Father God, I pray that Your Holy Spirit will guide and mold my mind so I can think and understand correctly.
Read ROMANS 4:1-12
 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?  If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about-but not before God.  What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation.  However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.  David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:  “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”  Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.  Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them.  And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was Abraham credited as "righteous"?
How is Paul going to convince both Jews and Gentiles of his argument? He has laid out the argument for salvation by faith in Christ very well, but he is wise enough to know it may take more to bring about a real change of mind and heart. So he uses the example of two heroes of the Jewish faith: Abraham and David. He shows that Abraham himself, the father of all Jews, was made right with God through faith (see Gen. 15:6).
The rite of circumcision had become the defining mark of being a male Jew. Again, Paul uses this as an example: Abraham was circumcised after he was declared righteous through his faith—the sign signified a deeper reality. There is a timeless warning here that rites, signs, rituals must not become more important than what they signify. We can easily lose sight of the original meaning and purpose of certain rituals. Religion must never replace relationship with God. Paul’s argument also challenges the common view that the God of the Old Testament is somehow different to the God of the New Testament. He is the same throughout Scripture.
Rejoice and give thanks for this: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13, quoting Joel 2:32).
Lord, I come to You by faith alone. Keep me from being deceived into thinking there’s any other way to please You.
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