By David Cook
Long ago there was a man named Terah who had a son named Abram who lived in Ur of the Chaldeans in the land of Mesopotamia. Abram married Sarai, they wanted to have a child but she was unable to conceive and bear children. In the book of Genesis the first book in the Bible, Moses wrote;
Then the Lord said to Abram; “Get out of your country, leave your relatives, your father’s house and come into the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. I will bless those that bless you; and curse him that curses you. In you, all of the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram left Haran, as the Lord had instructed him to do; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he went out from Haran. Abram took Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot, and all their belongings they had accumulated and the servants and other people that joined them in Haran and they left and began the journey to go into the land of Canaan. They continued their journey and entered the land of Canaan. Then Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, to the plain of Moreh. At that time the Canaanite people lived in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said; “To your descendant I will give this land.” So at that place, Abram built an altar for the Lord who appeared to him. Then he left and went to a mountain on the east of Bethel, and set up his tent. Bethel was on the west and Ai on the east, there Abram built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram traveled on and continued toward the south. There was a famine in the land; so Abram went down into Egypt to stay there for a while, since the famine in Canaan was severe. Genesis 12:1-10 HSV
“Abram believed the Lord;
and the Lord counted it to him as righteousness.”
–Moses in Genesis 15:6
Later in Genesis chapter 15 we read;
After these events the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision; “Do not be afraid, Abram; I am your shield, and your extremely significant and enormous, long lasting reward.” Abram said, “Lord God, what will you give to me, since I have no children, and the manager of my house is Eliezer of Damascus? You have not given me a child, one born in my house is my heir.” Apprehend this, the word of the Lord came to Abram; “This one will not be your heir; but he that will come from your own body will be your heir.” The Lord brought Abram outside and said; “Look up toward heaven and count the stars if you are able to count them; so will your descendants be.” Abram believed the Lord; and the Lord counted it to him as righteousness. He said to him; “I am the Lord that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to inherit it.” Genesis 15: 1-7 HSV
What are we to conclude about Abram who later is called Abraham and is known as the “father of faith”? Saint Paul explains; —What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. Romans 4:1-5 NIV
So Abraham found righteousness with God because he believed God, he was justified by faith, not because he kept the law because the law had not been given yet.
Scripture taken from the ╬ HSV – Holy Scripture Version™, Copyright © 2009 by David M. Cook, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica. Use of either trademark requires the permission of Biblica.