruous woman,

7 And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by
violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment;

8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn
his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,
9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall
surely live, saith the Lord God.

The man who walks "upright" is "justified." He is "just."

Christians LIE against the truth and say that you can live "unjustly" and still be "justified" just
because you believe in a religion.

This is why the Christian religions are full to overflowing ... they are taught exactly what they
want to hear.. that you can live any way you like and still go to heaven.

Yet this is NOT what he is saying in Romans 4. The context of what we just read in Romans 4, the
first seven verses is that Abraham, before the LAW even CAME, repented, believed God,
performed God's will and so was "counted as righteous" even though in the PAST he had lived

It doesn't say anywhere in Romans 4 that Abraham "remained ungodly" so that "grace could
abound" to him through his belief.

As we discussed already, when Paul says "works" he's talking about works of the law. We can
easily see this from the 4 verses:

Romans 4

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for
we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in

circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had
yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not
circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also
walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
Paul makes great lengths to point out that Abraham was uncircumcised when he "believed God"
and "performed God's will." Why? Because that is where law began. The Old Covenant began
with circumcision.

Genesis 17:
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every
man child among you shall be circumcised.

11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant
betwixt me and you.

12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your
generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of
thy seed.

13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be
circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.

14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul
shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

So Paul points out that Abraham could not be justified "by the works of the law" because the law
was not even given yet, when he was "justified" by his faith, and by his PERFORMANCE of God's
will as a RESULT of that faith!

It's proof positive that one does not NEED the law to do God's will!

Yet, does this mean God "did away with his law" or that God's law was a complete waste of
time? It would mean that if we believe what Christianity spews.

Paul is not claiming that Abraham didn't have to obey God's covenant law, all he had to do was
believe in God! The entire notion is preposterous. What Paul said was that righteousness does
not "come by keeping a law." This is a common theme of Paul. Yet, Christians everywhere have
TWISTED that message to mean that you don't have to be "just." That you don't have to "be
righteous" all you have to do is "believe" and you are "counted" righteous.
Yet, is Paul describing people that didn't "do" God's will?

Let's read on:

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed,
through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none

15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

The above 3 verses prove and demonstrate beyond doubt that when Paul discusses "works" he's
talking about "works of the LAW!" Does Paul say there "is no righteousness" and we "don't do
works of righteousness we are only COUNTED righteous because of our belief?"

No, in verse 13 Paul says we don't do righteousness through the LAW but through FAITH! That is
what is meant by "the righteousness of faith." He points out that BEFORE the law, Abraham DID
(performed) righteousness, WITHOUT the law, he did so BY FAITH. So when Christians say we
"don't have to be righteous" because we are "counted righteous" they are NULLIFYING faith

Righteousness does not come by the law, it comes by faith, but righteousness COMES
nonetheless, if you are "of faith" like faithful Abraham.

John said it plainly:

1 John 3: 7
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is

Christians teach you don't have to DO righteousness to be righteous. They quote Paul who said
you can't be "righteous" by works of the LAW and twist his words to mean "you can't be
righteous AT ALL!"

He never says that as we will see right here in Romans 4:

Romans 4:
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all
the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham;
who is the father of us all,

17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed,
even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations,
according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about
an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory
to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Abraham's faith caused him to PERFORM IT!

So, it's not that Abraham had no works of righteousness, it's that his righteousness was not born
of the LAW but of FAITH! Abraham was an ungodly man until he BELIEVED GOD and then he
TURNED from his ungodliness and because of his FAITH which caused him to PERFORM God's
will, God forgot ALL ABOUT his ungodliness and he was "counted" righteous through ONE ACT

Yet Christians say they don't HAVE to PERFORM God's will!

That is a LIE!

Romans 4:
3 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our
Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Notice Paul does not say that we are "justified" by Christ's DEATH!

This is ANOTHER LIE that Christianity teaches. That Christ died to "pay the penalty" for all of
their sins so that they could be "justified" even though they remain in SIN!

We are not "justified" by his DEATH according to Paul, but by his RESURRECTION!

We are justified by the HOLY SPIRIT, whom Christ sent when he was raised.

Even CHRIST was "justified" by the spirit:

1 Timothy 3: 16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world,
received up into glory.

Read that again... it says "JUSTIFIED IN THE SPIRIT."

Even Christ was not "justified by the law."

That is why Paul said "NO flesh can be justified by the law."

1 Timothy 3: 16
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is
the knowledge of sin.

It says NO FLESH is justified by the LAW! Not even CHRIST, who was flesh. If you do not believe
that Christ was flesh, then you are antichrist.

1 John 4:
3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this
is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it
in the world.

So Paul said "NO FLESH" is justified by the law (not even Christ) and he wrote to Timothy and
said Christ was "justified in the SPIRIT!"

NONE of us are "justified" by the flesh. This is why the DEATH of Christ's flesh DOES NOT JUSTIFY
US. If the death of Christ's flesh justifies us, then Paul could not say "no flesh is justified by the
law," because we would be JUSTIFIED by Christ's keeping the law unto the DEATH! Our flesh
would literally be JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW!

Yet we are not justified by the law, we are justified by the SPIRIT! This is why Christ died, to send
us the HOLY SPIRIT, so that, by living in him, we could be JUSTIFIED! We could "live justly" and
"do that which is right."

They NULLIFY THE CROSS when they say that they don't have to "do what is right" because they
"believe!" For Christ DIED so that they could "do what is right" and follow after his footsteps of

We are not SAVED BY HIS DEATH as Christians preach!

We are "saved by his life."

Romans 5:
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much
more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Now, many will call me on this and say, "Jeff, that verse contradicted what you said, it says that
we are justified by his blood."

When scripture says "the blood" of Christ it's talking about THE HOLY SPIRIT, because the
purpose of the shed blood was to send the Holy Spirit!

John 16: 7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient (absolutely necessary) for you that I go away: for
if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

This is why it says "we shall be saved BY HIS LIFE."

We live but not us, Christ lives in us and the life we live we live BY FAITH!

This is why Paul said that we must believe in the RESURRECTION or we are "yet in our sins."
1 Corinthians 15:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Did Paul say that you must believe in his DEATH or you are "yet in your sins?"


He said you must believe in HIS RESURRECTION or you are "yet in your sins" because it is by his
resurrection that he sends us the HOLY SPIRIT who "takes away our sins" replacing our life of sin
with a life of HOLINESS and PERFORMANCE of the WILL of GOD!

Which is why Christ warned just believing he's Lord is NOT ENOUGH!

Matthew 7: 21-23
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he
that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy
name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.