Faith counted as righteousness.

"And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness" - Genesis 15:6

   In Genesis chapter 15, Abram, the LORD has not yet been changed his name to Abraham, was brought outside by God and shown the heavens. Abram desired a child to become his heir. God took him outside and told Abram, "number the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, so shall your offspring be" (Gen. 15:5). 

   The next statement is what I find amazing. Moses notes that Abram "believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness."  I have a couple observations of this text. The initial observation is that Abram "believed the LORD". The second observation is that for believing he was counted as righteous. These observations lead to three questions:
1. Who counted Abram as righteous?
2. Why did believing in God count Abram as righteous?
3. Does our belief count us as righteous today?

Question #1: Who counted Abram as righteous?
    The answer is God. God counted Abram as righteous, because righteousness comes from God and righteousness is God's to give. The Bible says in Romans 3:21 that the righteousness of God is manifested apart from the law to us! Thus, God is the source of righteousness.

Question #2: Why did believing in God count Abram as righteous?
    This question is answered by one word - faith. Faith, according to Hebrews 11:1, is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." To word this differently, God counted Abram as righteous because Abram had assurance of things hoped for and conviction of things not seen. Truth is that without faith, according to Hebrews 11:6, it is impossible to please God. In no way would Abram been able to be counted as righteous if he did not have faith that God was able to do what God had told him and showed him.

   Romans 4:18-22 gives us a beautiful picture of Abram's faith. Paul explains that Abraham hoped against all hope, he did not weaken in faith, no unbelief made him waiver concerning God's promises and he was fully convinced God was able to do what He had promised. "That is why his faith was counted to him as righteousness" (Rom. 4:22). So Abraham was assured God could do what Abraham hoped regardless of how impossible it seemed and he was convicted by confidence in God's word, that his offspring would be as many as the stars in the sky.

Question #3: Does our belief or faith count us as righteous today?
    Yes. Again, without faith it is impossible to please God. What must I believe? First, Hebrews 11:3 tells us that by faith we must understand that the universe was created by the word of God and that God created the universe out of things unseen. Second, Hebrews 11:6 tell's us that if we are to draw near to God we must believe in His existence. Thirdly, Romans 4:23,24 declares that righteousness will be counted to us by God, as He did to Abraham, if we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.

   The third observation is what Moses did not say. Moses did not say that Abram doubted the LORD, for Abram would not have been counted as righteous then. We will not be counted as righteous if we doubt that God created the universe by spoken word or that He created the universe out of things unseen. We will not be counted as righteous if we doubt His existence. We will not be counted righteous if we doubt that God was able to raise Jesus from the dead. To be counted righteous we must be fully convinced. Are you fully convinced?

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