Faith that Makes a Difference
Category : General
Genesis 15: 6 (KJV)
6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
This is a key moment in the text—in the Bible—in human history. Abram decides to trust the promise rather than the evidence. God has been faithful to him in many ways, so he believes that God will be faithful to him in this way as well.
This I conceive to be one of the most important passages in the whole Old Testament. It properly contains and specifies that doctrine of justification by faith which engrosses so considerable a share of the epistles of Paul, and at the foundation of which is the atonement made by the Son of God.
None of us would be able to conceive the rich and hidden doctrine which this passage contains, unless Paul had borne his torch before us. (Romans 4:3.) But it is strange, and seems like a prodigy, that when the Spirit of God has kindled so great a light, yet the greater part of interpreters wander with closed eyes, as in the darkness of night. I omit the Jews, whose blindness is well known. But it is (as I have said) monstrous, that they who have had Paul as their luminous expositor; should so foolishly have depraved this place. However it hence appears, that in all ages, Satan has labored at nothing more assiduously than to extinguish, or to smother, the gratuitous justification of faith, which is here expressly asserted. God “credits” or “counts” Abraham’s faith as righteousness. We know already that Abraham is not perfectly righteous, and we will encounter more examples of this in the chapters ahead. But God credits Abraham with righteousness.
Therefore, we see that righteous is conformity to the will of God. Abram was not righteous, but he yielded himself to God and trusted Him, and God accepted that as the equivalent of righteousness. The acceptance was shown by the Covenant, and by the fulfilment of the promises. So here is the great truth that faith is accepted for righteous. It is rightly regarded and treated as righteous, by the estimate of God, who estimates things as they really are.
Do not ever believe that a person is a Christian just because they look like a Christian, and talk like a Christian, and act like a Christian. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is saved just because they quote Scripture, attend church, tithe, and raise their hands when singing praises to God, attend a Bible study, prays for an hour every day, teaches a Sunday school class and volunteers at the food bank. It is so easy to assume that such people are saved because they look saved. But Scripture is clear. We are not saved by works, no matter how wonderful and numerous they are. A person is saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Have a Great and God filled Day