Have you ever pondered this verse? I used to be a bit puzzled by it. How could God consider Abraham righteous simply because he believed the Lord? I mean, there are many people who believe in God or believe in Jesus as the Son of God, yet seem the farthest thing from righteous. It’s a harsh thing to say, but am I wrong?
Frankly, I don’t appear righteous a lot of the time. Nope. Far from it. (Full disclosure: I’m in the beginnings of menopause, and my own mood swings shock me sometimes.)
For those of us who have the privilege of living in these New Testament times, our righteousness comes through Jesus Christ. We don’t earn it. We don’t become more righteous when we follow God’s Word to the letter. We don’t become less righteous when we fail. Our righteousness is entirely because of God’s grace to us through the death and resurrection of His Son.
But Abraham didn’t have that gift. He lived long before Jesus came to earth. Abraham didn’t have the gospel of Christ. But the Bible says Abraham’s belief in God – his faith – is what made him righteous.
How could that be?
James explains this in chapter 2:14-26 of his letter. He tells us that our faith is made evident by our works. Note that we don’t become people of faith BECAUSE OF our works. We are not justified by our works. But he says that our faith will result in works.
In other words, our faith changes us. It changes how we live our lives. We think, speak, and act based on what we believe.
Abraham believed God, but it didn’t end there. He believed God to such a degree that it impacted his day-to-day. Abraham’s faith determined how he lived his life, where he went, who he entertained, how he spent his time.
I’m challenged by that. Does my belief in God change the way I live? What about you? Do you believe? Does it show?