“And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness”- Genesis 15:6
LIGHT FOR NOW: The righteousness of God is only revealed in the Gospel of Christ.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16-17 explains the reason why many are unable to attain righteousness or even comprehend what it means. He said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith…” He’s saying that the righteousness of God is only revealed in the Gospel of Christ; so until one accepts the Gospel of Christ, he or she can never be said to be righteous. That is why we can’t afford to be quiet about the Gospel because it is the only way men can become righteous. Righteousness is absolutely unattainable by man, therefore, in God’s benevolence, He bestows, attributes or imputes to us His righteousness. Observe carefully from our theme text that the author used three key words: “believed” in the Lord, “counted” unto him for, “righteousness”. The phrase “and he believed” was translated from the Hebrew word “aman”, which implies to support, to corroborate. From the way the word “aman” is used in our theme text (Genesis 15:6), It suffices to say that the righteousness of God will only come from what God says, that is, God speaks and then you believe what He has said. So, what did God tell Abraham? Apostle Paul explains in Galatians 3: 7-8 “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed”.
The phrase “…justify the heathen through faith…” implies Abraham was a heathen who was justified by faith in the Gospel that was preached to him. Thus, Abraham had faith in the Gospel; he had faith in the resurrection of Christ which was given then as a promise. Hence, righteousness is received by faith in Christ (in the resurrection from the dead). The word “counted” was translated from the Hebrew word “chasab”, and it implies to consider; to think of; to have an opinion, that is, to consider something. And according to our theme text, God considered Abraham’s faith in what He told him (the gospel – Galatians 3:8) as what is right. The word “Chasab” was also used in Genesis 31:15, Genesis 38:15, Genesis 50:20. The word “righteousness” was translated from the Hebrew word “tsedaqah” and it’s a word used for merits, good behavior and honesty. In essence, Abraham believed in the Lord and He described it as righteousness, that is, the moral and proper thing to do. Abraham’s faith was described by God as honesty, good behavior, morality and the right thing to do.”But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justified the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”(Romans 4:5). The word “worketh” was translated from the Greek word “ergazomai”, and it implies a continuous action. Hence, when Paul used the phrase “… worketh not, but believes”, it was to emphasize the fact that righteousness is believing and not of works. That was why Paul said in the verse before (verse 4) “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt”. He uses the word “grace” which was done intentionally to differentiate righteousness from works. In verse 2 of the same Romans 4, Paul said, “For if Abraham were justified by works he hath whereof to glory; but not before God”. The word “justifieth” used in the above text, was translated from the Greek word “dikaioo” it’s a verb and it implies to “vindicate” or “to make right”. It is a word used for judges; those who judge between two parties in order to determine who is right. Hence, the action is not done by the recipient but by the one who justifies. Here Paul explains that justification before God is not by works, hence no one can boast in his own works before God.
INSTRUCTION: Believe and be made righteous
PRAYER: I affirm that because I am found in Christ, I am justified; not by works but by Jesus Christ. Amen.
QUOTE: Justification before God is not by works.
DAILY READING: MORNING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 1; EVENING: COLOSSIANS CHAPTER 2