Morning: Genesis 31-33; Romans 4:9-25; Evening: Psalm 11
Walking with Jesus is a faith for all. It is a blessing that has come to the whole world. It is accessed by placing one’s faith in God through Jesus Christ. As Paul writes to the saints in Rome, he continues to trace the footsteps of Abraham to confirm this grace upon all. Consider the circumcision Abraham received, this “seal of righteousness.” It was not received while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. The point is not whether a person may or may not obey the commands of God to receive forgiveness of sins. Contextually speaking, the point is that God’s mercy has, is, and always will be extended by the transcendence of God’s grace that crosses the divides of national, racial, ethnic, genealogical, and other earthly separations. Baptism is clearly a necessity for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), but who may receive God’s grace through baptism extends far beyond the scope of one’s gender or academic level.
Imagine what would have happened if Abraham had received God’s promise through the legality of Jewish law. All would have had to been born into the family of Abraham or become a proselyte, i.e. one who adopts all of the beliefs and practices of Judaism though he himself is not a Jew by birthright and would never enjoy the same level of acceptance as one who was born a Jew. Secondly, our salvation would be earned rather than graciously given. Man could proudly beat his chest by his level of perfection in keeping the law. Paul himself acknowledged on one occasion his blamelessness in the law and his Pharisaical attitude toward it (Phi. 3:5-6). Ultimately, no salvation would be possible. Paul says that the “law brings about wrath” (Rom. 4:15). This is not to condemn the law or suggest that man should not comply with law (Cf. Rom. 7:4), but rather to point out its weakness and exclusivity in bringing all to justification.
In like manner today, though our cultural, legal, even certain religious mannerisms in the church may sometimes by reckoned by individuals to be superior to that of another, God’s justification is through Jesus Christ, and Him alone. Let each of us be fully convinced in our own mind regarding the non-essentials of salvation that we might please God with a pure conscience (Cf. Rom. 14:5). In matters of salvation, let us walk in the faith that has been delivered to all that there may be no division in the body of Christ.
Think about it… If human standards must be met for salvation, how can salvation be in Christ Jesus?