"No one is righteous, not even one." Jews, with the Law and the rite of circumcision, are no more righteous than Gentiles who are without the Law. Both are guilty sinners from birth. The one has the Law, circumcision AND a guilty conscience while the other has only a guilty conscience, like Abraham. Yet, Abraham was righteous. How can it be?
Abraham came from a family of idol worshipers (Joshua 24:2ff), yet Abraham simply believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness. He trusted God, "who justifies the wicked", who "calls those things which do not exist as though they did."
Abraham had a child with Sarah when is was absolutely impossible for them to do so -- simply because God promised. We are just as barren to produce righteousness as were Abraham and Sarah to produce a child. Similarly, we are made righteous when we are just as unable to produce it (righteousness) through God's promise of righteousness to those who trust in Christ.
It is scandalous that we are righteous because God "justifies the wicked" by delivering Jesus to death and then raising Him from the dead. Believe it! Rejoice in it! And, be changed by this truth!
Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
- Why are those who have no access to the Law held to the standards of the Law?
- Why are Jews who are circumcised, have the Law, and seek to keep the Law unable to obtain righteousness through the Law?
- If keeping the Law doesn't make one righteous then what is the purpose of the Law?
- How are Jews and Gentiles alike and how do they differ?
- So then, if righteousness doesn't come by keeping the Law, how is righteousness obtained?
- How did Abraham discover righteousness (thirteen years prior to the rite of circumcision and hundreds of years before the Law was given)?
- What does this tell you about God and salvation?
- What did Abraham believe about God?
Thank the Lord for allowing you to hear the good news that God saves guilty sinners by giving them the spotless righteousness of Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ proves God has accepted the death of Christ and His righteousness on our behalf. Thank the Father that, today, you are righteous.