Romans 4:1-13: What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” 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. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! And he received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is then also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also follow in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.
The first thing on my mind is, “I wonder if Baptism can be compared to circumcision?” Here, take a look at this:
Abraham vs. Christians today:
Wooed by God Wooed by the Holy Spirit
Believed by faith Believed by faith
-Credited righteous -Credited righteous (sins forgiven, saved)
-Justified through faith -Justified through faith (sins forgiven, saved)
-2nd step in holiness -2nd step in holiness
-1st step = believed by faith -1st step = believed by faith
<—————-Outward sign of separation———————>
<—————-Outward sign of God’s property—————->
<—————-Entering into a covenant with God————->
-Become part of the Body of Christ
-Join into the family of God’s People
Understand, Baptism is not simply “just” an outward sign of an inward faith, but is also:
- Holy cleansing (it was formally symbolized by stripping down fully on one’s way into the water, then being clothed with new, white clothing as stepping out of it).
- Dying to old self, being raised anew (born again)
- Joining with Christ, who was baptized also and is the Head
- Joining the body of Christ, Church (of which Christ is the head)
- Given access to the Kingdom of God (John 3)
Circumcision = a sign and a seal of our righteousness, given to us by faith, while still uncircumcised.
Baptism = a sign/seal of our righteousness, given to us by faith, which we had while still not yet baptized.
In obedience today, Christians are baptized. But does that mean then that Christians no longer need to be circumcised? What are your thoughts and why?