Abraham had faith; in other words, he believed and trusted God. For that reason, God gave Abraham a right relationship with himself.
In Romans chapter 4, Paul explains that lesson with words from Genesis 15:6, and he repeats those words several times. Now he adds that he is not simply teaching us about Abraham. If we want a right relationship with God, we must receive it in the same way. We must believe and trust God.
Abraham believed that God gives life to dead people (4:17). In the same way, we believe that God caused Jesus to live again after his death. So we too recognise the power of God to do things that we consider impossible.
Because of Jesusí death, we now know how God can give us a right relationship with himself. We all are guilty of many wrong and evil deeds (3:23). However, Jesus suffered our punishment at his death (5:6-9) so that God can forgive us (4:7-8).
Then God raised Jesus from death, and gave him the place of greatest honour in heaven. That proves that God has accepted Jesusí death for us. It proves that God really has forgiven the wrong and evil deeds of his people (Acts 2:32-36; Hebrews 1:3). Jesusí death gives us a right relationship with God; the fact that he rose again to life proves it.
God will not accept us in any other way. We cannot earn a right relationship with him; we cannot make ourselves good. However, God offers to change our lives completely (John 3:3-6; 2 Corinthians 5:17); and he offers it as a free gift.
Next part: Peace with God (Romans 5:1)
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© 2018, Keith Simons.