Summary: Abraham accounted righteous for his faith
Abraham was accounted righteous by his faith—not good works. Our righteousness is as filthy rags—Isa. 64:6. We are righteous only through the new birth—John 3:1-8; II Cor. 5:17. To be right with God, we must be right with our fellowman. Note Abraham's faith—Heb. 11:8-12.
A. Righteous Through Faith—vv. 1-12
1. Person—vv. 1-2. "Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What were his experiences concerning this question of being saved by faith? Was it because of his good deeds that God accepted him? If so, then he would have something to boast about. But from God's point of view Abraham had no basis at all for pride"—LB.
2. Pardon—v. 3. Faith counted to Abraham for righteousness.
3. Plan—vv. 4-5. God counts us righteous, not for our good works but for our faith. Sinners will be made saints—I John 3:2.
4. Peace—vv. 6-8. Peace comes through having our sins forgiven—Ps. 32:1-2.
5. Plan—vv. 9-12
a. Formality—vv. 9-10. Abraham was not saved by forms of law. God blessed Abraham before he was circumcised.
b. Faith—vv. 11-12. Abraham found favor with God by faith alone.
B. Righteous Through Fellowship—vv. 13-15
1. Promise—v. 13. God promised Abraham blessings because he believed God and obeyed. See John 14:15.
2. Problem—v. 14. "If those who obey the Jewish law are to get the world, then a person putting his trust in God means nothing. God's promise to Abraham would be worth nothing"—NLT.
3. Plan—v. 15. God's anger falls on those who break the law. If we break one part of the law, we are guilty of breaking the whole law—James 2:10.
C. Righteous Through Following—vv. 16-25
1. Plan—v. 16. All God's blessings come by faith—not the law. See Heb. 11:6.
2. People—v. 17. Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation. (Gen. 17:4-5). As God gave new life to Isaac, so He gives new life to us—John 10:10.
3. Problem—vv. 18-22
a. Age—vv. 18-19. Abraham was one hundred and Sarah ninety; yet God gave them a son. See Matt. 19:26.
b. Answer—vv. 21-22. Abraham had complete faith in God.
4. Promise—vv. 23-24. Quotation from Gen. 15:6. As God accepted Abraham, so He accepts us. See John 1:12.
5. Pardon—v. 25. Through Christ we are saved. Rom. 10:9-10.
After we accept Christ as Saviour, we must maintain our relationship with the Lord. Paul spoke of cleansing ourselves from sin—I Cor. 6:11; 7:1. We must seek to live a pure and holy life—Heb. 12:14; Rev. 21:27.