“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4:3 KJV)
Circumcision was a big thing in the time of the law. If you were not circumcised, then you were not a Jew. In those days, for you to say you are a believer, you must be circumcised. When Peter first came to Antioch, he associated with non-Jews but when some Jews came for James, Peter separated himself from the non-Jews. Peter accepted the message of grace, enjoyed it, ate with the people who were saved by grace and stood with them. But the moment the people who were living under the law came, he changed so that it would not be said that he was backsliding.
It’s just like what happens today. When you see some believers, they will not wear jewellery but they have a box of jewelleries at home. They don’t want it to be said that they are backsliding; or “you are not a Christian”. They have very nice dresses at home but when going out to some places, they wear ankle length clothes. This is nothing but hypocrisy which is what God is frowning at. You cannot mix law and grace together; they are like oil and water, they don’t mix. You either walk according to the law, which is enmity with God, or you walk according to grace, accepting the finished work at Calvary. You are either going to declare totally for God and live as He desires, or you are going to walk totally under the law and live in condemnation. You have to make a choice; you cannot do both.
Look at Abraham, a heathen who did not even know God. When God revealed Himself to him, he followed fully and though he was in the Old Testament, he tapped into what God is set to do in the New Testament and his faith was counted to him as righteousness. Beloved, no one is made right with God by following the law. You cannot be made right with God by trying to obey the Ten Commandments and its related six hundred and fifteen attachments. It is trusting in Jesus that makes a person righteous and right with God.
Further Reading: Romans 4:1-8
Daily Bible Reading: Morning- 1 Chronicles 19-21; Evening- John 8:1-27