Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6 NIV)
As we study Abram's life, it's very easy to see his many failings. As a matter of fact, Abram blew it over and over again. So how could he be called "righteous"? He was just as big a sinner as the rest of us, wasn't he? Look closely at this statement... "Abram believed the Lord,..." It wasn't Abram's actions that made him righteous. It was his belief in what God had to say. It was his faith that made him righteous.
When God told Abram that he would father a great nation, Abram believed him. In spite of the fact that he had no children. In spite of the fact that his only heir was a servant named Eliezer. In spite of the fact that both he and Sarai were growing older every day. In spite of the fact that Sarai had been barren and had not borne Abram an heir. Abram believed God. And because of that, God called him righteous, and blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. Not for anything Abram did. Not for any action he took. Not because of his "good works". Only because he believed.
The Bible contains hundreds of promises for you and me. But how many of us really believe those promises? How many of us - in spite of the intellectual knowledge that Jesus died for our sins and that we only need accept His free gift of salvation to have eternal life - how many of us continue to try to work our way to heaven? How many of us spend untold amounts of our time trying to make sure everyone around us follows all the rules, too? And as if that weren't enough, we make more and more rules up - that's "doctrine", if you don't recognize it - to make sure we have a nice, tight list of do's and don'ts for everyone to adhere to in order to reach heaven. In spite of God's infinite grace, we choose rather to be burdened by a "Law" of our own creation. Why is it so hard to remember that our actions are a reflection of our faith... not a report card that must have a string of "A's" to crack open the pearly gates?
Remember, true righteousness comes from God through Jesus Christ. Our "righteous" acts are but filthy rags without Him. (Isaiah 64:6)
"Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?" Galatians 3:3
From Newsong Ministries