“And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” Genesis 15:6
It is no uncommon thing in Scripture to put the act for the object, especially with regard to faith and hope. Thus hope signifies the object of hope (Jeremiah 14:8; 1 Timothy 1:1; Hebrews 6:18) and faith is often put for the object or doctrine of faith or that which is believed in, as when it is said Paul preached the faith which once he destroyed and Felix heard him concerning the faith of Christ, and when the Scripture speaks of keeping and contending for the faith and holding the mystery of faith, and the like.
Thus, when Abraham is said to have “believed in the Lord,” the meaning is that he believed in the promise of God, that he should have a seed and a very numerous one. Abraham believed that the Messiah would spring from his seed. He believed in Him as his Savior and Redeemer. He believed in Him for righteousness, and he believed in His righteousness as justifying him before God. It was not the act of his faith — but the object of it. It was not the promise he believed — but what was promised, and his faith received even Christ and His righteousness (Romans 4:3, 10, 22-24).
Reader, mark well how Abraham was justified before God and follow this example of the father of the faithful. It is by faith in Jesus Christ alone that we can be justified before God. It was by faith all the 0ld Testament saints were justified, as well as the New. This distinguishes the Christian religion from all systems of mere morality, and to err in this is to err in the fundamentals of Christianity.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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