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In Romans 4 he uses the example of Abraham in Genesis 15 to show that a person could be righteous before God even without circumcision. Is this blessing pronounced only upon the circumcised, or also upon the uncircumcised?

Justification by Faith in Christ Alone – Our Saviour Evangelical Free Church

We say that faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? Obviously Abraham did not need circumcision in Genesis 15, because the command to be circumcised only came in Genesis The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but also follow the example of the faith which our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

The promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the Torah but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the Torah who are to be the heirs, Romans 4: Circumcision was thus not to make Abraham righteous but to do two things: First, it represent the righteousness he already had by faith for like all of the sacraments of the Old Covenant, it obviously could not confer grace as do the sacraments of the greater, grace-filled sacraments of the New Covenant.

There is more to this last statement than a simple poeticism. Paul was not saying that Abraham was the spiritual father of Jews and Gentiles in a nebulous, poetic sense, but in a very real, concrete sense. The reason concerns why one of the reasons the promise would be null and void if it was the adherents of Torah.

Justification by Christ Alone

However, while Paul intimates this in Romans 4, he explicitly states it in Galatians To give a human example, brethren: Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. This is what I mean: The Torah, which came four hundred and thirty years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. Interestingly, in both Romans 4 and Galatians 3 after Paul has proven that the Torah is not necessary for salvation he then immediately offers an explanation of why the Torah was given.

That the Torah was given to make clear the sins of the people. He explicitly says the exact opposite in Romans 5: Yet death still reigned over the people between Adam and Moses because sin continued to exist — and to be judged. Thus the Torah was given as a moral code to reveal to the people of Israel their sins, but because of the effect giving a law-code has to unregenerate human nature Rom. When Paul treats the same question in Galatians 3 he says the same thing: Now before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed. So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.

Thus in Galatians, he tells us: In any event, in both Romans and Galatians, when Paul shows the non-necessity of Torah for salvation, he follows the same chain of thought, moving from the fact that to Abraham salvation was promised to both Jews and Gentiles Rom. The salvific alternative that Paul presents to entering Torah through circumcision is entering Christ through baptism. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. The promise to Abraham that the Gentiles would be saved is thus fulfilled by baptism into Christ. Thus baptism saves us, not by the physical action of the water removing dirt, but by the spiritual action of God removing our sins.


As Paul was told: Thus even though the saving action, in the ark and in baptism, is performed by God, it is salvation through water. Thus we who were dead in our sins are made alive with Christ in baptism. But while baptism corresponds to circumcision as the thing which makes one a member of the covenant the unsaving Old Covenant in the case of circumcision and the saving New Covenant in the case of baptism , Paul is less concerned about the way one gets in as he is with what one is getting into for salvation.

Thus circumcision is simply a means to an end to becoming a member of Torah to Paul, and baptism is simply a means to and end to becoming a member of Christ to Paul.

So contrary to the circumcizers who thought Torah was the basis of salvation, with the requirement of aligning with the Christ merely an addition requirement, Paul declares that this is a damnable heresy Gal. What is the Secret Information Club? I value your email privacy.

Justification by Christ Alone. I have trodden the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with me. I looked, and there was none to help, therefore my own arm brought salvation unto me, Isa. So that Christ did all this work alone, for none else could help. Then thou spakest in a vision to thy holy One, and said, I have laid help upon one that is mighty, Psal. Because Christ took flesh on purpose to effect this work: Wherefore when he came into the world, he said, sacrifices and offerings thou wouldst not, but a body thou hast prepar'd for me: It was the will of God that Christ should by the shedding his blood, sanctify his, by the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus once for all, Heb.

Because Jesus Christ came on purpose to take away our sins. He was manifested to take away our sins, and in him is no sin, 1 John 3. Once in the end of the world hath he appeared to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself, Heb. Because Jesus Christ was made a curse for us, and suffer'd all the punishment due to us for sin: Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, Gal.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him: He bare the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors, Isa. Because the scriptures saith he hath obtained eternal redemption for us: Having obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

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And that he hath healed us, By whose stripes we are healed, Isa. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body, by whose stripes we are healed, 1 Pet. Because it was the promise of God, that this work should prosper, and that he should justify many, by bearing their sins: When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

Justification by Jesus Christ Alone (John Gerstner)

He shall not fail, nor be discouraged, till he hath set iudgment on the earth, Isa. My righteous servant shall justify many: Adam was a type of Christ, who was a publick person as Christ was, and as truly the first Adam by one act, made all that were in him sinners, which was true enough; so really and truly did Christ, the second Adam, by his own act, viz. As by the first Adam condemnation came, so by the righteousness of one came upon all unto justification of life.

The priest was a type of Christ, who is said to make attonement for you, to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord, Levit. Christ by his death did present all his people to God without spot, or blemish, or wrinkle, Ephes. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy, and unreproveable in his sight, Col. So then I hope they are free from all sin, if the scripture saith truth, as it doth.

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Which were shadows of things to come, but the body is Christ, Col. If those sacrifices could have purged them, as Christ hath purged us, they should have no more conscience of sin than we have, that is, none at all: Oh what a difference is there betwixt them! Christ hath wonderfully exceeded them; therefore this priest, this offering is more glorious and happy; yea, and all the elect are made happy by this perfect, effectual, glorious offering.

Because there needs no more offerings for sin: Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin, Heb. For this one of Christ is sufficient. Because there can be no more required to be done to make us just and righteous, than Christ hath done for us: But this is clearly not what He said, nor was it in His mind. The very night before His death He openly prayed to the Father for the people He represented. These are those He identified no less than six times as those the Father gave Him John He knew who they were, the Father knew who they were. He repeatedly said this so that it would be abundantly clear to us.

He wanted us to know this prayer was specifically for them. He was not praying for the world, but strictly and solely for them. Did the agony of the cross somehow cause Him to reconsider His view and to now begin praying for men He refused to pray for the day before?

He made it clear exactly who He would do this for. He plainly told the Pharisees He came for His sheep John These Pharisees were not His, He did not die for them. He came to exact a forgiveness for them, meaning His own sheep, the ones the Father gave Him. And that is good. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Where, then, are we to find it? Is there a prayer ever prayed by the Son of God that the Father did not absolutely answer?

How do we know? Scripture makes it clear. Chompff Articles — By A. Toplady 30 Articles — By A. Companion 1 Articles — By G. Beebe 19 Articles — By G. Standard 10 Articles — By G. TenBroeke 2 Articles — By G. Berridge 1 Articles — By J.