Is this blessing only for those who are circumcised? Or is it also for those who are not circumcised? We have already said that it was because of Abraham’s faith that he was accepted as one who is right with God.
Is this ·blessing [happiness; spiritual fulfillment] only for those who are circumcised or also for those who are not circumcised? We have already said that ·God accepted Abraham’s faith and that faith made him right with God [L faith was credited/counted to Abraham for righteousness; v. 3].
Does this happiness that David spoke of belong only to those who are circumcised? No indeed! It belongs also to those who are not circumcised. For we have quoted the scripture, “Abraham believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.”
Now the question, an important one, arises: is this happiness for the circumcised only, or for the uncircumcised as well? Note this carefully. We began by saying that Abraham’s faith was counted unto him for righteousness. When this happened, was he a circumcised man? He was not, he was still uncircumcised. It was afterwards that the sign of circumcision was given to him, as a seal upon that righteousness which God was accounting to him as yet an uncircumcised man! God’s purpose here is twofold. First, that Abraham might be the spiritual father of all who since that time, despite their circumcision, show the faith that is counted as righteousness. Then, secondly, that he might be the circumcised father of all those who are not only circumcised, but are living by the same sort of faith which he himself had before he was circumcised.
Now then, the question: Is this blessing given only to those who have faith in Christ but also keep the Jewish laws, or is the blessing also given to those who do not keep the Jewish rules but only trust in Christ? Well, what about Abraham? We say that he received these blessings through his faith. Was it by faith alone, or because he also kept the Jewish rules?
David confirms this way of looking at it, saying that the one who trusts God to do the putting-everything-right without insisting on having a say in it is one fortunate man: Fortunate those whose crimes are whisked away, whose sins are wiped clean from the slate. Fortunate the person against whom the Lord does not keep score. Do you think for a minute that this blessing is only pronounced over those of us who keep our religious ways and are circumcised? Or do you think it possible that the blessing could be given to those who never even heard of our ways, who were never brought up in the disciplines of God? We all agree, don’t we, that it was by embracing what God did for him that Abraham was declared fit before God?
This me’ushar (blessedness), then, does it come on those of the bris milah (the circumcised) or also on those without the bris milah (the uncircumcised)? For we say, emunah "was counted, reckoned, credited" to Avraham Avinu for TZEDAKAH ("righteousness" BERESHIS 15:6).
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the Believer's Bible Commentary and the Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (NIV and NRSV) - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.