Journey to Jerusalem Day 15
Wednesday, March 11 Romans 4:1-12
1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
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. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
We want a blessed life, but happiness often seems aloof and unattainable. Yet, the Bible says blessing is available. It does not promise this to mean wealth and no problems. True happiness is found in close relationship to God. The problem, however, is sin has separated us from him. If the blessed life is found close to God, how does one get close to him? Paul points us to Abraham, our model of believing faith!
Abraham didn’t have the Bible, or two thousand years of Church reflection. Abraham only had a word from God. By all accounts, it didn’t come daily, and the fulfillment of God’s word was delayed by decades. God promised descendants, numbered like the stars. All Abraham would see, however, was one. A single child, born in his old age. Regardless of how infrequent God’s word seemed to come, or how long it took to birth, or the diminutive size he saw, “Abraham believed God” (Romans 4:3).
Belief justified and was deemed a righteous act. Believing faith unlocked the doors locked by sin, leading to a new and blessed life with God. Thus, Paul quotes Psalm 32:1-2 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
Belief in Christ liberates the soul! Our “lawless deeds are forgiven;” a burden lifted that no more impedes. Now, “covered,” our sin is dissolved, no longer counted against us. Believe in the power of Jesus’ blood to bring you blessing to your life.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the life and blood of Jesus, and for the life we can now live in him. Forgive and cover our sins that we may live in the light of your glory and grace. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen!