In Faith Alone
This term at KYB (Know Your Bible), a women’s Bible study group, we have been looking at the life of Abraham. We’ve spent time in Genesis 12–14, reading about God’s call on his life and the promises given to him by God; promises of land, descendants, and blessing. Chapter 15 begins with a discussion between God and Abraham. Abraham is seeking reassurance from God. He wants to know how he is going to have countless descendants while he and Sarah remain childless. God again repeats His promise to Abraham and shows him the night sky, declaring he will have more descendents than stars in the sky. The verse that follows is simple, yet very, very powerful. Genesis 15:6 says “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
That’s worth reflecting on for just a moment. The verse doesn’t say “Abram worked for God, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Nor does it say “Abram did acts of love, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Nor does it say “Abram was making progress in character transformation, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” Abraham was made righteous before God because of his faith in God.
Romans 4:18 says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations.” Verses 19-22 go on to say, “Yet he (Abraham) did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why ‘it was credited to him as righteousness.’” But Paul doesn’t stop there. He goes on to explain in verse 23 that “…the words ‘it was credited to him as righteousness’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
Abraham found grace in the eyes of the Lord through faith alone. God drew him to faith and God counted his faith as righteousness—as a right standing with God. Abraham became right with God—acquitted, forgiven, accepted, justified—by faith alone apart from works.
Just as it was with Abraham, so it is today. We cannot be declared righteous on the basis of anything we have done. Instead, righteousness in God’s sight is granted on the basis of our faith in Christ Jesus and His redeeming work on the cross.
I am more grateful than words can say, that my righteousness before God is not based on my works, but rather on faith in Jesus. Thank you, Lord.