Again you have that reversed. It was not by God's righteousness that Abraham had faith. Abraham's faith was not the evidence that he possessed God's righteousness; rather it is by faith that he possessed God's righteousness. That is confirmed by what you posted: "Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" Rom 4:3). First faith, then righteousness.
Let consider some scriptures in Galatians 3, shall we?
Galatians 3:6~"Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
This is the most popular Bible quotation (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3,5,6,9,22,24; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23
). Paul declared New Testament worship of Christ to be comparable to Abraham’s worship, no different as far as faith goes
The adverbial phrase, even as
, means that there is a very strong comparison to be seen
. Paul has been mentioning faith over and over, and Abraham is the greatest example of it in the whole bible OT and NT.
The Galatians stood by faith (2:16; 3:1-5
); All of the just live under the system of faith both OT and NT. God approved Abraham by faith (Genesis 15:6
). JUST AS we are. This is precious and sweet, if we can grasp Paul introduced Abraham as father to Gentiles! The Judaizer false teachers could only offer some connection to Moses by circumcision.
Why is Abraham so important? For very good reasons in opposing the legalism of work mongers. All the Jews recognized Abraham as the great friend of God, inheritor of promises, and father of the nation, in whom they took great confidence (Matthew 3:9; John 8:33; Exodus 3:6
). And so do we~ For those trusting Abraham, he was a man approved and commended by God for faith.
For those trusting circumcision, Abraham was declared righteous before it
). For those trusting Law, Abram was righteous 430 years before the law was given. (Rom 4:13-16; Gal 3:17
What did Abraham believe? God promised him a son and a multitudinous seed (Genesis 15:6
). We ask...Did Abraham call forth faith in order to be legally justified and made righteous by God at this time?Here
is where we greatly differ from Arminians and even Calvinists alike about justification, whom we find to be very similar on this doctrine, when we press them for definitions
. Arminians hold conditional
justification ~ faith is the human condition for righteousness
which your quote abov proves my point. Calvinists hold instrumental
justification~faith is the instrument receiving righteousness.
We deny both as being heretical notions, for our faith does not affect legal
justification. The text says God accepted Abraham’s faith and counted it as evidence for righteousness
that he possess, which is how we understand it: our faith is the spiritual evidence and fruit of salvation.
The difference is significant ~ is legal justification conditional, or is it unconditional? Is faith the means of righteousness before God, or is it only the evidence of righteousness?
Abraham had believed God and his promises and trusted Him obediently long before this minor event
(Genesis 12:1-4; Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:7,8; 13:4,14-18; 14:17-24
If this event was the conditional or instrumental cause of Abraham’s justification, then he was a condemned pagan in his previous acts of worship
, which God joyfully accepted.
Did Melchizedek bless Abram as a condemned sinner on his way to the lake of fire? (Genesis 14:18-20
)? Before Abraham could get started believing, God had already accepted him (Genesis 15:1
If this event was the conditional or instrumental cause of Abraham’s justification, then the shish-ka-bob javelin act of Phinehas was his condition or instrument (Psalm 106:30-31) the exact same wording is used.
Psalm 106:30,31~"Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
Question for you: "Is it an act of faith that justifies? A life of faith? Or only while you have faith? Or what?"
Why was this event singled out and quoted more in the New Testament than any passage? Abel, Enoch, and Noah were ignored, because they were not the “father” of Israel, though they proved their righteous character by their faith long before Abraham (Hebrews 11:4-7
). God wrote Genesis 15:6 for the future use of Paul in showing the important role of faith and the system which we come to KNOW our free justification by grace through Christ's righteousness, not our. Also, God wrote Genesis 15:6 to show the Jews trusting the Law that came 430 years later and to Gentiles that had no Law at all the importance of FAITH.
Galatians 3:7~Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
What glorious comfort! Gentiles show they are Abraham’s children in God’s sight by faith
! True identification with Abraham, the great friend of God, is by faith in Jesus Christ. Instead of being Jewish proselytes of Moses’ Law, faith takes Gentiles back to Abraham! God’s promises to Abraham were made 430 years before He gave Moses the Law (Galatians 3:17
Delight in the plural children here, though the promises were to a singular seed (Galatians 3:16
), for Paul introduced the glorious fact that N.T. saints
are the promised descendants!
We ask: Does an act of believing or a life of believing make you Abraham’s child or only prove it? It only proves we are a child, just as loving enemies proves us His children (Matthew 5:48
No man would believe on Christ without life first (John 3:3; 5:24,40; 6:44,65; 8:43,47; 10:26; Ist Corinthians 1:18,24; 2:14; 2nd Corinthians 2:14-17; 4:1-4; 2nd Thessolainas 2:9-14; Ephesians 2:1; Ist John 5:1
James taught very clearly that faith by itself proves nothing of salvation (James 2:14-26
). Peter taught very clearly that faith by itself proves nothing of salvation (2nd Peter 1:5-10
). What faith is under consideration here? Just any old faith? In Moses? Or in Christ alone? This must be faith used in a specific way to describe those in the religion of Jesus Christ. For this is the way Paul will describe the children of Abraham momentarily (3:26-29
). Paul had not been using “faith” for bare believing or decisional salvation, but rather as a metonym against the confidence of some in justification by the works of the Law (3:2
). The contrast is between a doctrine of salvation by the finished work of Christ evidenced by faith versus a doctrine of salvation by earning acceptance with God by Moses’ Law. The faith that proves justification and acceptance with God is faith that believes God justifies the ungodly through Jesus Christ without human cooperation at all
(Romans 4:5; John 1:13, etc.
Paul is not describing the children of Abraham as those who made a mere decision for Jesus. The issue is plainly stated in many places, including 3:11, that the just shall live by faith. The Lord Jesus Christ condemned Jews that believed on Him momentarily. Faith is not decisional regeneration, but a strong commitment to believe and obey the gospel of Christ, bearing fruit of good works (Ist Thessalonians 1:2-4; James 2:14-26; 2nd Peter 1:5-11
). The heresy of decisional regeneration is damnable. Paul means the life of faith, not an emotional moment in some “evangelistic” crusade with an organ creating your response.
Galatians 3:8~"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."
Later....Also, we need to look at Abraham's timeline to see clearly how that his faith was counted=imputhed=reckon= for righteousness.