31 October 2018 – Romans 4:4-12 (NIV)
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.
This is a massive paradigm shift for those who find their hope in religion. Religion does not save. Following laws and being a good person does not save. In fact, those who claim that their actions make them righteous are perhaps the most depraved. We are saved by believing in God’s gift of salvation: Jesus, who lived a perfect life, died on a cross, and rose again to give us victory over death.
Thus our calling is to believe in Christ and accept God’s grace. Does this then mean that our actions don’t matter? Of course not! Just as Abraham was credited righteousness and then walked in that righteousness, we too have been justified so that we can walk in HIS goodness as we live our lives as followers of Christ (Charlie).
Thoughts for the day
- Have you asked God to forgive you? Is that something you do regularly?
- What is your view of ‘religion’? If it doesn’t save, what is its purpose?
- If we are righteous because we are forgiven, how then shall we view our friends, family members, co-workers and others in our communities?
Lift up an unanswered prayer to God and ask for a renewed sense of his patience and strength.