Tuesday 3rd April 2018 - Daily Reading:
Galatians 3:1-14 - Consider Abraham by Richard Cowling

As we have seen over the past few days, among the Galatian Christians, there was a push towards a works-based relationship with God, and this teaching came from the believers who were born of Jewish descent, and who claimed Abraham as their spiritual ancestor. You can see this in John 8:31-47.

But have a look at what Paul has to say in Galatians 3:6: "So also Abraham 'believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'" Paul here is using Abraham as an example of someone who was right before God by faith, and not right with God through works.

The quote that Paul uses here comes directly from Genesis 15:6. It shows us that righteousness was credited to Abraham because he believed God. It wasn't because he performed some work, and it wasn't because he was circumcised. This quote from Genesis 15:6, as well as being quoted in Galatians 3:6, is quoted another 3 times by Paul within his letters, and all in Romans 4 (verses 3, 9-10 and 22).

Romans 4:9-12 says: "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." This passage here from Romans 4 makes much of the fact that the righteousness credited to Abraham was before he was circumcised (Genesis 17). No one could say Abraham was made righteous because of his obedience or fulfilment of the law or rituals. As it says in Galatians 3:7, "Understand, then, that those who believed (of faith) are children of Abraham." In the same way that we finished yesterday, there is only one thing that counts... and that is our faith! Let's continue to grow in our faith!

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