Death by Sin

Romans 5:12-14 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 

‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ In Romans 5:12-21, Paul shows that the consequences of Christ’s obedience extend as far as Adam’s disobedience. Gentiles are descendants of Adam and partake of his sin and its consequences, so they are free to partake of the redemption of Christ. This again puts the Gentiles on an equal basis with Jews in Adam, Abraham, and Christ. Sin is of universal effect. From Adam, all people derive their beings (Acts 17:26). The whole race was in his loins when he sinned. He was its spiritual, moral, and physical fountainhead and its sole representative. He did not act as a single person but as the whole race. When he fell he sinned for all. When God contracted with him, it was a contract for the whole race. His progeny became a part of the covenant and blessings if he obeyed and of the curses, if he sinned.

Ten facts about sin: Sin came to the world by one man. It was not in the world at creation. Sin came from outside the world and caused death to enter the race. Sin is universal in effects (Rom. 5:12). It was here 2,500 years before Moses. It is not imputed without law and did not come by Moses’ law. Penalty came before Moses’ law. Both sin and death came by Adam’s transgression of Genesis 2:17.

‘Similitude of Adam’s transgression’ death did not come by personal sin, as it did in the case of Adam. Death passed upon all people because of Adam’s sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 5:12-21).

‘Figure’ [Greek: tupos] an outline, sketch; to describe in outline. The idea is that of making a contrasting outline of Christ.

Saved from Wrath

Romans 5:6-11 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 

‘Were yet without strength’ Fourfold description of the former state: Without strength – weak, dying, helpless to resist sin and do good, and powerless to deliver from misery (5:6). Ungodly – sinful, depraved, ruled by satan and enslaved (5:6). Sinners – bent on finding happiness but always missing the mark (5:8). Enemies – haters of God and holiness and openly at war with both (5:10).

‘Due time’ due time of fullness of time (Gal. 4:4).  ‘For the ungodly’ instead, or in place of the ungodly.

‘Ungodly’ Jews divided people into four classes: The just who said: What is mine is mine; what is thine is thine. The accommodating who said: What is mine is thine; what is thine is mine. The pious who said: What is mine is thine; what is thine let it be thine. The ungodly who said: What is mine is mine; what is thine shall be mine.

‘Dare to die’ we have many examples of people dying for friends, loved ones, and great men, but it is contrary to nature to die for enemies. Yet God did (5:6-8; John 3:16).

‘Christ died for us’ Blessings of Christ’s death: All Ten Blessings of Romans 5: Justification (5:1, 9); peace with God (5:1); access by faith into grace (5:2); standing in grace (5:2); joy in God (5:2-3, 11); grace in tribulations (5:3-5); love of God in the heart (5:5); the Holy Spirit (5:5); salvation from wrath (5:9-10); reconciliation by blood (5:10-11). Propitiation through faith (3:25). Demonstration of God’s love (5:8); redemption (3:24; Eph. 1:7; Tit. 2:14; 1Pet. 1:18-23; Rev. 5:9). A proper offering of God (Eph. 5:2). A substitute for us (Rom. 5:6; Gal. 1:4). Peace with God (Col. 1:20). The ransom paid (1Tim. 2:6);  sanctification (Heb. 10:10-14). Man brought near to God (Eph. 2:13). The old law abolished (Eph. 2:14-17; Col. 2:14-17; 2Cor. 3:6-15) and healing (Mat. 8:17; 1Pet. 2:24).

‘Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him’ if Christ died for us while we were yet ungodly, sinners, and enemies, how much more will He do for us since we have become reconciled, godly, and friends. If He saved us by His death, how much more can He save us by His life (5:9-10; 8:31-34; Heb. 7:25).

‘Reconciled’ [Greek: katallasso] change from enmity to friendship, reconcile (5:10; 1Cor. 7:11; 2Cor. 5:18-20).

‘Joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement’ boasting is forbidden Jews trusting in the law because it is a false confidence (3:27). The Christian is encouraged to boast of his reconciliation to God for it is a true confidence (5:11; 1Cor. 1:31; 2Cor. 10:17). ‘Atonement’ [Greek: katallage] reconciliation (5:11; 11:15; 2Cor. 5:18-19). It should not have been translated “atonement” here, as it refers to the removal of enmity and a change to friendship, which is the effect of atonement.

Glory in Tribulations

Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 

‘Tribulation’ trials test religion and faith and the man who stands true in them proves his religion sound and his faith genuine. Tests work patience and patience works perfection (Jas. 1:3-4, 12; Rom. 5:3-5; 1Pet. 1:7). Eight facts about Christian suffering: Suffering is not strange or unusual for Christians (1Pet. 4:12; 2Tim. 3:12). One should rejoice when a partaker of the sufferings of Christ (1Pet. 4:13; Mat. 5:10). The greater the suffering the greater the joy and glory (1Pet. 4:13; Rom. 8:17-18). Besides the greater glory to come the Christian has the Holy Spirit upon him now to enable him to endure (1Pet. 4:14; Rom. 8:26-27). Christian sufferings glorify God (1Pet. 4:14; Rom. 8:17-18). It is an honour, not a shame, to suffer as a Christian (1Pet. 4:16). Though sufferings begin with Christians, they end in an eternal weight of damnation to the ungodly (1Pet. 4:17-18). Sufferings should be borne by Christians, in patience as in the will of God, realizing that God is always faithful to His own in their sufferings (1Pet. 4:19; 1Cor. 10:13).

‘Patience’ [Greek: hupomone] Two blessings of perfect patience: Perfect – personal perfection in the knowledge of the gospel and the will of God. Entire – personal completeness in all graces and gifts of God.

‘Experience’ [Greek: dokime] translated “trial” (2Cor. 8:2); “experiment” (2Cor. 9:13); “proof” (2Cor. 2:9; 13:3; Php. 2:22); and “experience” (Rom. 5:4).

‘Hope’ is the confident expectation of what God has promised and will do and its strength is in His faithfulness.

‘Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us’ four reasons why we can glory in tribulations: Our justification and peace (5:1); the grace of God in Christ (5:2); the love of God in our hearts (5:5); the power of the Holy Spirit (5:5).

Into This Grace

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

‘Access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ We are not merely introduced to God by Jesus Christ for an interview, but we are to remain with Him as part of His household (Eph. 2:18-22; 3:12).

‘Grace’ the primary meaning of grace in connection with God is: free, eternal, and unmerited love and favour of God toward free moral agents who are the product of His own creation, whether human or spirit beings, and who are capable of God; consciousness and moral responsibility. Grace is the spring, source, and the very fountain-head of all the manifold benefits and blessings of God to all of His creation (3:24; 5:17-21; 11:5, 6; John 1:14-17; 3:16; 2Cor. 9:8; Eph. 1:6,7; 2:5-8; Jas. 4:6; 1Pet. 5:5). Grace is also used to mean the favour and friendship of man with man (Gen. 32:5; 33:8-15; 34:11; 39:4; 47:25, 29; Ruth 2:10; Esther 2:17).

All of God’s great benefits come through His marvellous grace. We deserve nothing but He gives us everything. Grace moves God to act in behalf of and for the best and eternal good of the whole creation. Grace is seen in acts of judgment as well as in acts of mercy. It works for the benefits of the few as well as of the many. All living creatures have an eternal guarantee of God’s benefits and loving providence through grace. We get through grace “every good and perfect gift” and “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (3:24; 5:2, 17-21; 6:14; 8:32; John 3:16; 2Cor. 8:9; 9:8; Jas. 1:17; 4:6; 2Pet. 1:3-4). Such benefits are received solely by free moral agents upon the principle of humiliation and entire dependence upon God by faith, realizing that the creature is nothing, and the Creator is all and the source of all Such blessings are wholly apart from works (3:24-31; 4:1-4, 16; 5:15-21; 6:14, 15; 11:6; Gal. 2:16; 3:1-12; Eph. 2:7-9).

Four secrets of continued grace: Live and walk in the Spirit (8:1-13; Gal. 5:5; 16-26; Col. 3:5-10). Be patient in hope (8:24; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:19). Continue in Christ (Gal. 5:6; John 15:1-8; Col. 2:6-7; Heb. 3:14). Continue in faith (Gal. 5:6; Col. 1:23).

‘We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience’ we have grace to endure trials without sustaining loss or deterioration. We are like silver and gold when refined (Pro. 17:3; 1Pet. 1:7). Just as silver and gold are purified by fire, so the Lord purifies the hearts of men by fiery trials (Jas. 1:2, 12; 1Pet. 4:12; Rev. 3:18). Fire only separates all the foreign and impure materials from gold. It loses nothing of its nature, weight, colour, or any other property. Gold has been kept in a state of fusion for months without the smallest change. Genuine faith also will be proved by trials.

Being Justified by Faith

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

‘Justified by faith’ The Greek word for justified dikaioo means to declare righteous or not guilty; justify. It is translated “freed from sin” (6:7); “justifier” (3:26); “be righteous” (Rev. 22:11); and “justify” 33 times. One is justified the moment he repents and is forgiven (Luke 18:14; Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:24, 28, 30; 4:5; 5:1, 9; 1Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16-17; 3:8, 24; Tit. 3:5-7).

Proofs when people are justified: When they are washed and sanctified (1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 5:17-18). When they repent (Luke 18:13-14); and believe (3:24-31; 4:5; 5:1; Acts 13:38-39; Gal. 2-3). When redeemed (3:24; 5:9) and when they partake of grace (3:24-25; 5:1-2; Tit. 2:11-14; 3:4-7). When they accept God’s call (8:30) and when they are born again (Tit. 3:4-7; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:9; 5:1-4, 18; 2Cor. 5:17-18). When brought to Christ (Gal. 3:24; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Gal. 3:27) and when reconciled (5:9-11; 2Cor. 5:17-21; Col. 1:20-23). When all sins are blotted out (Isa. 43:25; Acts 13:38-39; 1Cor. 6:11).

Justification is used of the final settlement between people (Job 11:2; 13:18; 27:5; 32:2; 33:32; Pro. 17:15; Luke 10:29; 16:15); of people clearing God of all wrong (Ps. 51:4; Luke 7:29; Rom. 3:26); and of people justifying themselves of all guilt (Jer. 3:11; Ezek. 16:51-52; Job 9:20; 13:18; 32:2; Luke 16:15). Thus the meaning is clear: to declare not guilty. The justification of man by God simply means that God washes, sanctifies the believer, and declares him no longer guilty (1Cor. 6:9-11; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Acts 13:38-39). God cannot declare one not guilty before he is cleansed from all sin and made holy by the blood of Christ. Sanctification makes the sinner not guilty; justification declares him not guilty.

‘We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ this is the peace that is described in Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Ten Blessings of Romans 5:1-21: Justification (5:1, 9); peace with God (5:1); access by faith into grace (5:2); standing in grace (5:2); joy in God (5:2-3, 11); grace in tribulations (5:3-5); love of God in the heart (5:5); the Holy Spirit (5:5); salvation from wrath (5:9-10); reconciliation by blood (5:10-11).

Justification

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 

‘Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification’ He died for our sins (1Pet. 2:24) and was resurrected for our justification (Rom. 5:10; 1Cor. 15:1-23).

‘Justification’ seven facts about justification [Greek: dikaiosis] the act of God declaring people free from guilt and acceptable to Him and counting them righteous (3:25; 5:18). Dikaioma is only another word rendered “justification” (5:16). Justification is by faith (3:24-4:25; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:24). Justification is the universal remedy for sin (3:24-4:25). Justification a fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant (4:1-25). Justification by faith illustrated: Abraham before the law (4:1-4, 9-25) and David under the law (4:5-8).

Justification of believers is by: (1) God (3:26); (2) Christ’s resurrection (4:25); (3) Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:11); (4) Blood (3:24-28); (5) Grace (3:24; Tit. 3:7); (6) Faith (Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1); (7) Prayer (Luke 18:14); (8) Obedience (5:18).

Eight results of justification by faith: (1) Peace with God (5:1); (2) Access by faith into grace; (3) Standing in grace; (4) Joy and hope (5:2); (5) Joy in tribulations (5:3-5); (6) Love of God in the heart (5:5-8); (7) Holy Spirit given to us (5:5; 8:9); (8) Saved from wrath (5:9-10). Seven Ways that “justification” is used: To declare what one is (1Tim. 3:16); to esteem a thing properly (Mat. 11:19); to commend or praise (Luke 7:29); to clear from all sin (1Cor. 4:4); to declare righteous (Mat. 12:37); to set free or escape from (Acts 13:39). to pardon sin (3:20-28; 4:2; 5:1, 9; 8:30; Luke 18:14; 1Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16-17; 3:11, 24; 5:4; Tit. 3:7).

Imputed to Him

Romans 4:21-24 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead

‘Fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform’ his soul was full of confidence that the Word of God bound Him to fulfil what He had promised. After 25 years, it was fulfilled. Faith was imputed for righteousness (4:3-22; Heb. 11:8-12).

‘And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.’ Imputation: justification from all sin. [Hebrew: chashab] to be reckoned or put to the account of one; charge with. Equivalent to the Greek word logizomai, translated numbered (Mark 15:28); accounted (Rom. 8:36; 1Cor. 4:1; Gal. 3:6; Heb. 11:19); counted (Rom. 2:26; 4:3, 5; 9:8; Php. 3:13); laid to their charge (2Tim. 4:16); reckoned (Luke 22:37; Rom. 4:4,9,10; 6:11; 8:18); and impute (Rom. 4:6, 8, 11, 22-24; 2Cor. 5:19; Jas. 2:23).

Imputation is that act of God in salvation whereby He accounts the believer righteous in Christ because Christ bore his sins and because he has properly repented of his sins and met God’s terms of reconciliation (Rom. 3:24-31; 4:1-25; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Gal. 3:6-9, 13-14).

‘It was not written for his sake alone’ Genesis 15:6 was written for all mankind.

‘If we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead’ the condition of the gospel is faith, not only temporary faith, but steadfast and continued faith. We can have joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Saviour whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31; Ephes. 2:8-9); access into grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfilment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Mat. 7:7-11; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Luke 18:1-8; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

Believed in Hope

Romans 4:17-20 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickened the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God 

‘I have made thee a father of many nations’ quoted from Genesis 17:4-5. This is a prophecy fulfilled before New Testament times.

‘Who quickened the dead, and called those things which be not as though they were’ Two things of God here: Resurrection (4:17; 8:11; John 5:21; 6:63; 1Cor. 15:22, 35, 45; 2Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21; 1Tim. 6:13; 1Pet. 3:18). Faith (4:17; 8:24-25; Mat. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Heb. 11:1). True faith is counting things that be not as though they were. This is what God exercised when He called the worlds into existence (Heb. 11:3; 2Pet. 3:5; Gen. 1:1; Job 38:4-7).

‘Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken’ here Paul describes the faith of Abraham in order to explain what gospel faith is like (Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8). ‘So shall thy seed be’ quoted from Genesis 15:5.

‘Hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb.’ Genesis 17:1 reveals God as the Fruitful-One who was to multiply Abraham abundantly; the Life-Giver who was to restore life to Abraham and Sarah who were as good as dead where offspring was concerned. Through Him, they would have future offspring as the dust (Gen. 13:16), stars (Gen. 15:5), and sand in number (Gen. 22:17). In Genesis 21:1 we see the Lord visited Sarah to renew her youth so that she could bear a child and nurse him (Gen. 21:1-2).

‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.’ Abraham lived in faith giving God glory in all he did (1Cor. 10:31) and never stumbled in his service to God.

The Promise

Romans 4:13-16 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all 

‘Heir of the world’ this refers to his being a blessing to all nations of the earth. He also will literally inherit the earth along with all those blessed with him (Ps. 37:11; Mat. 5:5; 25:34; Rev. 5:10; 22:4-5).

‘Righteousness of faith’ this promise of heirship did not come through the law but by the Abrahamic covenant of faith (4:13-16; Gen. 12:1-3).

‘Is made void’ [Greek: kenoo] has been emptied (1Cor. 1:17; 9:15; 2Cor. 9:3; Php. 2:7). ‘Made of none effect’ [Greek: katargeo] to make useless; without effect; make of no effect (3:3; 4:14; Gal. 3:17; 5:4); come and bring to naught (1Cor. 1:28; 2:6); done away (1Cor. 13:10; 2Cor. 3:7, 3:11, 3:14); fail (1Cor. 13:8); cease (Gal. 6:11); vanish away (1Cor. 13:8); make void (Rom. 3:31); cumber (Luke 13:7); deliver (Rom. 7:6); loose (Rom. 7:2); put away (1Cor. 13:11); put down (1Cor. 15:24); destroy (Rom. 6:6; 1Cor. 6:13; 15:26; 2Thess. 2:8; Heb. 2:14); and abolish (2Cor. 3:13; Eph. 2:15; 2Tim. 1:10). It is clear from these passages that whatever is abolished is completely null and void. What is it here that is abolished? It is the law of commandments in decrees or the law of dogmatic commandments. The word for ordinances is dogma, translated “decree” (Luke 2:1; Acts 16:4; 17:7) and “ordinance” (Eph. 2:15; Col. 2:14). The law was made to expose sin (Rom. 3:19-20; 7:13; Gal. 3:19-25) and to keep the Jews a distinct people until Christ came. After that, it was no longer needed.

‘Works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression’ No law makes provision for mercy and pardon should it be broken. It works wrath and punishment only.

‘Therefore it is of faith… the faith of Abraham’ We read in James 2:23 that Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness – a quote from Genesis 15:6 which was many years before offering Isaac as in Genesis 22:1-24. Thus, every act of obedience is an act of faith and works combined to maintain justification before God. Abraham proved his faith in God when he was asked to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. It was faith that led him to this act of obedience (Jas. 2:23). Had he refused to obey, it would have demonstrated that he had no faith in God or His Word. It is also clear that this act of faith and works was not his initial justification by faith. That was at least 40 to 50 years before offering Isaac (Gen. 12:1-4; 15:6; Rom. 4:1-6).

‘By grace’ because of this, it can be for all people. Ephesians 2:8 states that by grace are we saved through faith; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God. A simple statement of how people are resurrected spiritually from death in sins (Eph. 2:8-10; Rom. 10:9-10; John 3:16; 1Jn. 1:9).

‘The promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all’ this promise of heirship (4:13) was made to everyone that has faith by grace – the same faith that Abraham had and of which he is the father of.

The Sign of Circumcision

Romans 4:9-12 Come this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 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: 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. 

‘Impute sin’ Imputation: justification from all sin. [Hebrew: chashab] to be reckoned or put to the account of one; charge with. Equivalent to the Greek word logizomai, translated numbered (Mark 15:28); accounted (Rom. 8:36; 1Cor. 4:1; Gal. 3:6; Heb. 11:19); counted (Rom. 2:26; 4:3, 5; 9:8; Php. 3:13); laid to their charge (2Tim. 4:16); reckoned (Luke 22:37; Rom. 4:4,9,10; 6:11; 8:18); and impute (Rom. 4:6, 8, 11, 22-24; 2Cor. 5:19; Jas. 2:23). Imputation is that act of God in salvation whereby He accounts the believer righteous in Christ because Christ bore his sins and because he has properly repented of his sins and met God’s terms of reconciliation (Rom. 3:24-31; 4:1-25; 2 Cor. 5:14-21; Gal. 3:6-9, 13-14).

‘Come this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? … How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision?’ the answer to these questions are given in verse 10: “Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.”

‘And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith’ Circumcision, which was a part of the Abrahamic covenant was a sign of the promised Redeemer out of the loins of Abraham, and of His works for all who wished to put off the sins of the flesh and serve God as new creatures. The word “circumcision” came to be synonymous with Jews (3:30; 4:9; Gal. 2:9). Since Christ came, circumcision avails nothing (Gal. 5:6; Col. 3:11). Christian circumcision is in the heart or spirit, not in the flesh (Rom. 2:28-29; 1Cor. 7:19; Php. 3:3; Col. 2:11).

‘Uncircumcised’ Abraham was justified 24 years before circumcision (Gen. 12:1-4; 15:6; 17:1-14).

‘That he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also’ he was justified before he was circumcised that he might be the father of believing uncircumcised Gentiles.

‘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’ he is also father of Jews who walk in his steps and who seek for justification by faith only. The covenant was made with Abraham while he was a Gentile; he became the father of Gentiles in the faith. The Jews were later made partakers of the covenant, but original justification by faith belonged to the Gentiles. When the gospel came they laid hold on it as their original right. The Jews to be saved must come under the Abrahamic covenant in which the Gentiles were originally included. This conclusion of Paul must have confounded the Jews.

‘Steps’ [Greek: ichnos] a track, footstep (4:12; 2Cor. 12:18; 1Pet. 2:21).