Genesis 15:3-6. 3 And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” 4 And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” 5 And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
We come now to what is possibly the most comforting, hope filled verse in the entire Old Testament. It explains our relationship with God. It defines our salvation. It clarifies our justification. It removes all doubts as to how we obtain God’s good life.
But let’s back up a minute shall we?
In Genesis 12, following the Tower of Babel debacle, God called a man named Abraham to leave his home behind and go to a new “Promised Land.” And in that calling God made promises to Abraham, including the promise that he would be a great nation and that all nations would be blessed through him. It was all of God’s grace, and Abraham obeyed by faith.
But by time we get to Genesis 15 we have seen Abraham experience all kinds of ups and downs in his relationship with God. If we were keeping score of Abraham’s “good and evil” it might look like this:
+1: Abraham goes to the Promised Land.
-1: Abraham lies in Egypt.
+1: Abraham shares land with Lot.
And if we keep scoring Abraham after Genesis 15 it would look the same:
-1: Abraham sleeps with his slave Hagar.
+1: Abraham circumcises his son Isaac.
-1: Abraham lies about Sarah (again).
+2: Abraham offers Isaac to God on Mount Moriah.
But here’s the glorious truth of Genesis 15:6 – GOD DOESN’T KEEP SCORE.
When Abraham believed God, his score instantly went from 0 to 100. In that moment his faith was counted as righteousness (Rom. 4:3). He who was imperfect was credited with a perfect score. Which means God is offering us a whole new way to live. A life of freedom beyond score keeping. A life that comes through God’s promises not our performance.
By time we get to Genesis 15 it has been years since the promise was made. Surely God has forgotten. Surely God has changed his mind. Surely he has another plan by now.
No. The promise of a great nation through Abraham’s son is still the promise – your very own son will be your heir (15:4).
Looking backwards from the cross we can see that God’s answer, the promised son, was actually the promise of our Savior, Jesus. We know that God could have said to Abraham “MY very own son will be your heir.” Jesus is the ultimate promised son of Abraham. He is the blessing for the nations. He is our credited righteousness.
He is the end of all score keeping.
And what about our scoring of God? When you pray, “God, what will you give me?” what response do you expect to hear? In other words, how do you score God? If things are going great God gets an A? But if things turn difficult, if temptation grows, if trials thwart your plans, if God’s response is slow…D+? Maybe C-?
But what if today we accepted God’s ancient answer to Abraham? What if the answer to “what will you give me?” is simply the promised Son, Jesus? Union with his life. His death. His resurrection. His righteousness as our righteousness. What if that was answer enough? What if the life of Christ credits you with a perfect score, and it credits God with a perfect score too? What if we could live in the freedom of a life free from score keeping and simply walk by faith with God in his never ending grace and love?
What if to live was Christ?
How have you been score keeping yourself? How have you been score keeping God?
You in Christ
Do you believe that in Christ you have the righteousness of God? What makes this difficult? Easy?
Christ in you
How can you live FROM your righteousness today instead of living FOR righteousness?
Playlist: Counted Righteous.
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