Saturday, 6 April 2013
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, Romans 4:11
The previous verse reminded us of what Scripture proclaims – Abraham was declared righteous before he was circumcised; long before. To ensure that point couldn’t be misunderstood, God waited many long years before giving him the sign of circumcision. This sign is “a seal of righteousness of the faith he had while still uncircumcised.”
The sign did nothing to further justify him in God’s sight. By this picture, which we derive directly from Scripture, we learn that it is God who defines the parameters and establishes the basis by which a person is declared righteous. And this is shown to be by faith; faith alone. When this faith is properly directed toward God’s promises (meaning the work of the Messiah) we are counted as righteous.
Abraham was made the type or pattern of the faithful, “that he might be the father of all those who believe.” There is no distinction made in us because there was none made in him. He simply believed God and received the blessedness of God. As this is the pattern, then it is available to all “though they are uncircumcised, that the righteousness might be imputed to them also.”
This wondrous relationship with God is available to all – Jew and Gentile, male and female. It is open to any person of any culture, ethnicity, or race. No person is above another and no person is excluded when mere faith is exercised. This is the very heart of the gospel and is reflected in Jesus’ words of John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
“Whoever” means just that. All who believe are granted the same inheritance and become Abraham’s descendants; adopted into God’s family.
Life application: A simple act of faith is all that is needed to change our eternal state. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you have accepted Jesus as Lord, you have been declared righteous and stand justified before God. Don’t let anyone steal your joy by telling you that more is needed. Your faith has healed you, O child of God.
Heavenly Father, Abraham was declared righteous by mere faith and your word says that the same is true with me. I am freed from the bondage of the law by the work of Jesus who fulfilled it in my stead. I stand free and forgiven and now I am ready to bear fruit in this new life. Set me on the course which will bring you the honor and glory You are due. Amen.