4 What should we say about those things? What did our father Abraham discover about being right with God? 2 Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could brag about it. But he couldn’t brag to God. 3 What do we find in Scripture? It says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God.” (Genesis 15:6) 4 When a man works, his pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to him. 5 But things are different with God. He makes evil people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God. 6 King David says the same thing. He tells us how blessed some people are. God makes those people right with himself. But they don’t have to do anything in return. David says, 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven. Blessed are those whose sins are taken away. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord never counts against him.” (Psalm 32:1,2) 9 Is that blessing only for those who are circumcised? Or is it also for those who are not circumcised? We have been saying that God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God. 10 When did it happen? Was it after Abraham was circumcised, or before? It was before he was circumcised, not after! 11 He was circumcised as a sign of the covenant God had made with him. It showed that his faith had made him right with God before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all believers who have not been circumcised. God accepts their faith. So their faith makes them right with him. 12 Abraham is also the father of the circumcised who believe. So just being circumcised is not enough. Those who are circumcised must also follow the steps of our father Abraham. He had faith before he was circumcised.
“Blessed are those whose sin the Lord will never count against them” That means all of us! There are 3 important points in this passage.
- It is only by faith that we are saved. Our good works can add nothing at all to our salvation – it is God who saves us, not our deeds.
- Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness BEFORE he received the sign of circumcision. It is not obeying the law which saves us, and never was! God’s plan all along was salvation by faith. He gave the law to show us the need for that salvation and the need for that faith.
- That means that anyone who believes God is a child of Abraham. Boundaries are broken down by this realisation. We need to remember it today too. It doesn’t matter what people’s backgrounds are – if they have faith in Jesus as their Lord and saviour they will be saved.
It is so easy to fall into trying to do things to ‘help God’ with our salvation. We need to remember that absolutely nothing can add to God’s love and grace for us. Remember to thank him for the free gift of salvation today!
Written by Megan Cornell