Do You Believe God?

Do You Believe God?

   Chapter 4 of Romans is one of the critical parts of this book. Reading it may not seem that way, but when you begin to understand the pressure of Jewish culture and tradition upon early Christianity, you come to understand why Paul spent so much time on the subject of circumcision.

   God gave Abraham circumcision as a sign of separation to show the rest of the world that Abraham and his descendants were specially chosen by God to demonstrate his glory and reveal His plan to redeem His creation. Unfortunately the Jewish nation forgot the purpose for their calling – to bless all the nations of the earth. Rather, they would take what was given as a sign of separation unto God and make it a work or action that gave them salvation and right standing with God; much like communion, infant baptism and even believers baptism in some churches has become. None of these actions save us. Only faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross saves us.

   Therefore Paul goes right to the first mention of circumcision in the bible. In that section God tells Abraham in Genesis 17:11,

“and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.”

 The important thing is the covenant. What was the covenant? Gods promise to be His God and the God of all his descendants through Sarah who was not able to have children and who was 90 years old. Abraham was 99. Therefore Paul says that Abraham’s obedience was a sign of his faith. By being circumcised, and having his whole household circumcised, Abraham demonstrated faith in Gods promise and ability to do what he said He would do – give Abraham and Sarah a child they otherwise could not have, and to give them all the land of Canaan.

   Abraham put his trust in God because only God could accomplish what He said He would do, and it was accounted to him as righteousness.

“He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”” (Romans 4:20-22)

   But in being circumcised, he also demonstrated he believed God was willing to do what He said He would do. For many of us, we have no problem believing God can do anything He wants to do. Nothing is to hard or to easy, God simply can do anything. Our problem lies in the fact that we don’t believe He will do what He said He would do. Salvation is the free gift of God, purchased by the blood of His Son for any who believe. No work we accomplish requires God to move on our part, unless it is to believe Him when He tells us He sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sin. And yes, God is willing!

   The willingness of God to save us is illustrated beautifully in the life of the leper who asked Jesus to heal him. You will find the story in Luke 5:12-16. The leper had no question to Jesus’ ability to heal him, but he did have question as to his willingness, therefore he said, “If you are willing”. Jesus was willing and He did heal the man.

   Whether you like it or not, we are that leper. And we are completely powerless to do anything about it. We will die lepers unless someone who is powerful enough is willing to save us. God is and did. Put your faith in Him now.

   How do you struggle with believing God is willing to do what He said He would do?

   Also, what traditions or works do you have a hard time letting go of; thinking that through certain activities or actions (church, communion, baptism, style of clothing, hair length and so on) you must somehow win Gods good graces?

   How do, or how have religious people put pressure on you to perform for Gods good pleasure? How has that affected your relationship with God, and, for that matter, with other Christians?

The Second Adam
"I" Am The Problem
 

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Friday, 15 December 2017