What Does Romans 4:8 Mean?


Romans 4:8(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Before salvation, we are all ungodly sinners under condemnation... unregenerate people who are dead in sin. We are children of darkness, enslaved to sin, and living in the realm of Satan. We are not sinners because we sin. The reason we sin is that we are born sinners - we are born in sin and were conceived by sinners. We have a fallen nature imputed to us and there is nothing we can do to justify ourselves or make ourselves right in the sight of God.

God alone can justify the sinner. Living a good life, helping the poor, giving money to worthy causes, or spending our life performing philanthropic acts, cannot save us... nor can working in the mission field, attending church services, participating in feast days, or doing all manner of kind deeds. We have all sinned and are spiritually bankrupt. We have all fallen short of God's standard of perfection. We were conceived by parents who were themselves sinners and the most beautiful baby will eventually suffer the consequences of sin - for the end result of every life - is death.

Death means separation, and physical death is only one aspect of the death into which we were all born. Our human spirit is lifeless at conception and the human soul of every-man is fatally flawed. We are not able to do the good we would like to do, but the evil which we don't want to do is what we do! We are born to die. We are truly wretched creatures, and without God's gift of salvation, would simply die in our sin and remain eternally damned.

However, God implemented a plan of salvation. He purposed to redeem fallen man - but only the death of an innocent substitute - a perfect Redeemer, could satisfy God's unimaginable hatred of sin. Sin has to be punished, and no man is good enough to pay that price - so God gave His only begotten Son to be born into His own fallen creation, so that He could live a perfect life and die a sacrificial death, as payment for the sin of the entire world.

It is no wonder that David rejoiced, in Psalm 32 with his outburst of joy, "How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!" No surprise that Paul quoted this saint of old in his Roman epistle, "Blessed is a man to whom the Lord does, not impute sin." The man who is not imputed with sin and speaks no deceitful word is simply... the one who has believed in God's Word - his faith is credited as righteousness and his lips are commended as pure. 

Earlier in this chapter, Paul used Abraham, the patriarch, as an illustration of a man who was justified - by faith. Here, in this section, he used David the shepherd-king of Israel to emphasise that we are not saved by works of the Law, but by faith in God's Word. David and Paul do not cry out, 'Blessed is a man who is made righteous by keeping God's Law!' or 'blessed is the man whose sin is not held to account because of his righteous deeds!' The man who is blessed of God is the one who trusts in HIM.

Both men knew the truth that the man whose sin is not taken into account is the one who has been imputed with Christ's perfect righteousness. Righteousness is not imputed because of what WE have done, but through what Christ has done on our account. The salvation we received is a free gift, which costs us nothing... yet it cost the Father the death of His beloved Son and the price the Lord Jesus paid - was His life.

Our salvation only comes by God's grace through man's faith in Christ Jesus our Lord. Those who are born OF Adam - born of the flesh, are imputed with Adam's sin nature, while those who are born OF Christ - born of the Spirit, are imputed with Christ's sinless nature. Every man sits in one of these two camps. We do not earn righteousness by works... but are imputed with His righteousness by faith, which takes us OUT OF Adam and the domain of sin and death, and places us INTO Christ and the realm of righteousness and life.

Many today have been swept into a legalistic fervour and consider that in addition to Christ's sacrifice on the Cross we have to keep the Mosaic Law or other Church-imposed rules and regulations... to supplement Christ's sacrifice at Calvary... or to 'keep' us saved! But water baptism, church attendance, penance and piety, eating certain foods, avoiding certain actions, or participation in holy ordinances, can never atone for one's sin.

Others have bought into the lie that because we are imputed with Christ's righteousness, we have God's permission to indulge in sin! Rubbish! Nothing could be further from the truth. Sin cost the Father His Son and sin cost Christ His life - OUR response should be unfeigned thankfulness and a desire to live holy lives that honour His name.

How blessed is the condemned sinner who is justified and imputed with righteousness when they are redeemed... when they first believed. They are blessed because the Lord will not hold them accountable for their sin. They are blessed because they trusted His WORD and were born of the Spirit and baptised into the Body of Christ - forever.

But how blessed is the saved sinner who must progress in their faith and grow in grace - not through works of the Law but by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is because we are so blessed, and our sin is no longer accountable, that we are called to eschew all forms of evil, to mature in the faith, and to live in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit... and to be increasingly conformed into the likeness of the lovely Lord Jesus - as we die to self and live for Him.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for my great salvation. How blessed I am that I am no longer part of the old creation in Adam, but a member of the New Creation in Christ. Thank You that I have been imputed with His perfect righteousness. Lord, I know that my righteousness is not conditioned on a righteousness according to rules and regulations, but is founded on faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You that my sin will never be taken into account because Jesus was judged at the Cross on my account and I have been declared righteous before You. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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