An Act of Faith

“Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him
for righteousness”
(Romans 4:3).

Abraham was called while in Ur by God, to go to Canaan. The divine promise implied he would become the father of multitudes and his descendants would be a great nation. This promise was fulfilled, initially in Israel, and later through the church.

As a sign of the covenant and the promise, God gave Abram (a name that means “exalted Father”) a new name: Abraham, “father of a multitude” (Gen. 17:5). The patriarch was also called a “friend of God” (James 2:23) because of his faith, his obedience, his faithfulness, and his intercession.

How did Abraham gain his salvation? Paul explains what the Scripture says and shows us the good way of all matters of life: go to the Bible and see what it says. Charles Spurgeon rightly said, “A Bible that is falling aparts usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” The Scriptures say it was by faith (Rom. 4:3). Now then, the text says that “it was accounted to him.” This is an expression that implies something was “deposited” or “transferred to a personal account.” Abraham’s faith was credited to his account with God as justice.

Paul expands on this by saying that, if we consider salvation as a salary, it would be a payment or reimbursement for work that was done, a reward or payment; on the contrary, salvation is an undeserved gift. The sinner is deprived, far apart, destitude. God’s grace does not provide compensation for services rendered; instead, God provides His free gift, which must be received and accepted by faith.

The Jews had Abraham for a model of a righteous man, and Paul knew this. They thought that their works and faithfulness had led them to gain merits before God. That is why Paul gets to the very heart of the matter, to show that he is actually a model of faith and a close walk with God.

The problem has always been the same, whether in the days of Abraham, Paul, or even our own: self-sufficiency leads us to destruction. None of us wants to feel like we have needs or are dependent; we all want to get along on our own. But it is when we acknowledge our need, when we allow God to act, when we admit our illness, that the Doctor can apply the remedy, the cure, and they prove effective.

During an anguish-filled night, Abraham heard the divine voice once more:

“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield,
your exceedingly great reward” (Gen. 15:1).
The promise seemed unfulfilled, so he begged
for tangible evidence that he promise would be fulfilled.
“Then he was led outside his tent and told to look up
to the unnumbered stars glittering in the heavens; and as he did so,
the words were spoke, ‘So shall thy seed be’ (Gen. 15:5).
‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness'”
(Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 136).

God bless you. Believe, and you shall see wonders!