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.
Thoughts for Today:A few weeks ago my wife and I were out to an early dinner (to be followed by a movie). In the booth next to us we couldn't help but overhear a pretty significant argument taking place. The couple was quite agitated -- the husband slammed silverware to emphasize his points, while the wife wagged her finger in disagreement. To make matters worse, their young son was in the booth with them observing the whole spectacle. I tried not to watch or listen, but my eyes were drawn to the boy -- What was he thinking? What was he learning? Fast forward twenty years -- Would he too be in a restaurant arguing with his wife modeling his parent's behavior?
In our passage today, Paul is saying our family history does not guarantee God's grace -- only our faith will be credited as righteousness. He uses Abraham as an example to illustrate that justification is universal -- not reserved just for the Jews (the circumcised). Yet he is also saying something else which is very important to us -- the absence of family history (or poor parenting examples) does not in any way limit our access to God's grace and forgiveness.
For the young man in the story I related, both points are very significant. He does not have to follow the same course as his parents. He can have a healthy marriage and relationship. He does not need to conform to the pattern of his ancestors (whether it is arguing with a spouse, alcohol or drug abuse, or anything else). He can become a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"). It is a gift offered to all who believe -- rebirth.
Questions to Ponder:Do you believe the acts of your ancestors earned a place in heaven for you? Or just the opposite, do you feel trapped by a family history of poverty, abuse or addition for which you must forever be punished? The Bible tells us both perspectives are lies. Individually, we must come to God and ask for His mercy and grace. Righteousness comes from God and is credited as a result of faith. Will you trust God?