Monday, October 10, 2011

Romans 4:9

Romans 4:9
Genesis 15:9
Wouldn't it be nice if we could just do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted and still end up in heaven? We would never have to face up to our sins or mistakes: they wouldn't matter because we would still end up in paradise, surrounded by every joy and every blessing. Yet our lives in between would be miserable since everyone else would also be doing whatever they wanted whenever they wanted, regardless of how much those actions hurt us. There is a certain comfort in knowing that God's justice won't allow the strong to overpower the weak and still receive the same reward.

The reason we need to know whether Abraham was circumcised or not when he received God's approval is because it is NOT true that "all roads lead to heaven". God's justice will not allow us to live out our selfishness against other people without consequence. Since we know that "it was counted to Abraham for righteousness", what was his key behavior that we should imitate so it will one day be counted to us for righteousness also? Do we need to be circumcised? Should we move to Canaan? Should we follow every aspect of the Law? Paul is leading us on this road, not as an empty intellectual exercise, but so we can see for ourselves and know how to live so that God will count it "for righteousness" on our behalf as well. He is showing us, one step at a time, that God offers righteousness freely for those who trust in Him regardless of circumcision, Law, or ancestry. Abraham believed the Lord and God took that faith and made up the difference in Abraham's own lack of righteousness. He can do the same for us.

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