Faith Class 101: Class 7
The Professor smiled as He watched the students, one by one, enter the room. Joy and expectation filled the large room. When everyone was seated, the Professor asked the class this question:
What happened to Abraham when He believed that God would give him descendants as many as the stars in heaven?
One student responded. Professor, the Bible says in Genesis 15:6 that it was accounted to him for righteousness. But I’m not sure I understand what that means. Can you explain that for me?
Yes, of course.
Because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden, the stain of sin would be transferred to every person born on earth...including Abraham who was born about 2,000 years after Adam.
During a personal encounter, God told Abraham to look up at the stars and said, “So shall your descendants be...” (Genesis 15:5)
Faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, took hold of God’s Word. Abraham believed in his heart that God would not only give him a child, but he saw multitudes of his children born in every nation, “for in you all the nations shall be blessed.”
Galatians 3:8-9 reveals that God was preaching the gospel to Abraham. Jesus Christ would come forth from Abraham to save the lost in every nation.
Righteousness Means Right Standing with God
Definition of Righteous. 1: acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin. 2: morally right or justifiable; justified
The moment Abraham believed it was accounted to Abraham as righteousness. Righteousness was imputed or credited to Abraham, similar to someone who would make a trillion dollar deposit to a poor man’s checking account. Abraham’s faith in God produced God’s enormous, unending gift of grace.
God is righteous. All that He is, all that He does, and everything He says is right and perfect. When Abraham believed he would be the father of many nations, the contamination and separation of Adam’s sin was removed.
Let’s read together Romans 4:5-9.
“But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:
“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
And whose sins are covered;
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”
“Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.”
The promise that God made to Abraham was not through the Law of Moses because Moses was not born yet.
The promise came before the sign of circumcision, which was the outward seal of the inward transformation — righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:11)
“Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, ‘I have made you a father of many nations’) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did...” (Romans 4:16-17)
It is of faith so that God’s abundant favor — blessing — grace! might be made certain to all the seed: both Jew and Gentile who believe, who have the faith of Abraham.
Students, every one of you in my class are part of what father Abraham saw when he looked up at the sky that night.
Jesus Christ, the Messiah himself was included in God’s illustration: God’s own Son, born of a virgin.
Justified, Approved, and Loved
The miracle of the new birth, the new creation in Christ, came forth when you believed the gospel message. Faith in what you heard produced the righteousness of God in you, just like it did in father Abraham. “...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
This is that...
which the New Covenant teaches to those who are born again of God’s Spirit:
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Read Romans Chapters 3, 4, and 5.
As you read, underline or highlight the word “righteousness.”
On a sheet of paper, write down those scriptures.
Take that list and meditate on it for the week.