Abraham’s Faith Made Him Right With God
What should we say about these things? What did Abraham, the father of our people, discover about being right with God? Did he become right with God because of something he did? If so, he could brag about it. But he couldn’t brag to God. What do we find in Scripture? It says, “Abraham believed God. God accepted Abraham’s faith, and so his faith made him right with God.” (Genesis 15:6)
When a person works, their pay is not considered a gift. It is owed to them. But things are different with God. He makes ungodly people right with himself. If people trust in him, their faith is accepted even though they do not work. Their faith makes them right with God. King David says the same thing. He tells us how blessed people are when God makes them right with himself. They are blessed because they don’t have to do anything in return. David says,
“Blessed are those
whose lawless acts are forgiven.
Blessed are those
whose sins are taken away.
Blessed is the person
whose sin the Lord never counts against them.” (Psalm 32:1,2)
Is that blessing only for those who are circumcised? Or is it also for those who are not circumcised? We have been saying that God accepted Abraham’s faith. So his faith made him right with God. When did it happen? Was it after Abraham was circumcised, or before? It was before he was circumcised, not after! He was circumcised as a sign of the covenant God had made with him. It showed that his faith had made him right with God before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the father of all believers who have not been circumcised. God accepts their faith. So their faith makes them right with him. And Abraham is also the father of those who are circumcised and believe. So just being circumcised is not enough. Those who are circumcised must also follow the steps of our father Abraham. He had faith before he was circumcised.
Abraham and his family received a promise. God promised that Abraham would receive the world. It would not come to him because he obeyed the law. It would come because of his faith, which made him right with God. Do those who depend on the law receive the promise? If they do, faith would mean nothing. God’s promise would be worthless. The law brings God’s anger. Where there is no law, the law can’t be broken.