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Romans 4:14

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For, if they which are of the law be heirs - If the Jews only be heirs of the promise made to Abraham, and that on the ground of prior obedience to the law, then faith is made void - is entirely useless; and the promise, which was made to faith, is made of none effect.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For if they which are of the law - Who seek for justification and acceptance by the Law.

Faith is made void - Faith would have no place in the scheme; and consequently the strong commendations bestowed on the faith of Abraham, would be bestowed without any just cause. If people are justified by the Law, they cannot be by faith, and faith would be useless in this work.

And the promise … - A promise looks to the future. Its design and tendency is to excite trust and confidence in him who makes it. All the promises of God have this design and tendency; and consequently, as God has given many promises, the object is to call forth the lively and constant faith of people, all going to show that in the divine estimation, faith is of inestimable value. But if people are justified by the Law; if they are rendered “acceptable” by conformity to the institutions of Moses; then they cannot depend for acceptance on any promise made to Abraham, or his seed. They cut themselves off from that promise, and stand independent of it. That promise, like all other promises, was made to excite faith. If, therefore, the Jews depended on the Law for justification, they were cut off from all the promises made to Abraham; and if they could be justified by the Law, the promise was useless. This is as true now as it was then. If people seek to be justified by their morality or their forms of religion, they cannot depend on any promise of God; for he has made no promise to any such attempt. They stand independently of any promise, covenant, or compact, and are depending on a scheme of their own; a scheme which would render his plan vain and useless; which would render his promises, and the atonement of Christ, and the work of the Spirit of no value. It is clear, therefore, that such an attempt at salvation cannot be successful.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The promise was made to Abraham long before the law. It points at Christ, and it refers to the promise, Ge 12:3. In Thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. The law worketh wrath, by showing that every transgressor is exposed to the Divine displeasure. As God intended to give men a title to the promised blessings, so he appointed it to be by faith, that it might be wholly of grace, to make it sure to all who were of the like precious faith with Abraham, whether Jews or Gentiles, in all ages. The justification and salvation of sinners, the taking to himself the Gentiles who had not been a people, were a gracious calling of things which are not, as though they were; and this giving a being to things that were not, proves the almighty power of God. The nature and power of Abraham's faith are shown. He believed God's testimony, and looked for the performance of his promise, firmly hoping when the case seemed hopeless. It is weakness of faith, that makes a man lie poring on the difficulties in the way of a promise. Abraham took it not for a point that would admit of argument or debate. Unbelief is at the bottom of all our staggerings at God's promises. The strength of faith appeared in its victory over fears. God honours faith; and great faith honours God. It was imputed to him for righteousness. Faith is a grace that of all others gives glory to God. Faith clearly is the instrument by which we receive the righteousness of God, the redemption which is by Christ; and that which is the instrument whereby we take or receive it, cannot be the thing itself, nor can it be the gift thereby taken and received. Abraham's faith did not justify him by its own merit or value, but as giving him a part in Christ.
Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 82.2

Wresting the Scriptures and the Testimonies—The lessons of Christ were often misunderstood, not because He did not make them plain, but because the minds of the Jews, like the minds of many who claim to believe in this day, were filled with prejudice. Because Christ did not take sides with the Scribes and Pharisees, they hated Him, opposed Him, sought to counteract His efforts, and to make His words of no effect. 3SM 82.2

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Ellen G. White
Selected Messages Book 3, 54.2

Bearing Testimony Unexpectedly—Sabbath morning early, I went into meeting and the Lord gave me a testimony directly to them, all unexpected to me. I poured it out upon them, showing them that the Lord sent his ministers with a message and the message they brought was the very means God had ordained to reach them, but they felt at liberty to pick it in pieces and make of none effect the Word of God.... I can tell you there was great astonishment and marveling that I dared to speak to them thus.—Letter 19, 1884. 3SM 54.2

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 314.1

Books Filled With the Truth of God—We need many more canvassers, not to sell books containing fables, but books that are filled with the truth of God. We cannot as a people afford to increase the circulation of publications that work counter to the truth we should be teaching. We cannot afford to spend our time and talents in the employ of men who are working to make of none effect the truths that have made us a peculiar people, truths to which we have held for over fifty years. I am often warned of the importance of faithfulness on the part of our people in proclaiming to the world the messages that God has entrusted to them, that a people may be prepared for the great closing up of this earth's history. We have an extensive line of literature that should come before the people of the world. PM 314.1

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Ellen G. White
The Publishing Ministry, 102.3

Danger of Straining to be Original—Some are always straining to get something original. This places them in great danger. They produce something new that is not according to the Word of God, and they have not the discernment to see the real harm that results from their ambition to excel some other one in new and strange productions. Thus error comes to appear to them as truth, and they present it as wonderful new light, when it is an innovation that makes of none effect a “Thus saith the Lord.” PM 102.3

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