Sunday, March 20, 2011

Scripture Sunday: Faith + God's Grace = Righteousness

Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.  Genesis 15: 6 (NIV)

And he believed!  Believed God! God declared him "Set-Right-with-God."  Genesis 15:6 (The Message)

Today's passage is short, only one verse, but it has a powerful message!

First, Abram believed God.  I looked up the definition of "believe" in several dictionaries, and repeatedly found that it means "to accept something as true or real."  So in other words, Abram believed everything about God, including all that God had spoken to him, to be true and real.

Secondly, God credited him.  Here are a few definitions I found for "credited":
1) to regard as having performed an action or being endowed with a quality
2) recognition or approval for an act, ability, or quality
3) giving something of value to someone (usually with their agreement to repay)
4) the balance in a person's favor
5) reliance on the truth or reality of something 

In other words, God regarded Abram as having done what it requires ("performed an action") to be considered righteous, and gave Abram His stamp of approval!  God "loaned" Abram His righteousness, although Abram had done nothing to earn it, and the only repayment Abram had to make was to continue believing and following God.  And I love the last definition, which implies that when God credit Abram as righteous, He now sees that as the truth! 

An alternative to "credited" is "declared,"  which means to state emphatically.  In other words, once God declared Abram to be righteous, there was no question!

Finally, God credited Abram with righteousness.  So what does "righteousness" mean?  It means free from guilt or sin, & the state of being right with God!

So Abram simply had to believe God, and he was declared by God to be innocent and in right standing with Him!  How amazing is that?

Well, guess what? It's that simple for us as well!  We must simply believe that Jesus bore our sin on the cross &  rose from the dead, giving us victory over sin and death, & ask God to forgive us, and God declares us to be right with Him!  It's that easy!

Belief (Faith) + God's Credit (Grace) = Righteousness!

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