"This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness" (Romans 4:22)
Paul, the author of Romans uses Abraham to clarify this point: “Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring...” (Romans 4:16a).
Abraham’s deep trust in God was the sole reason God called Abraham righteous
His point? We have to put complete trust in God to do what we cannot do ourselves. Abraham trusted God when facing impossible circumstances (Rom. 4:19). In the same way, we have to trust God when He says acceptance and right-standing with Himself (righteousness) comes through faith in Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:22).
Remember, Paul’s whole argument in Romans until this point is that the living well by following the rules (law) can never save us. The laws purpose is to defeat us so we’ll look outside of ourselves for help (Rom. 3:19-20; 7:10; Gal. 3:10, 23). Abraham’s story is a hyperbolic example of knowing defeat and then looking to God for help.
Abraham’s deep trust in God was the sole reason God called Abraham righteous (acceptable, right, virtuous, good, excellent). It was nothing he did; it was everything God did.
What stirs in you when you hear God declared Abraham was righteous based on nothing he did to earn it?
In what areas of your life are you trying hard to earn God’s acceptance?
Where can you practice trusting in God today?
Original article published July 16, 2009.