What Doe it Mean to Have Simple Belief?
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. Romans 4:2-3
Could Abraham sing “Amazing Grace?” Well, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, so yes, Abraham needed a Savior. We read about Abraham not being truthful about his wife, calling her his sister, and putting her in jeopardy on more than one occasion. Later, both he and Sarah did not wait on the Lord and sinned by using Hagar. Through this, Ishmael was born. So, we see the faults and sins in Abraham’s life.
So how was Abraham saved? This one is easy. The Bible makes it very clear in Romans 4:3 – “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” What does the Bible say? We do not have to guess or do mental and theological gymnastics with God’s Word. It clearly says that Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. It is so simple. We know that Abraham was made righteous before God by his faith.
The question is often raised, “What about James 2:21 where it says that Abraham was justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?”
Remember, Romans 4:3 says that Abraham was justified without the deeds of the law. He was made righteous before God the moment he believed God. We would say that he was saved right then. So, to answer the question, we need to look chronologically.
Genesis 15 is where we read that Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. This was long before Isaac was even born. It was not until Genesis 22 that he offered his son Isaac. Before God, Abraham was justified when he believed. He was then justified before men when he obeyed God and offered Isaac in faith.
Abraham was saved just like you and I are saved – by grace through faith. Believer, rejoice that we have a Savior Who never changes!
Jim Scudder, Jr.
Senior pastor of the Quentin Road Baptist Church, president of Dayspring Bible College, and host of InGrace TV and Radio.