Can Only Religious People be Righteous?
Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Romans 4:9-12 ESV Read More
Paul is trying to blow away any misunderstandings about our salvation. Salvation by grace through faith isn’t just for the Jewish people that have been trying to follow the Law forever. Salvation is for anyone that would live for God by faith. Salvation is for all who believe that God would send Jesus, our savior, to save us from our sins.
That salvation is the righteousness that we need from God. That faith-based righteousness is the only real righteousness from God in the entire universe. That faith-based righteousness of God is the kind that Abraham had when Abraham believed what God said. Abraham put his beliefs into action, enough to risk his whole life on it, but it was at the moment of faith that God made everything about Abraham alright.
I don’t want to downplay the righteousness of God, but if it helps to look at it as the alright-eousness of God, that might help us realize the peace, joy, and relief that God offers us. We no longer have to be afraid of the law of sin and death. Even more so after Easter. Lent and the lifestyle of grieving over our sin and working for God’s love is all over. Now God’s alrighteousness reigns, and it is a free gift for all who believe, regardless of their religious works.