9Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
10How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised;
11and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
12and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
13For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
15for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
16For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
17(as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.
18In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, “SO SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE.”
19Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb;
20yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God,
21and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.
22Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.
23Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him,
24but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
I feel like I should have continued yesterday’s section a little further, for in the beginning of today’s message, Paul talks more about righteousness coming from faith alone and not acts, not following the law, not even circumcision and he distinguishes these things as signs OF faith, not methods of achieving righteousness. In other words, they prove righteousness, not create it.
Today I feel that God is pointing out verses 19 & 20 to me. I think many of us know the story of God promising a child (http://tinyurl.com/Genesis17) and the doubtfulness about the situation from Sarah as she laughed at God. I think about times when I don’t believe my own prayers or God’s promises.
Stemming from our conversation of faith the other day, I look at Abraham’s example here. He examined the situation and instead of doubting, he grew strong in faith. I wonder how he did that. I see it as Abraham how awesome it would be when God fulfilled His promise to Abraham. By looking at it in a positive manner, Abraham was able to grow because he saw that the older he got, the greater God would prove to be. He looked forward to God proving himself and delighted that his God was indeed awesome.
I think back to the times I doubted God’s promises. Even with my knowledge (albeit limited) of God’s promises in His Word, I still doubt. I rely on myself to get through instead of having faith that God will fulfill His promises and struggle through things instead of keeping aware in faith that God is at work in my life and is getting ready to prove His awesomeness. I should mention that regardless of my faith, He still follows through.
What are you doubtful about today?