NL-DBRP_149 1SA.18 1SA.19 PSA.102 ROM.6.19-23 ROM.7.1-17

1SAMUEL 18-19:
In yesterday’s story, David showed that he was more concerned with God’s reputation than for his own safety. May we all face our imposing enemies with more belief in the unseen God than in the very present enemies!

PSALM 102:
This psalm starts out like the prayer of anyone in distress and trouble calling out to God. As we read further, many see parallels with what our Savior would have prayed in his darkest days on earth.

ROMANS 6:19?7:
The last verse of yesterday’s reading shows why it is better to take what we are given, rather than what we have earned! This is a big problem for some. My Dad’s “having lived a good life” was one of the biggest blocks to him humbly coming to God and receiving the gift of eternal life. I don’t think he ever understood how God would not be so impressed by his supposed integrity. The spiritual reality expressed starting at the beginning of the 6th chapter is a key to place along with a second key that we will hear about in today’s chapter.

GNT Translation notes:
[In Hebrew, one can talk directly to God (or a king) as if talking about ‘the Lord’. To keep the feeling of a prayer, English would normally use ‘You’.]
Ps. 102:15 Then the nations will tremble before [You,//the] LORD.
The kings of the earth will tremble before [your/his] glory.
16 For [You//the] LORD will rebuild Jerusalem.
[You/He] will appear in his glory.
17 [You/He] will listen to the prayers of the destitute.
[You/He] will not reject their pleas.
23 [You, Lord, have//The Lord has] made me weak while I am still young;
[You have//he has] shortened my life.

NLT Translation notes:
Ps. 102:15Then the nations will tremble before [You,//the] LORD.
The kings of the earth will tremble before [your/his] glory.
16 For [You//the] LORD will rebuild Jerusalem.
[You/He] will appear in his glory.
17 [You/He] will listen to the prayers of the destitute.
[You/He] will not reject their pleas.
====
Rom. 7:10 and [might as well as killed me. I died? spiritually speaking.//I died]. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead.
11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me [? (because I couldn’t keep them)].
15 I don’t really understand [my own self//myself], for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing [the] wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.
23 But there is another powere within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that [lives on//is] [0/still] within me.
[PET 24-25] [So you see how it [was//is]: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.///[NLT] 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord[./!] //So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.]
[It seems to me (and I am not alone in this) that reordering Paul’s words here helps to remove the impression that Paul is contradicting everything he has said so far about the believer’s victory over the power of sin. From verse 7 on, Paul is expounding on verse 5: “When we were controlled by our old nature,b sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death.” If I am right, then, NLT is wrong to use the present tense in “you see how it is”. I don’t have a problem with this connecting phrase showing the logical connection. I just want to change the verb tense. The Greek only says, “So then,” which is really enough.
This is a very unfortunate chapter break (not made by Paul but by Robert Estienne around 1552). This chapter division has contributed to the wrong understanding of the end of this chapter. I recommend that everyone always keep reading past it!]

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GN-DBRP_148 1SA.17 PSA.101 ROM.6

1SAMUEL 17:
God told Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. Anointing another king while one is still ruling is rather dangerous. So God told Samuel how to do that without making it public. That story included this memorable quote: “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

PSALM 101:
This psalm tells the aspirations of a great king.

Re-reading ROMANS 6:
Pay attention! Paul is telling us the keys to how the process of transformation takes place whereby we are released from the ‘power of sin’ and ‘death’ to live a new life!

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NL-DBRP_148 1SA.17 PSA.101 ROM.6

1SAMUEL 17:
God told Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel. Anointing another king while one is still ruling is rather dangerous. So God told Samuel how to do that without making it public. That story included this memorable quote: “The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

PSALM 101:
This psalm tells the aspirations of a great king.

Re-reading ROMANS 6:
Pay attention! Paul is telling us the keys to how the process of transformation takes place whereby we are released from the ‘power of sin’ and ‘death’ to live a new life!

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GN-DBRP_147 1SA.16 PSA.100 ROM.6

1SAMUEL 16:
Yesterday’s reading told the story of Saul’s incomplete obedience and the rejection of Saul as king? by both God and Samuel. In the process Samuel said some of the most important statements in Scripture, which I will underline here:

Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.

A second quote:

He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”

PSALM 100:
This psalm probably ranks second in the most-memorized psalms, next to Psalm 23.

ROMANS 6:
Mankind can at best only hope for the kind of partial obedience we have seen in Saul. We can’t just ‘try harder’ to please God. We always ‘fall short’ of ‘God’s glorious standard’? as we have heard before in Romans chapter 3. The only hope for us is for God to recreate us. This is done through  our understanding and applying spiritual realities which we cannot see, and one of crucial importance is found in chapter 6.

We have a short reading today. I encourage you to take time to think about the spiritual concepts Paul has been talking about in these last chapters? particularly Romans 5-6. The way to apply unseen spiritual realities in your life is to ask God to help you fully understand and believe them.

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NL-DBRP_147 1SA.16 PSA.100 ROM.6

1SAMUEL 16:
Yesterday’s reading told the story of Saul’s incomplete obedience and the rejection of Saul as king? by both God and Samuel. In the process Samuel said some of the most important statements in Scripture, which I will underline here:

Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.

A second quote:

He who is the Glory of Israel will not lie, nor will he change his mind, for he is not human that he should change his mind!”

PSALM 100:
This psalm probably ranks second in the most-memorized psalms, next to Psalm 23.

ROMANS 6:
Mankind can at best only hope for the kind of partial obedience we have seen in Saul. We can’t just ‘try harder’ to please God. We always ‘fall short’ of ‘God’s glorious standard’? as we have heard before in Romans chapter 3. The only hope for us is for God to recreate us. This is done through  our understanding and applying spiritual realities which we cannot see, and one of crucial importance is found in chapter 6.

We have a short reading today. I encourage you to take time to think about the spiritual concepts Paul has been talking about in these last chapters? particularly Romans 5-6. The way to apply unseen spiritual realities in your life is to ask God to help you fully understand and believe them.

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GN-DBRP_146 1SA.15 PSA.99 ROM.5 ROM.6.1-4

1SAMUEL 15:
Jonathan saved the day! He and his faithful armor bearer kind of took a leaf out of Gideon’s play book and agreed on a sign that would show what God wanted them to do? although they didn’t ask for confirmation like Gideon did. They took the adventure God set before them and won an amazing victory, and God worked with them by causing panic among the Philistines. After lapses and dithering at the beginning, Saul went on to be a great military leader. Note that Ahijah, the priest, is Eli’s grandson.

PSALM 99:
Take off your sandals, because this ground is holy! Enjoy this psalm proclaiming God’s majesty and holiness.

ROMANS 5?6:4:
God’s ways are always counter-intuitive for humans. One would think that if one is right with God and at peace with him, that everything would be smooth sailing from then on, with health, wealth, and prosperity. God shows his love for us by treating us like sons and heirs? meaning, He gives us problems and trials to cause us to grow and better reflect his glory. There is a wonderful side to Christ’s dying for us and being resurrected: He lives now and is deeply involved in continuing to help us. At the end of the chapter Paul draws important comparisons and contrasts between Adam and Christ.

GNT Translation notes:
[I have modified the GNT so that this whole psalm will be understood as speaking to God, as does the CEV.]
Ps. 99:1 [You, Lord, are king//The Lord is king],
and the people tremble.
[You sit on your//He sits on his] throne above the winged creatures,
and the earth shakes.
2 [You, O Lord, are//The Lord is] mighty in Zion;
[You are//he is] supreme over all the nations.
3 Everyone will praise [your//his] great and majestic name.
[You are holy!//Holy is he!]
?
6 Moses and Aaron were [your//his] priests,
and Samuel was one who prayed to [You//him];
they called to [You, Lord, and You//the Lord, and he] answered them.
7 [You//He] spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they obeyed the laws and commands that [You//he] gave them.
====
Rom. 5:1 Now that we have been put right with God through [believing//faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 He has brought us by [means if our believing//faith] into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory!
20 Law was introduced [in order that people might realize how greatly they have sinned//in order to increase [mankind’s awareness of] wrongdoing]; [But as people sinned more and more, God’s grace became even more abundant.//but where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more. ]
21 [NLT So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.//So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God’s grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

NLT Translation notes:
1Sam. 15:27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of [Samuel’s//his] robe.
====
Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by [believing//faith], we have peace with God because of what [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord has done for us.
2 Because of our [believing//faith], Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can [even] rejoice[ 0//, too,] when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
7 [PET: Now it is very difficult for someone to sacrifice himself to save someone else? even if that person is good and honest. But a person might sacrifice himself and die to save his close friend.//Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.]
9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation [at the final judgment].
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved [because God’s Son now lives and watches over us!//through the life of his Son [now that we are his friends].]
13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin [(as such)] because there was not yet any law to break.
17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone [who believes].
19 Because one [man/person]* disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other [Man/person] obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
[*This is gender sensitivity taken to the extreme in the NLT! And it is inconsistent, since previously in verse 15 they used ‘man’ to translate ‘anthropos’.]
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they [are/were]. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord.

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NL-DBRP_146 1SA.15 PSA.99 ROM.5 ROM.6.1-4

1SAMUEL 15:
Jonathan saved the day! He and his faithful armor bearer kind of took a leaf out of Gideon’s play book and agreed on a sign that would show what God wanted them to do? although they didn’t ask for confirmation like Gideon did. They took the adventure God set before them and won an amazing victory, and God worked with them by causing panic among the Philistines. After lapses and dithering at the beginning, Saul went on to be a great military leader. Note that Ahijah, the priest, is Eli’s grandson.

PSALM 99:
Take off your sandals, because this ground is holy! Enjoy this psalm proclaiming God’s majesty and holiness.

ROMANS 5?6:4:
God’s ways are always counter-intuitive for humans. One would think that if one is right with God and at peace with him, that everything would be smooth sailing from then on, with health, wealth, and prosperity. God shows his love for us by treating us like sons and heirs? meaning, He gives us problems and trials to cause us to grow and better reflect his glory. There is a wonderful side to Christ’s dying for us and being resurrected: He lives now and is deeply involved in continuing to help us. At the end of the chapter Paul draws important comparisons and contrasts between Adam and Christ.

GNT Translation notes:
[I have modified the GNT so that this whole psalm will be understood as speaking to God, as does the CEV.]
Ps. 99:1 [You, Lord, are king//The Lord is king],
and the people tremble.
[You sit on your//He sits on his] throne above the winged creatures,
and the earth shakes.
2 [You, O Lord, are//The Lord is] mighty in Zion;
[You are//he is] supreme over all the nations.
3 Everyone will praise [your//his] great and majestic name.
[You are holy!//Holy is he!]
?
6 Moses and Aaron were [your//his] priests,
and Samuel was one who prayed to [You//him];
they called to [You, Lord, and You//the Lord, and he] answered them.
7 [You//He] spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they obeyed the laws and commands that [You//he] gave them.
====
Rom. 5:1 Now that we have been put right with God through [believing//faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 He has brought us by [means if our believing//faith] into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory!
20 Law was introduced [in order that people might realize how greatly they have sinned//in order to increase [mankind’s awareness of] wrongdoing]; [But as people sinned more and more, God’s grace became even more abundant.//but where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more. ]
21 [NLT So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.//So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God’s grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

NLT Translation notes:
1Sam. 15:27 As Samuel turned to go, Saul tried to hold him back and tore the hem of [Samuel’s//his] robe.
====
Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by [believing//faith], we have peace with God because of what [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord has done for us.
2 Because of our [believing//faith], Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can [even] rejoice[ 0//, too,] when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
7 [PET: Now it is very difficult for someone to sacrifice himself to save someone else? even if that person is good and honest. But a person might sacrifice himself and die to save his close friend.//Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.]
9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation [at the final judgment].
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved [because God’s Son now lives and watches over us!//through the life of his Son [now that we are his friends].]
13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin [(as such)] because there was not yet any law to break.
17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone [who believes].
19 Because one [man/person]* disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other [Man/person] obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
[*This is gender sensitivity taken to the extreme in the NLT! And it is inconsistent, since previously in verse 15 they used ‘man’ to translate ‘anthropos’.]
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they [are/were]. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord.

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GN-DBRP_145 1SA.14 PSA.98 ROM.5

1SAMUEL 14:
Hostilities with the Philistines heated up to full war, and Israel was badly outnumbered. The Israelites had been kept down so much that they were basically unarmed for war. Saul and his son’s army dwindled down from 3,000 men to only 600, and Samuel doesn’t show up for the important before-war sacrifice.

PSALM 98:
Another favorite psalm! I love psalms where things like oceans, rivers, or trees clap their hands. I recommend this psalm for anyone who feels that we can only worship God with the good old hymns.

ROMANS 5:
Every little detail in the story of Abraham is important. Note in yesterday’s reading that Abraham “figured his body was as good as _dead_,” and “Abraham believed in the God who _brings the dead back to life_.” Then we read that we must “believe in [God]? the one who _raised Jesus our Lord from the dead_.” And we will find a new concept related to this theme about death and resurrection later.

GNT Translation notes:
Rom. 5:1 Now that we have been put right with God through [believing//faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 He has brought us by [believing//faith] into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory!

NLT Translation notes:
Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by [believing//faith], we have peace with God because of what [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord has done for us.
2 Because of our [believing//faith], Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can [even] rejoice[ 0//, too,] when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
7 [PET: Now it is very difficult for someone to sacrifice himself to save someone else? even if that person is good and honest. But a person might sacrifice himself and die to save his close friend.//Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.]
9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation [at the final judgment].
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved [because God’s Son now lives and watches over us!//through the life of his Son [now that we are his friends].]
13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin [(as such)] because there was not yet any law to break.
17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone [who believes].
19 Because one [man/person]* disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other [Man/person] obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
[*This is gender sensitivity taken to the extreme in the NLT! And it is inconsistent, since previously in verse 15 they used ‘man’ to translate ‘anthropos’.]
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they [are/were]. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord.

Right-click to download, then choose Save link as.

NL-DBRP_145 1SA.14 PSA.98 ROM.5

1SAMUEL 14:
Hostilities with the Philistines heated up to full war, and Israel was badly outnumbered. The Israelites had been kept down so much that they were basically unarmed for war. Saul and his son’s army dwindled down from 3,000 men to only 600, and Samuel doesn’t show up for the important before-war sacrifice.

PSALM 98:
Another favorite psalm! I love psalms where things like oceans, rivers, or trees clap their hands. I recommend this psalm for anyone who feels that we can only worship God with the good old hymns.

ROMANS 5:
Every little detail in the story of Abraham is important. Note in yesterday’s reading that Abraham “figured his body was as good as _dead_,” and “Abraham believed in the God who _brings the dead back to life_.” Then we read that we must “believe in [God]? the one who _raised Jesus our Lord from the dead_.” And we will find a new concept related to this theme about death and resurrection later.

GNT Translation notes:
Rom. 5:1 Now that we have been put right with God through [believing//faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 He has brought us by [believing//faith] into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory!

NLT Translation notes:
Rom. 5:1 Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by [believing//faith], we have peace with God because of what [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord has done for us.
2 Because of our [believing//faith], Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can [even] rejoice[ 0//, too,] when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
7 [PET: Now it is very difficult for someone to sacrifice himself to save someone else? even if that person is good and honest. But a person might sacrifice himself and die to save his close friend.//Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.]
9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation [at the final judgment].
10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved [because God’s Son now lives and watches over us!//through the life of his Son [now that we are his friends].]
13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin [(as such)] because there was not yet any law to break.
17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ].
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone [who believes].
19 Because one [man/person]* disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other [Man/person] obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
[*This is gender sensitivity taken to the extreme in the NLT! And it is inconsistent, since previously in verse 15 they used ‘man’ to translate ‘anthropos’.]
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they [are/were]. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.
21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ] our Lord.

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GN-DBRP_144 1SA.13 PSA.97 ROM.4.11-25

1SAMUEL 13:
In yesterday’s story, God’s Spirit came powerfully upon the new king Saul, and he succeeded in mobilizing all of Israel’s fighting men. They won a stunning victory over king Nahash and the Ammonites. Afterwards, Samuel led the people in renewing Israel’s call to Saul to be king and then Samuel confronted them all about staying true to the Lord.

PSALM 97:
Even though the psalms (and our translations) may cast a verse in the present tense, the intent of the writer may be about future things. Hebrew is very fuzzy as to verb tense. But also we may consider that all times are present to the Lord, and the psalmist may see things as happening or already happening in his vision that refer to future events. We see an example of this in today’s psalm.

ROMANS 4b:
The new way of being made right with God by means of fully believing which Paul has been talking about, is it a new religion, or is it based on the past? It is based on the past. We follow Abraham’s example of believing, and this also fulfills the prophetic promises given to Abraham. Not only that, but we become heirs to the same promises. And note: Paul uses questions to propel his logical arguments all the way through Romans? just like I did at the start of this paragraph.

GNT Translation notes:
Rom. 4:11 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;
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.
20 His [did not waver in his believing//faith did not leave him], and he did not doubt God’s promise; his [believing//faith] filled him with power, and he gave praise to God.
22 That is why Abraham, through [believing//faith], “was accepted as righteous by God.”

NLT Translation notes:
Rom. 4:3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his [fully believing//faith].”
4 When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned.
5 But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their [believing//faith] in God who forgives sinners.
9 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised [non-Jews//Gentiles]? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his [fully believing//faith].
11 Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had [believed//faith] and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous?even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have [believed//faith] but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their [fully believing//faith].
12 And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they [believe the same way Abraham did//have the same kind of faith Abraham had] before he was circumcised.
13 Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by [fully believing//faith].
14 If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then [believing//faith] is not necessary and the promise is pointless.
16 So the promise is received by [believing//faith]. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we [believe like Abraham did//have faith like Abraham’s]. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.
[Here is my new attempt at rendering the meaning of this verse:] 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.]
19 And [Abraham did not weaken in his belief//Abraham’s faith did not weaken], even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead?and so was Sarah’s womb.
20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his [believing//faith] grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.
21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
22 And because of [Abraham fully believing God’s promise//Abraham’s faith], God counted him as righteous.
25 [Jesus/He] was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.

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