My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.



Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Romans 4

When God promised to bless Jabez, he promised to bless me.

Summary:
Even Abraham has righteousness credited to him because of his faith. It's like getting paid without doing work. You can't really boast about how much you deserve it! Heck! Abraham had righteousness credited to him before he was circumcised! Abraham then represents the circumcised and the uncircumcised. He's the father of us all, so we should have faith too. At 100 years old with no heir, he had every right to doubt, but he didn't. We too can be credited with righteousness.

Key verses:
23-24. The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us

My thoughts:
Paul likes to base Christianity in pre-Mosaic Judaism. Many at his time would've scorned him based on Moses, so Paul go back before Moses and gets a lot of his truths from Abraham and Adam. He is appealing to a more basic state of reality.

Abraham is a good candidate for this context because he, as the first Jew in some senses, bridges the gap between the uncircumcised and the circumcised. He is like many of the Gentiles coming to God.

Interestingly Paul states, without justification, that the words said to Abraham apply to us. This obviously isn't a blanket statement for everything said to people in the Bible, but does show us that sometime statements in the Bible have a wider context than their immediate and first one. That, of course, leaves all sorts of interpreting issues.

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