No unbelief made [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Rom 4:20-25)
Digging deeper in the translation of some words:
waver – separate from
promise – a legal term denoting a promise to do or give something – not secured by negotiation
counted – to reckon, count, compute, calculate
righteousness – standing the test of God’s judgment
justification – a declaration of right or justice; a judicial sentence
Abraham received a promise from God that seemed impossible – a son when he was 100 years old. But he didn’t waver. He hung on tight to the promise because God himself made it. He believed that God was able to do what he promised.
That faith was counted as righteousness. In other words, it was added to the plus side of his account. None of us can meet God’s standards. But God “tested” Abraham’s account and found faith in his promises. It equaled righteousness in God’s eyes.
And not for Abraham alone. It is counted for us, too. We must believe that Jesus death was enough to pay for our sins. And that his resurrection – belief in our living Savior – is enough to make us right in God’s eyes.
When God looks at me, he sees me with my Savior. When you think about it, it’s just as hard to believe as the promise to Abraham. Why would God and Jesus do that? And why me? I can’t really answer those questions. I can only say “But he did.” And that’s all I need to say.
He did. And I’ll hang on tight!