Under what circumstances was it [faith] credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before!
- Paul (Romans 4:10)
Here we have my man Paul droppin' some knowledge yet again. He is talking about the patriarch Abraham from whence the nations of Israel and Ishmael draw origin. See, "Abraham believed Pops and it was credited to him as righteousness" ( Rm 4:3 ). In other words, homie was justified by faith! Now that's great! BUT... it gets even better.
Abraham had it credited... BEFORE he was circumcised! That, my friends, is HUGE! Because under Jewish law, you gotta be circumcised. For some reason, the Christian Jews at the time believed that God only justified or bestowed the Holy Spirit upon circumcised folk. In the early days you had to convert to a Jew in order to be Christian! What Paul says here directly flies in the face of that idea!
What point is Paul making? He is making the point that obedience of the law is not what grants justification, or the grace of God. It is FAITH. Abraham wasn't even circumcised yet and Pops justified him... So how could it POSSIBLY have anything to do with law? huh? It doesn't. It has to do with the condition of one's heart.
In other words, it isn't all about what we do... it's all about faith. And it is that faith that then impacts what we do. See, faith is the driver. It is by faith we are justified which gives us the limitless freedom to act. That security allows us to act in a powerful way. In fact, when we act we start to innately obey the law because the law is no longer some rule book that seems like a 12 ton chain. Instead, the law becomes a part of our very being as a side effect in our quest to become more like Pops above. In doing so, we start to think like He does, feel like He does, hurt like He does, and love like He does.
Bruthaz and sistaz, know this: faith brings justification, not your acts; your acts instead flow from your faith. So take off that burden of thinking that obedience of the law to the letter is what will bring you salvation. It won't, but it might drive you crazy because you can't. Naw lo, FAITH... faith is what will bring you salvation. And then transform you from the inside. Before you know it, you'll be doing the things of law innately as you become more and more like Pops above. Word.