Celebrating our Independence Day Through Faith—Romans 4:12
"And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised" (Romans 4:12)
In American, July 4th marks a special day. This is the day when we celebrate our Independence. This day marked the beginning of a new life, new hope and new direction for our country so many years ago. Independence Day is an important day to remember and celebrate because it changed the course of our countries history.
In the same way, what Christ did for us in reconciling us unto God, changed the course of history for mankind. But this revolution only comes to those who accept and believe it. How then does that happen?
Do you see that faith is the deciding factor in how one is reconciled to God? The promise came to Abraham before he was circumcised so that the promise could be offered to everyone who believed. The promise foretold that all nations would be blessed by Abraham, "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:3). The Scriptures foretold that God would justify the Gentiles by faith (Galatians 3:8-9). So it only is reasonable that the Jews, or those of the circumcision should have the same faith as the Gentiles in order to be justified.
Paul clarifies this in later on the book of Romans, when he explains who the true child of Abraham are. "It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring." (Romans 9:6-7) So the true descendants of the promise are heirs by faith alone, not by law or by natural descent.
This is important to understand because association, heritage or bloodline does not make you righteous before God. The only thing required of you is faith. "Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness." (Genesis 15:6). In the same way, when we believe upon, trust in and rely solely upon what Jesus did for us in fulfillment of the promise, then we obtain the like, precious faith of Abraham.
Know that you are not saved because your parents are Christians. You are not saved because you belong to a church. You are not saved by anything you do. You are saved by faith in the promise of God's grace alone. When you put your entire hope in Him, and trust in him as your Savior, then you are heir of the promise that was given to Abraham. He is your father in the sight of God, and you are fully justified by Jesus. This experience is truly an Independence Day, and one to put into remembrance always!
Original article published July 4, 2009.