Islam, Judaism, and Christianity recognizes Abraham as their Patriarch or a pillar of their faith and there is good reason for them to. Abraham exercised great faith in his trust in the one true God as he willingly believed God’s promises by leaving his home land.
Traveling in those days are not like traveling today. Today we can map out our course looking for the smoothest route. Before we climb in our comfortable car; we can check the weather and even Google map the streets to get an idea of what the area looks like. As we map out our course; we can adjust our route so there is a five-star hotel on the way and specific restaurants.
In Abrahams day, it was dangerous to travel. Chances are that Abraham took a whole entourage of people and animals with him, so there was some safety in numbers and a nice supply of food. But to go in uncharted areas could be trouble. He could run into a dangerous group that outnumbered him. Abraham probably worried if there will be enough fresh water? Will the terrain be too rough for some? What if we push through an extremely tough area only to run into something that is impossible to cross?
Abraham laid down his fears and simply believed that God had something great for him.
In Romans chapter four, Abraham is the focal point of Paul’s argument.
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Romans 4:1-3
Paul is quoting Genesis 15:6. The fifteenth chapter of Genesis is a beautiful picture of God showing grace to Abraham by blessing him and making him the father of many nations. Abraham is told that his descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky (vs5). God confirms his promise with Abraham by setting up the one-sided covenant with Abraham (vss. 17-18). In the middle of God working; Abraham simply believes God and it is accounted to him as righteousness (vs. 6).
Instead of simply understanding the simplicity of Scripture; it seems that man wants to add to it. Usually this means one of either extreme. The first is that it is up to each person to do enough good to be right with God, but we have barely started our study in Romans and we have seen that there is “no one righteous, no not one.” (3:10) and “all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (3:23). This why God reached out to save us because we are a mess and are unable to save ourselves.
The other extreme is one says, “Yeah, yeah, I have faith in God”, but they live their life like there is no God and they live a greedy, selfish, and hateful life. It is easily seen that they do not really know Christ, but just verbally said some words, because it is with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness (10:10).
Back in Romans, in verse four of chapter four; Paul makes a strong statement declaring that righteousness comes through believing God and not of works. He is basically saying:
When you get your paycheck; do you say, “Wow my boss is so nice to give me this money.” NO! You worked for it; you deserve it. If you worked 39 ½ hours, you expect 39 ½ hours of pay on it. Not more or not less. Your wages are not counted as a gift or grace but of a debt to that which is owed.
Paul makes it clear that the one who does not work for salvation, but believes, has his faith credited as righteousness (vs. 5). The cool thing is the way that this is written in the original language is showing that this a continual act done by God alone. God is the only one that can make someone righteous.
The beauty is that God the Father sent His son, Jesus Christ to pay our sin debt in full on His one-time act on the cross. Since you are unable to do enough good works; He is calling out to you to rest in Him; because He is sufficient and able to save.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:29