1/29/23 Romans 4:9-15 Justification Excludes Discrimination
As Paul continues his argument for justification by faith alone, he continues to use the example of Abraham to explain his point. In the opening verses of chapter 4, Paul explained that it was by faith that Abraham, as well as all the Old Testament saints such as David, was counted righteous. As he continues with Abraham, he now makes the point that this righteousness came to him before he was circumcised so that we may know that there is no discrimination in God’s work of justification. Abraham was counted righteous before his circumcision so that all the Gentiles (uncircumcised) who put their faith in Christ may also be justified. Paul also explains the true purpose of circumcision which was denied by many of his contemporary Jews. Circumcision was not a means of justification; it was instead a sacrament by which God signed and sealed his promise of justification upon His people. For us as Christians, we have the fulfillment of circumcision in baptism, as we now look back to the completed work of Christ, and we see God do the same thing in both, as He signs and seals His work of imputing righteousness so that we may be confident and assured in the promises of God. Paul reminds us that we need not look at ourselves for assurance; instead let us look to Christ and the Gospel.