And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, - Romans 4:5
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, - Romans 4:11
How are we saved? What are we saved from? What are we saved to? How does Jesus secure my salvation for me and then apply it to me?
These are common questions people have concerning the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it seems that these questions cause us to ponder what grace is all about. The way that God draws people to himself is to first reveal his love for them and that their sins are blotted out. When the Lord gave the Ten Commandments he had given the people a promise of deliverance from Egypt (Exodus 20:2). The deliverance was assured long before the people were called to act in faith. Likewise, the Lord also instituted the covenant of circumcision, which was not only a sign, but also the seal of righteousness by faith. This seal was given to children only eight days old, before they could perform any act of sincere obedience.
Grace is truly a gift of God, and when we recognize that grace it is always long after God's bestowal. So, in many respects, the Reformed understanding of covenant infant baptism is a picture of grace poured out upon the child and their family. The child cannot act or think in a manner that warrants salvation, but grace is poured out nonetheless. What Paul reminds us in the above text in Romans is that adults shouldn't think of themselves much differently than infants. We, too, cannot act or think in a manner that warrants salvation, yet grace is poured out. That is the beauty of salvation in Christ.
Our new members class, Taste of Cross Creek, and our communicant's class is about to finish. Over the next few weeks, Cross Creek will have the joy of receiving people into membership and observing the sacrament of baptism. Those are always sweet moments the church should eagerly anticipate and cherish. This is just one of the many ways God's shows forth his enduring love to the church.
This Sunday we will continue in Mark's Gospel. I can't wait to worship with you.