The phrase "he would have something to boast about" jumps out here. God has literally made a way to make us righteous in which he is the only one who can receive glory. There is absolutely nothing I can boast about myself when it comes to my salvation. All I did was believe. God did "all" the work. There is no work for me to do.4:2-3 If his (Abraham's) good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have something to boast about. But that was not God's way. For Scripture tells us, "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith."
Have you ever seen one of those embarrassing Christians at church. You know the ones I'm talking about.... the ones who are too loud, or who cry too much, or who shout hallelujah every time they get the chance. My bet is that those people are the ones who have a clear understanding of what Jesus has done for them. It is a natural human reaction to cheer when someone scores a touchdown; or to clap when someone receives an award; or cry at the movies when someone does an amazing thing out of love. When the forgiveness of God becomes real to a human being, it is only natural to shout about the fact that God has cleared our record of sins, or cry at the realization that God did this for us out of his amazing love. Those embarrassing people are more normal than we think. And when God's forgiveness becomes real to us, we will probably act a lot like them.4:7-8 "Oh what joy for those whose disobedience has been forgiven, whose sins have been put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.
This verse puts to rest any arguments that anything more than faith has to be done to receive God's righteousness. I have some dear Christian brothers who believe that you "have" to be baptized to go to heaven. I respectfully disagree with my fellow Christian brothers on this topic. Baptism is very similar to circumcision in these verses. The Jews believed that you had to be circumcised to be righteous. Some Christians today believe that you have to be baptized to receive God's gift of forgiveness. But as you can see from these verses, Abraham received his righteousness from God by FAITH ALONE before he was circumcised. And because of his obedience to God he was later circumcised. But his circumcision never brought him righteousness. The same is true for us. We receive our righteousness by faith in God alone, and we must have the same kind of faith that Abraham had..... that is the key-FAITH. We later obey God because of our faith, and that is the reason that we get baptized among many other acts of obedience. But our "works" of obedience will never "save" us. Only our faith in "God's works" will ever save us. Our works can be the "evidence" of our faith. But we have to be very careful, and continually remind ourselves that we have nothing that we can boast about as far as works are concerned. That is why God made it so that NO WORK could grant us forgiveness.... and I believe that includes being baptized.4:9-12 Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith. But how did this happen? Was he counted as righteous only after he was circumcised, or was it before he was circumcised? Clearly, God accepted Abraham before he was circumcised! Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous-even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but ONLY IF THEY HAVE THE SAME KIND OF FAITH ABRAHAM HAD BEFORE HE WAS CIRCUMCISED.
The reason Jesus died was because of our sins. The reason Jesus was resurrected was so that we could have life because He has life.4:25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, he was raised to life to make us right with God.
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