Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Blogging Through Romans: Romans 4: 9-12
Romans 4: 9-12
Paul continues with the Abraham story. He’s citing precedent with his Jewish readers. By telling Abraham’s story he’s saying “Hey Folks, I’m not making this up. What I’m telling you was true from before our people began. Check the bible.”
Paul points out that “It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised”(vv. 10b-11).
So, why does this matter? I think this part of important because we often put requirements in front of participation. We say that a person needs to be baptized and/or confirmed before receiving the Lord’s Supper, despite the fact that the bible has no such stipulation. Our constitution says that someone needs to become a member of Good Shepherd before entering into a position of leadership, as if membership itself confers special authority, or that God’s work and will is limited to those whose names written in our membership book.
Paul was worried that the circumcision requirement would needlessly turn people away from Jesus. What other things do we do as Christians or as a church that might be stumbling blocks for people coming to faith in Jesus?