v 3 For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
This one statement lies at the heart of what we understand to be God’s grace. In the course of our readings about the life of Abraham we have noticed both good and bad things. He lied about Sarah being his wife; he took the easy way out of gaining a son and heir when he had a child by Hagar, Sarah’s servant-girl; and we have noted his faith as he set out on a momentous journey with his family, and later offered to sacrifice his true-born son, Isaac. It is easy to applaud parts of his life, and even easier to shake our heads when he goes off the rails.
Where would you rate him? 50% good? 80% good? 95% good?
To tell the truth, our puny efforts to grade him are doomed to failure because God declared him RIGHTEOUS. Yes – even better than 99% good. Abraham was declared by God to be righteous. 100% righteous. That would not be our human view because we are aware of the failures in his life. But that is the verdict of Heaven.
In God’s judicial system, Faith trumps Failure.
And that is the same judicial system under which you will stand before God.
You may feel acutely vulnerable, lacking in virtue, and condemned by the offences that have piled up in your life. But your Heavenly Father simply declares that Jesus has paid the penalty for the whole lot, and that you can stand upright, clean, and forgiven. You have acknowledged your sin, repented, declared your trust in Jesus as your Lord, and set your face to following Him. Faith has trumped all those failures that worried you.
God declares His verdict over you – RIGHTEOUS.
Come my child, enter the Kingdom long prepared for you.