Day 32: The History of Two Badges

Romans 4:9-13 :

Is this blessing then pronounced on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it counted? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they might be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might also be accounted to them. He is the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had in uncircumcision. For the promise to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heir of the world wasn’t through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

The history of Abraham and the timing of his circumcision is shown by Paul to be an important revelation to us about salvation. Unlike the Jews who were born under the law of Moses, Abraham was circumcised before Moses was even born. But it should also be carefully observed that Abraham was circumcised after he believed God and was credited righteousness.

This teaches us more about what circumcision is. It is kind of like a badge. It represents the fact that you are in an agreement of some kind with God. The interesting thing is that the agreement under which Abraham was circumcised was much different than the agreement put forward by the law of Moses. Abraham’s agreement was that God gave him righteousness by faith. The law of Moses says that righteousness is earned by those who decide to follow it. So, in the story of Abraham, we see two very different agreements with two very different ways of obtaining righteousness.

The badge of Moses is a commitment to do all that God commands. The badge of Abraham represents God’s righteousness that was freely given through faith. The badge of Moses is righteousness at the end. The badge of Abraham is righteousness at the beginning.

There is another very important fact about Abraham’s history. He was the father of both the Gentiles who believe and of the Jews who believe. His badge preceded Moses’ badge. No one can really wear the badge of Moses without becoming a sinner, but the badge of Abraham lasts forever and belongs to all who believe; especially the Jews.