(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
One of the key Scriptures in the Old Testament is Genesis 15:1 through 6, especially verse 6:
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” ...And, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body....” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward hea- ven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.... So shall your descendants be.” And [Abram]...believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.
So key is this truth of verse 6 that it is quoted, or referred to, multiple times in the New Testament!
- Romans 4:3 – “For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
- Romans 4:5 – “…to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.”
- Romans 4:9, 10 – “Does this blessedness…come upon the circumcised only [the Jews], or upon the uncircumcised also [Gentiles]? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but uncircumcised.” (compare Genesis 15:6 with 17:3).
- Romans 4:22 – Abraham, at the age of almost 100, “…did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief [that he would father a child], but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ ”
- Galatians 3:6, 7 – “…Abraham ‘believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ ”
- James 2:23 – When Abraham demonstrated his faith in God by his obedience to offer his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice to God (see Genesis 22:1-12), “…the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ ”
Six times Genesis 15:6 is quoted, at least partially, in the New Testament! God is very frugal in using words to reveal His mind! The whole Bible, that touches on everything that we could experience in our human lives, amounts to 783,137 words in the King James Version! In comparison, the IRS federal tax code and federal tax regulations were well over ten million words! And that was six years ago!
- If God says it once, it is important!
- If God says it twice, we are to sit up and take notice – it is very important!
- If God says it seven times (Genesis 15:6 and the six times quoted in the New Testament), I can’t imagine anything more important!
What is so important about, “And [Abram]…believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness…”?
- Humankind’s attempt at religion always ends up in some form of works – trying to earn God’s attention and approval by good things that we do.
According to the website, nationaldaycalendar.com/world-religion-day, there are today over 4,000 religions in the world. And all but one of these religions are man’s attempt to reach up to God!
And the Bible is clear concerning God’s view of human works to earn His approval:
✡ Isaiah 64:4 – “...we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses [the very best we can do] are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniq- uities, like the wind, have taken us away.” ✞ Ephesians 2:8 and 9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.”
Good works must follow our decision to accept Christ as Savior, not before as an effort to try to please Him! “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10).
✞ We are told in Philippians 2:5 through 8, “...Jesus Christ...made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant...as a man. He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” ✞ And, according to II Corinthians 5:21, God “...made Him [Jesus], who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” It is that righteousness of God that Abram received by faith, according to Genesis 15:6.
Quoted above is Romans 4:22. Here it is again in part: Abraham “…was strengthened in faith…being fully convinced that what He [God] had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore ‘it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ ” I believe that in the next three verses, Romans 4:23 through 25, Paul gives the best description there is of the Gospel in the very words of the Bible:
Now it was not written for [Abraham’s]...sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. [The righteousness of God]... shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our of- fenses, and was raised because of our justification.
Has God’s righteousness been imputed to you?
Put your faith in Jesus Christ now!
We haven’t yet examined the name of God which Abram used when he addressed Him in Genesis 15:2 – “Lord God….”
- We have already looked at the Hebrew for GOD (which is a variation of Jehovah) in the June 5th Gem. Written in Hebrew the word is יְהֹוִה (pronounced yeh-ho-vee’) and meaning the same as Jehovah, “…the self-existant or eternal…[One].” (Scofield’s Hebrew Dicitonary). But the yeh-ho-vee’ variation is “…used primarily in the combination ‘Lord Jehovah’….” (Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions).
- Lord (lower case letters after the L) in Hebrew is אדני (and pronounced ad-o-noy’ ) When the word stands alone, it can mean “…master…” when applied to man, and “…Master…” when applied to God. (ibid.) But when used with Jehovah (or its variation yeh-ho-vee’ ) it always applies to God. These two words together are translated…
✞ ...in the Contemporary English Version as “...LORD All-Powerful....” ✞ ...in Brenton’s English Septuagint as “...Master and Lord....” ✞ ...in the Good News Bible as “...Sovereign LORD....” ✞ ...in God’s Word to the nations as “...Almighty LORD....”
So it can be a bit confusing!
He is God, All-Powerful,
Master, Sovereign, Almighty