So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6 (NIV).
Paul’s verse here uses a four-thousand-year-old story to remind us today of just how faith works. God touches us, reaches out to us, and we get to then believe. When we believe, God credits His love, His salvation to us as righteousness. We don’t do anything to earn, or deserve, or merit getting this righteousness. God does it because that’s who He is; it’s what He does. It’s why Jesus came to us.
Example: what do you know about Abraham? We first meet him in Genesis 11, when he is named Abram. God sees Abram, then contacts him and sends him on a journey. What does Abram do? He accepts what God says. He believes. He leaves his home in Haran and goes to a foreign place just because he trusts this invisible God.
If you read the next fourteen chapters of Genesis, you see how God blesses Abram. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham, and tells him that he, Abraham, will be a blessing to the entire world. God implies that, through Abraham’s (at-that-time) unknown descendants, He will send a Messiah who will deliver all of mankind. Abraham believes all this and continues to follow God, becoming the first of the billions of Jews…and Christians.
But do you know something else about Abram/Abraham? He was a flawed human being. Twice he lied about his wife, Sarah, actually being his wife. He acted out of fear, not trust. He short-circuited the inheritance God promised him through his legitimate son, Isaac, causing ethnic, social, and political rifts we still feel today. Abraham was an admirable man who still made mistakes
Despite this, God made Abraham righteous anyway. God continued to bless Abraham, abiding with him to the end of his days here. Eons later, Jesus spoke of knowing Abraham, not as a past-tense activity but as proof that the human dead live on in eternity, where Abraham was then (and is still now).
I hope nobody is examining my sins four thousand years from now. I hope nobody is reading about them, or about yours, or even about Abraham’s. Four thousand years from now, I’ll be in heaven and not dwelling on my sins any longer. Hopefully you’ll be there, too, and we’ll have long ago met Jesus, and Abraham (and Sarah too). That will all be possible because of our belief in the knowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, is God, and is the only Way to God. It’ll be possible because He made us righteous because of who He is, not because of things we did during our time here on Earth. And that’s no mistake.
For further reading: Genesis 11:27-25:11, Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:7
Lord Jesus, I believe in You alone. All praise to You for making us righteous.
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