Yesterday we heard of the way God arranged for Saul to meet Samuel, and how God revealed amazing details to Samuel about what would happen to Saul in the short term. Saul became king. It is such a shame that Saul fulfilled the earlier prophecy given by Samuel a few chapters back, rather than continuing to be humble like he was at the start of his reign.
EC Olsen’s chapter on this psalm is entitled, “A Psalm which ought to give every living person a thrill!!” He’s right. This psalm is like vitamins for the soul. This is one of the most loved of all psalms.
Yesterday Paul arrived at the first explanation of his main point in 3:23-31. This happens to be a difficult passage to translate. GNT and NLT do a great job making many difficult concepts clear. You might particularly compare verses 23 and 26 with a literal translation.
GNT Translation notes:
Rom. 4:3 The scripture says, “Abraham believed God, and because of his [belief//faith] God accepted him as righteous.”
5 But those who depend on [believing//faith], not on deeds, and who believe in the God who declares the guilty to be innocent, it is this [believing//faith] that God takes into account in order to put them right with himself.
6 This is what David meant when he spoke of the happiness of [a//the] person whom God accepts as righteous, apart from anything [the//that] person does:
9 Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, “Abraham believed God, and because of his [belief//faith] God accepted him as righteous.”
11 He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his [believing//faith] [before he had been circumcised//0] God had accepted him as righteous [0//before he had been circumcised]. And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God and are accepted as righteous by him, even though they are not circumcised.
12 He is also the father of those who are circumcised, that is, of those who, in addition to being circumcised, also live the same life of [believing//faith] that our father Abraham lived before he was circumcised.
14 For if what God promises is to be given to those who obey the Law, then [our believing//faith] means nothing and God's promise is worthless.
16 And so the promise was based on [believing//faith], in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God's free gift to all of Abraham's descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all;
[Here is my new attempt at rendering the meaning of this verse:]
16 So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And if we become Abraham’s spiritual children by believing like Abraham did, we are certain to receive it— whether or not we live by the Law of Moses. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.]
17 as the scripture says, “I have made you father of many nations.” So the promise is [valid//good] in the sight of God, in whom Abraham believed—the God who brings the dead to life and whose command brings into being what did not exist.
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