The Gift of Jesus
I praise You, God, that we are blessed to live in a time when we can get to know and receive the gift of Jesus!
Read Romans 4:1–12
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”
9 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. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received circumcision as a sign, 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. 12 And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectI can’t do it! I’m not good enough! I’ve failed—again! Sound familiar? Have you ever gotten down on yourself for a failure?
In this passage, Paul explains why there is guaranteed good news for us. Paul’s Jewish readers were caught up, not surprisingly, with the belief that they had to keep God’s laws, which included being circumcised—that was the sign that they were one of the special people. But, of course, like us, they hadn’t made the grade! Still, they couldn’t argue with the story of Abraham. The great patriarch
confirms God’s gift of being made right with him through faith. That’s what counts, not “works” (5).
Abraham’s belief “was credited to him as righteousness” (3,9). This was before the giving of the Law and, importantly for Paul’s Jewish readers, before Abraham was circumcised. God promised that blessing would come through Abraham for all (7,8). It’s his story that sets the precedent—justification and forgiveness are available to everyone through faith (11,12)! Circumcision had been the sign that your place in God’s family was guaranteed (11). Now, as Paul tells us in Ephesians (1:13,14), we have been sealed by the gift and presence in our lives of the Holy Spirit.
In Jesus, we are good enough!
Are you still trying to “do” things to earn God’s favor? Rest in his grace today as you thank him for what he has already done.
Lord God, I have sinned and am unworthy. Forgive me! Thank You for Jesus and for making me “good” through him.