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by Don Costello
11/28/2008 / Bible Studies
And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
1."And he believed in the LORD"
a. believed [539 * 'aman] [Strong's: to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; to render firm or faithful, to trust or believe"]
b. The Blood Covenant, H. Clay Trumbull, p.220: "The Hebrew word 'heemeen' , here translated "believed in", carries the idea of an unqualified committal of self to another. It is from the root aman with the two fold idea of "to be faithful" and "to trust".
c. I personally believe this is a reflection of what has been going on in Abrams heart since before he left Ur, that he had been believing God the whole time and that he grew in his faith. I think this is demonstrated by Paul and James in their writings about this verse in the next section.
d. However, if in verse 5 there was a supernatural event such as Abram taken to outer space or he was able to miraculously see the stars in the middle of the day, I can see it causing Abram's believing, his faith to grow stronger.
2. "and he counted it to him for righteousness."
a. This verse is quoted by the Apostle Paul in his powerful explanation of New Covenant righteousness.
1). Romans 4:1-11 "What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
How was it then reckoned ? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcision.
a). One of the main arguments here is the covenantal reality that Abraham was declared righteous by God before circumcision, in order to establish the precedent that those of us in the New Covenant can receive that same righteousness by having faith in Christ and not being circumcised.
2). There was in Abram as Trumbull writes, "an unqualified committal of self" to God.
e. It is also described in James in his explanation of the relationship between faith and works.
1). James 2:21-23 "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made complete?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."
a). The flip side to this principle is that the heart that is committed in faith that is justified without works will also produce works, that will complete ore perfect that faith, as James said previously in this same epistle.
b). James 2:18 "Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."
My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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