Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.Romans 4:22(NASB)
God knew before the world was created that man would sin, and the wages of sin is death - spiritual death, physical death and eternal separation from their Creator. God ordained that the one and only way that a race of sinful creatures who were made in the image and likeness of God could be forgiven of their sin, would be through the shed blood of a perfect Kinsman-Redeemer - but none were good enough - not even one.
However, in eternity past, before the foundation of the world, God purposed that the only payment for the sin of the world could be the shed blood of His only begotten Son. But He was the immortal, invisible, uncreated, eternal, perfect Son of God. He was the incarnate Word of God through Whom all things were made.
But God in His wisdom purposed that the Word would become flesh. He planned that His Son would be born as a mortal, physical, and yet perfect Son of Man. He would be the incarnate God... born into the human race, but without Adam's inherited sin nature which was imputed to all humanity. He would be tempted like we are... but would live a perfect, sinless life and willingly die a sacrificial death. He would freely give His lifeblood as the ransom price for the sin of the whole world - so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.
God made His redemption plan in the eternal council chambers of heaven and set it in motion the moment that Adam sinned. God purposed that ALL who believed in the shed blood of His only begotten Son (Who would be born through the seed of the woman) would be declared righteous.
That Seed Who would be born into the human race, would pass through a man called Abraham and his descendants. The promised Seed was to be born through Abraham's dearly loved son Isaac, of the nation of Israel, of the family of Judah, of the house of David - of the Son of Mary.
God's plan started to unfold little by little, and as time progressed man understood more and more of God's perfect redemptive plan. Holy men of God who believed His Word were moved to write the Scriptures as they were led by the Spirit of God - and God's perfect plan began to unfold before their very eyes.
God's plan of redemption was not fully known until He sent JESUS, His only begotten Son into the world - that we might live through Him and be declared righteous by God's grace - through faith in His redemptive blood.
Faith in God's Word has been the non-negotiable way that sinful man could be declared righteous in the eyes of a holy God from the beginning. There is no other way to be saved and credited with righteousness other than by faith in Christ. God purposed that salvation would be a free gift of God's grace which would be appropriated by faith - and no attempt, by man to achieve righteousness any other way or through any other person, would be accepted by God.
The apostle Paul used both Abraham and David as evidence that salvation in the Old Testament was similarly by God's grace, through faith in His Word. Abraham believed God... and that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.
It was not what Abraham did that caused God to credit him with righteousness. It was what Abraham believed. Abraham did not earn his salvation, but received it as a free gift of God's grace - by faith.
From the beginning of creation to the end of Christ's millennial reign on earth, salvation can only be received as a free gift from God - through faith. Men are reckoned to be righteous by faith and never by works of the Law. It is people who believe the gospel of God that are credited with righteousness and not those that try to do good deeds to earn their salvation. Nothing we do could ever cause an unrighteous sinner to become a righteous saint.
For 4000 years, God's plan of redemption slowly unfolded until the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. And Abraham was one of many men and women who believed God would keep His Word - and their faith was credited to them as righteousness. When we trust the Word made flesh - that He died for our sins according to the Scriptures and was buried and rose again the third day - we will be saved by God's grace - through faith.
Although there are differences in the way that God works through His servants in each dispensation, the way to be saved remains the same. The means of salvation is always a matter of believing God's Word and not by human merit, works of righteous, or the keeping of rules, regulations, and rituals. Praise God that our salvation does not depend on what we DO but in Whom we BELIEVE.
Heavenly Father, I have so often tried to please You by the work that I do or the rituals that I have carried out - but I see that there is nothing that I can do that can ever earn Your favour. Thank You that in Christ I have been made righteous by faith. Help me to live to Your praise and glory, AMEN.
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