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Romans 4:9-10: Is This Blessing Then Only For The Circumcised?

Romans 4:9–10
[9] Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. [10] How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. (ESV)

Paul is talking here about the blessing of having our sins not counted against us. He is talking about the blessing of God crediting to our account his righteousness. This is a blessing beyond any earthly treasure. At the end of our days we will take none of our earthly treasures with us, but if we have God's righteousness credited to our account we will inherit eternal life.

The Jews felt like they deserved this blessing because they had been circumcised and were the recipients of the Law. If the Jews were to be honest they were not too happy about the Gentiles being offered this blessing of receiving God's righteousness. These Gentiles were uncircumcised and did not even have the Law that God gave the Jews.

Paul is making the point here that God's righteousness is a gift that is available to all people, Jews and Gentiles. Paul asks the rhetorical question, "Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? Faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. God declared Abraham righteous before he was circumcised.

Abraham's faith preceded his effort to obey God's law, in particular the rite of circumcision. Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised. Ouch! He was willing to obey a God whom he already knew. Abraham had placed his faith in God and been made righteous. Circumcision was not a means of salvation, but a willing obedience to a loving God.

Do you look down on anyone as being unworthy of God's blessing? Do you withhold sharing the Gospel, thereby keeping the knowledge of God's blessing from those who do not deserve it? Remind yourself that we are all unworthy, but all equally invited to the throne of God's grace.


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