Home > Hermeneutics > In Genesis 15:6, we find the earliest mention of three of the most important words which are used in connection with the sinner’s salvation

In Genesis 15:6, we find the earliest mention of three of the most important words which are used in connection with the sinner’s salvation

In Genesis 15:6, we find the earliest mention of three of the most important words which are used in connection with the sinner’s salvation, and most significant and blessed is it to see them here joined together. “And he [Abraham] believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness.” What a remarkable anticipation was this of the fuller unfolding of the Gospel which is to be found in the Prophets and the New Testament! It records the response made by “the father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11) to the amazing promise which Jehovah made to him: that, despite his being so old (almost one hundred years), he should not only beget a son, but ultimately have an innumerable seed, and that from the same should spring the Messiah. As Romans 4:19, 20, states,

he considered not his body now dead… he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.”

First, here we have the simplest definition of faith to be found in the Bible: “he believed in the Lord.” More literally, “he amened Jehovah”: that is to say, his heart gave the answering assurance “it shall be so.” In other words, by implicitly receiving the Divine testimony, he “set to his seal that God is true” (John 3:33). He realized that it was the word of Him “that cannot lie.”

Second, we here learn what was God’s gracious response to that childlike confidence which so honored Him: “He counted it to him for righteousness.” The word “counted” means accounted or placed to his credit; the same Hebrew word being translated “imputeth”’ Psalm 32:2: “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity”— charges it not against him. It is not the act of Abraham’s faith which is here referred to, but the glorious Object to which it looked, namely, his promised Seed and Son—his Savior.

Third, we are here taught how a believing sinner is legally constituted just before God. By nature he has no righteousness of his own, for so long as he be without Christ, his best performances are but as filthy rags in the sight of Divine holiness. Not only was Abraham destitute of righteousness, but he obtained it not by any efforts of his own: his faith was the sole means or instrument which linked him to a righteousness outside of himself. After citing his case, the apostle went on to say,

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6),

for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness” (Romans 10:10).

Since the above treats of such a vital aspect of the Truth, we will link with it and consider briefly Deuteronomy 25:1.

“If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.”

That is the first occurrence of this important word, and its setting more than hints at its meaning.

First, justification is entirely a judicial matter, being the sentence of pronouncement of the Judge of all the earth.

Second, it is the opposite of condemnation, and when one is condemned in the law courts he is not made wicked, but adjudged guilty.

Third, he is regarded as “righteous,” that is the Law has nothing against him—because in the believer’s case all its requirements have been fully met by his Surety.

We may also consider in this connection, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever” (Exodus 14:13). How deeply significant is that first mention of “salvation,” containing as it does all the prime elements of our spiritual deliverance. It was the Lord’s salvation, in which they had no part or hand, yea, they had to cease from all activity in order to see the same. It consisted of a miraculous deliverance from death. It was a present thing, which they experienced that day. It was complete and eternal, for they would see their enemies again “no more for ever.”

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

  1. October 16, 2018 at 4:49 am

    Hope you are doing well brother, God bless you

    • October 26, 2018 at 3:56 am

      I am doing fine brother. I pray that everything is going good with your family and ministry.

      • October 26, 2018 at 11:18 am

        Everything is well on my end just wanted to check with you brother!

      • November 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        That is good to hear brother. Thanks for checking in with me. Blessings.

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