A Short Study of 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.”
Most everyone would agree that there is immense need of salvation in the soul of all people. Just look around, there are churches and different denominations of religion everywhere. Surely, people are saying there is a necessity of salvation. The scriptures certainly make it plain that there is a need of salvation. For we read, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The difference among men is, how is salvation received and who accomplished it? Some say it is received and accomplished by works, efforts and ceremony or being a member of a certain church. However, the scriptures plainly teach that salvation (the Lord Jesus Christ) is received by faith, and accomplished by Christ. It was said of Abraham, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20-21). God in His infinite wisdom has sovereignly chosen faith as the method and means to receive His salvation (Romans 5:1). God reveals to us at least two reasons why salvation is received by believing and not by doing.
1). “That it might be by grace.”
Grace and works are opposites and pull apart. Grace and faith are cooperative and pull together (Romans 11:6). Faith is the fruit of the sovereign grace of God given to the sinners in regeneration (1st John 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9). Faith traces its very existence, cause, reason and purpose to be all of grace (1st Corinthians 15:10). True saving faith when it is given to the sinners quickly recognizes that it is the gift of God and glorifies Him alone (Romans 4:20-21; Philippians 1:29).
2). “To the end the promise might be sure to all the seed.”
If salvation were determined and dependent upon the works of the sinner it could never be sure to anyone. Who could produce and continue in perfect righteousness by the efforts of the flesh? God says that our best efforts at righteousness are nothing but sinful, stinking rags (Isaiah 64:6). However, because salvation is totally determined, accomplished and dependent upon the excellent, perfect person and priestly work of the Lord Jesus Christ it is certain and sure to all of God’s elect. Christ Jesus did provide for them righteousness, salvation and redemption (Psalm 57:2; 1st Corinthians 1:30), therefore the promise and certainty of salvation must be sure to the believer (2nd Samuel 23:5; 2nd Corinthians 1:20-21; Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 9:12).