Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.
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Any comments on Romans 4 would be GREATLY appreciated; as the local church family will looking at it together this Friday night.
While passing through Romans chapter 4, there is a question that it would be good to keep in mind; "BEFORE Abraham received the physical sign of circumcision, did he ALREADY have the circumcision of the heart?"
Remember, even in the Old Testament, the circumcision of the heart is spoken about in various places.
Lev 26:41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
Deu 30:6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Jer 9:26 Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.
Eze 44:7 In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh, to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it, even my house, when ye offer my bread, the fat and the blood, and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.
Eze 44:9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.
Does the uncircumcision of the heart STILL pollute the sanctuary of the Lord?
Jude 1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
But if Abraham had the circumcision of the heart even BEFORE the circumcision of the flesh, and we are the faith seed of Abraham, then the circumcision of the heart is STILL necessary today, and it STILL is a sign of covenant with God.
Col 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Col 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Col 2:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
Col 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Notice that in verse 14, NOT ALL of the ordinances were "against" or "contrary" to us, because there are many promises that we STILL can attain to, and the Law of God is ONLY against anything that does not conform to His character. Therefore, the key to the Law of God not being "against" us is by being conformed to Christ by His Spirit living within us, THEN it becomes easy.
Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and humble in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Rom 4:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
YES, Abraham DID have the circumcision of the heart BEFORE he received the sign of the circumcision in his flesh, and it is THAT circumcision that EVERYONE that has the faith of Abraham must ALSO have.
It is a cutting away that can ONLY be done by the Lord Jesus Christ, and it STILL is a sign of covenant.
Also, don't forget, the SAME Apostle Paul that spoke about circumcision in other places, ALSO did the following;
Acts 16:1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
Acts 16:2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Acts 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
It was done so that the preaching of Gospel would not be diminished.Is the preac
We talked about the experience of Abraham with GOD from beginning to end last night. We arrived at it being an experience of Gods choosing from beginning to end. That choosing is a circumcised heart elected of GOD for the purpose desired by GOD. Abraham was indeed a giant in our faith. In him was found the heart to follow GOD into the keeping of His((GODs)) testimony alive and powerful in the earth until GOD was restored to whosoever will through His Son, who was appointed to this before anything was.
It's an awesome thought to consider the realities between Abraham and GOD from inception to completion. First an act of obedience to relocate, finally a willingness to sacrifice his promised son. What natural resources was Abraham availed of? No scriptures, little if any experience that we are given. Yet he heard GOD and obeyed. Circumcised heart indeed, of the highest order.
That choosing is a circumcised heart elected of GOD for the purpose desired by GOD.
What shall we say that Abraham our father has found? In the beginning he was neither a man of faith or obedience.
Rather that obey to come out from his country, his relatives, and his father's house, he took Lot. (Genesis 12:1,5)
He went down to Egypt twice. This is a type of going to the world when things get difficult.
Through the exercise of the flesh, he produced Ishmael.
Abraham's faith was progressive.
In Genesis 15:6 he believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. This is objective justification. This means that because Jesus died for our sins, we are justified before God objectively, outwardly, even though we have not changed at all.
After this, in chapter 16, through the works of the flesh, Abram produced Ishmael of Hagar.
After a 13 year gap, God appeared again to Abram in chapter 17. In this chapter Abram becomes Abraham and he is circumcised. This is subjective justification. This means that not only is Abram justified in an outward, objective way, but he himself has become a different person, his flesh has been removed (signified by circumcision) and he can now be joined to God to bring forth Christ (Isaac is a type of Christ.)
Therefore, Romans 4:22 is speaking of objective justification.
Romans 4:25 is speaking of subjective justification.
Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.
Salvation is not simply to be forgiven of our sins, salvation is to have Christ formed in us.
Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,
This is what Abraham out father has found.
Fred said: In Genesis 15:6 he believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. This is objective justification. This means that because Jesus died for our sins, we are justified before God objectively, outwardly, even though we have not changed at all.
Paul replied: I think more perfectly he, as are all in that mind; was availed of the reality of: John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: From that beginning comes deep eternal change in us. It is an instantaneous and powerful moment is it not? And are not our souls affected accordingly? That we maintain that heart of our first love is key to any maturity in Christ forthcoming.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
Because we are objectively justified before God, declared to be righteous through the death of Christ, we are able to receive Him. Those who receive Him have the power, the authority, to become children of God. The word here in Greek is teknon, which means children. The Greek word for sons is huios.
We have this authority because we have received His life and nature.
I am trying to have this discussion with brother James on another thread, begotten sons vs. adopted sons.
"Become" also denotes a process, like that which Abraham went through.
Romans 7:4 So then, my brothers, you also have been made dead to the law through the body of Christ so that you might be joined to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit to God.
The joining here is not a legal joining, but an organic joining, a union in life. Therefore it is an organic union. Think grafting. When Abraham was circumcised, meaning the removal of the flesh, the old man, he was joined to another, to God to bear fruit to God in the form of Isaac. This story signifies our salvation through the Person and work of Christ.
Fred said: The joining here is not a legal joining, but an organic joining, a union in life. Therefore it is an organic union. Think grafting. When Abraham was circumcised, meaning the removal of the flesh, the old man, he was joined to another, to God to bear fruit to God in the form of Isaac. This story signifies our salvation through the Person and work of Christ.
Paul replied: Amen, the hinge out of natural responses to GOD into GOD in Christ is: John 11:40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?