Trusting, not Trying

trusting trying 1

Yesterday we saw Paul concluded, in no uncertain terms, that the whole world is guilty before God. What can we do then to deal with this sin problem? The natural reaction of most people is to try harder to live a good life, to do more good than bad, which to them somehow tips the cosmic balance in their favor. But this is not the way according to God. The proper way, in fact the only way, is to trust, not try – to believe God, not in your own efforts. It makes the difference between heaven and hell. One little word appears a total of 9 times in Rom 4:3-24 in the NIV- “credit”:

4:3-5 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,
• 4:9-11 Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “FAITH WAS CREDITED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
• Rom 4:22-24 Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,

The word means “to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over“. It is simply given to us, free! Did Abraham do anything? None whatsoever, absolutely nothing! He simply believed God, took God at His word, placed himself completely in God’s hands, and God reckoned him as righteous, in right relationship with God. He did not count his sins against him.

Some feel that being righteous must be based on some ritual, in Abraham’s case circumcision, in order to have this right standing before God. Nowadays that ritual might be changed to joining a church, or temple in other religions, or baptism, or becoming lifelong vegetarians etc. But that is not the case. Abraham was counted righteous while uncircumcised, before any ritual, which came later only as a sign that he had faith. So not works, not rituals, only faith, trusting in God alone.

That’s good news! Because we gentiles can believe in God who justifies the ungodly, who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, and our faith is credited as righteousness. We too, can be right with God, no longer alienated from God because our sins have been forgiven. We no longer have to live under the burden of guilt. Have you done that, trusting in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and reconciled to God? Don’t delay. That’s the most important decision you can make. Do it now.

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