每日诗歌: 真实的悔改 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-3xJqL5XfA)
“并且他受了割礼的记号，作他未受割礼的时候因信称义的印证，叫他作一切未受割礼而信之人的父，使他们也算为义” （罗4:11）。根据保罗的论证，割礼不是使亚伯拉罕称义的行为。相反，它是一个印证使人们可以识别并说：“亚伯拉罕信神，这就算为他的义” 。这是为了一个属灵真理而表现在肉体上的一个记号。
对于那些肉体上不属于亚伯拉罕后裔, 这属灵真理仍然是有效的, 但是这个记号不同了。神与亚伯拉罕所立的约要求割礼（创17:13）, 这是他们通过自己的肉体获得的（罗4:1）。但对于那些信靠耶稣基督的人“真割礼也是心里的，在乎灵，不在乎仪文” （罗2:29）。我们领受的印证是圣灵(罗5:5, 8:9, 弗1:14) 。
Psalms 70 [Read]
Psalms 71 [Read]
Psalms 72 [Read]
Romans 4 [Read]
Now that he has demonstrated the faith to be the way to salvation (Rom 3:25-26), Paul still faces the question about circumcision for the Jews. “What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?” (4:1, ESV) In other words, what’s the purpose of circumcision and why don’t the Christian need it anymore?
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them” (4:11). The circumcision, according to Paul, was not the work that made Abraham righteous. Instead, it was a seal that people could recognize and said “Abraham was credited as righteousness by God through his faith”. It’s a physical sign for a spiritual truth.
For those who do not belong to the physical descendants of Abraham, the spiritual truth is still valid but the sign (the seal) is different. The Covenant God established with Abraham requires circumcision (Gen 17:13), and this is what they gained through their flesh (Rom 4:1). But for those who put their faith in Jesus Christ, “the circumcision is of the heart, by the spirit, not by the written code” (2:29). The seal we receive is the Holy Spirit (5:5, 8:9, Eph 1:14).
Even for Jews, the circumcision is not enough. They also need to “walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised” (4:12). This is what James was trying to convey: “his faith and his actions were working together and his faith was made complete by what he did” (Js 2:22). We are indeed justified by faith, but actions are needed to demonstrate our faith.
Therefore, just as the circumcision and actions are needed for Jews to demonstrate their faith, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of this Spirit are needed for Christians to demonstrate our true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Justification by faith alone can be misunderstood unintentionally as a cheap ticket to heaven. But even worse, it can be misconstrued intentionally as an excuse to live a sinful life. Paul foresees such results, and he will speak about that in following chapters. For us, we should take this to the heart and be honest about our faith. After all, we are talking about eternity.
Keep on reading,