The aim of this passage is to cause us to understand the nature of Abraham’s faith and the nature of faith that God requires from us.
Abraham’s faith was firm and unwavering and this is what it was counted to him as righteousness (Rom 4:16-23)
Faith is firm and unwavering trust in the words and power of God.
The reason salvation is by faith is so that it may rest on grace and be assured to all of Abraham’s offspring. His offspring is made up of those that have the law and keep it and those that might not have the law but share Abraham’s faith. God provides this salvation by faith because He can give life to the dead and can bring to existence things that did not exist. This is a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 17:4-5 where God said, “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.”
Abraham believed this promise despite the apparent hopelessness of his own state. His faith in God’s words was not weakened by the fact that he was about 100 years old or that his wife, Sarah, was barren. Abraham’s trust in God did not waver through unbelief but grew as he gave glory to God for the fulfillment of the promise because he was convinced that God was not limited in any way but was able to do what He had promised. This firm trust in God was why Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness.
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
What promises are you waiting on God for? How firm is your faith that God will fulfil these promises?
Similarly, faith in God’s provision of atonement and justification through Jesus Christ will be counted to us as righteousness (Rom 4:23-25)
Jesus Christ died to pay for our sins and rose again to justify us.
The words “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness” in Genesis 15:6 were not only written for Abraham. They were written for us also. Our faith will be counted to us as righteousness because we believe in God who raised Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead and in Jesus Christ who God gave up to death as an atonement for our sins and raised from the dead so that we would be justified.
1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Do you believe in salvation only through Jesus Christ?