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Its Only By Faith
10/2/2014

And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Genesis 15:6 (NKJV)

In the book of Genesis we can see the day when Abraham was declared righteous.  He had placed his faith in the promise of God for the Messiah to come and atone for his sin.  But it wasn’t until 14 years later that he was circumcised. 

Q:         Why is it so important to know that God accounted Abraham righteous because of his faith and not his circumcision?

Because Abraham’s circumcision had nothing to do with him being declared righteous.  Abraham’s circumcision was simply an outward act or proclamation of an inward transformation occurring earlier.  It merely affirmed his belief in God, and it testified to others he was a child of God. 

In the New Testament we can see the religious zealots of the Apostle Paul’s day, trying very hard to add circumcision to the non-Jewish people who were placing their faith in Jesus for salvation—teaching they needed to add circumcision to faith in Christ.   And we see in the book of Romans how Paul addressed this sternly. 

Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also… Romans 4:9-11 (NKJV)

Jesus is the very Messiah Abraham believed that God would send soon. As Christian men and women, we have been declared righteous by our faith in Jesus as Lord—it is the blood of Jesus Christ cleansing us from sin and making us righteous.  Our being baptized is a testimony to the world of our being a follower of Jesus Christ.  Even so, circumcision or baptism have never been responsible for one's salvation—it is only by faith we are saved.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8 (NKJV)

Let’s thank God for giving us the faith to believe, and to Jesus for making the great sacrifice for us upon the cross of Calvary.  Let’s thank God for the Holy Spirit who has placed a seal of righteousness upon us as Christian believers—sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30).

STUDY QUESTION: According to Ephesians 2:8-9, how are we saved?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Have you been baptized to publicly proclaim yourself to be a believer and follower of Jesus Christ?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: If you have not been baptized, I want to encourage you to make it a point to do so.  It won’t add to what Jesus did upon the cross but it will be a witness to others as to who Jesus is to you, and it will remind you of who you are to be in Him as well.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for saving me Lord.  Thank You for dying for my sins upon the cross.  Help me to remember who I am in Christ Jesus today so I can make the proper choices when needed.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000