Romans 4:10 "How then was it accounted?"
The Jews took great pride in their ancestry. Many probably felt that Paul’s citation of Abraham as a blessed recipient of imputed righteousness would mean that this state of blessedness was restricted to the Jews! Was this really the case? Paul showed himself a master Biblical theologian in his observation made in the following text.
“How then was it accounted?
While he was circumcised or uncircumcised?
Not while circumcised but while uncircumcised.”
1. How then was it accounted?
This statement presupposes that the manner of imputed righteousness is not unimportant.
2. In what state was Abraham when he was imputed righteousness?
a) There would be implications if he was imputed righteousness after circumcision.
i) The Jews could argue that this state of blessedness would be restricted.
ii) That only those who were circumcised would receive this blessing.
b) There would also be implications if Abraham was imputed righteousness before circumcision.
i) The Jews would not be able to preclude Gentiles.
ii) All Gentiles may be blessed as Abraham was… because imputed righteousness was given prior to circumcision.
EXAMINING THE BIBLICAL DATA
The best way to settle any dispute would be to examine the Biblical text carefully.
1. Genesis was written “chronologically”.
a) Genesis 15:6 records that Abraham was imputed righteousness.
b) Genesis 17 records Abraham being circumcised at 99 years of age.
2. Paul therefore made a forceful conclusion
Abraham was accounted righteousness before he was circumcised! Therefore, the Jews could not exclude Gentiles from availing themselves to the imputed righteousness that God graciously and whole-heartedly offers to all who exercised faith in Christ Jesus.