When did this take place? Was it before or after Abraham was circumcised? It was before, not after. He was circumcised later, and his circumcision was a sign to show that because of his faith God had accepted him as righteous 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. (verses 10,11)
Read Romans 4: 1-12
What comes first, the chicken or the egg? It’s the age-old question—fun to think about, but the answer is always elusive. In Paul’s time, the Jews and the Christians had a similar debate. Was Abraham justified through his works or through his faith? Which came first? The Jews stated that it was Abraham’s circumcision that showed that he was right before his God. Paul argued that without faith Abraham would never have been circumcised and therefore it was his faith, not his actions, that justified him.
How lucky you are that you are not reliant on your works and actions to be perfect in God’s sight. Because of your faith, God accepts you as righteous, even before you do righteous acts. ‘Happy is the person whose sins the Lord will not keep account of!’ (verse 8).
Praise the Lord for your happiness!
Thank you, Lord, that through my faith my sins are not counted against me. Strengthen my faith, so that I never stray from your love and forgiveness. Amen.
by Kathy Hoopman, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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