Credited As Righteousness

“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram.  I am your shield, your very great reward.”But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”  Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”  Genesis 15:1-6 (NIV)

God made a covenant with Abraham that his descendants would outnumber the stars.  God told him that salvation would come to His people through Abraham’s lineage; that all people would be blessed through him.  In Genesis 15, we find where God was confirming that what He said would come to pass.  This was a little confusing to Abraham since he did not yet have children.

By this point in Abraham and Sarah’s life, they believed they would never have children.  Abraham obviously had that fact on his mind since he had already figured out who his inheritance would go to. (vs. 2)

The start of verses 4 and 5 got my attention.  In verse 4 it says, “Then the word of the LORD came…” and verse 5, “He took him…”

When we are facing things that causes us to doubt and fret, it seems we cannot let those things go until the, “Then God,” moment happens.  When God speaks, and when God takes us out, out of ourselves, then we can start trusting.  We can trust whatever God says and whatever God does.  His word contains the promises and instructions that should cause us to pause and stop thinking about all the impossibilities and trust the truth that all things are possible with God.

Abraham had that moment.  Verse 6 says, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”

Abraham became esteemed and was referred to often as an example of faith.  Galations 3:6 and Romans 4:3 are direct quotes of this verse in Genesis.  I, myself, have often wished that description could be made of my life.  Would it not be wonderful, that of all the things people may be able to say about us, that the one thing that would stick out in their mind would be that our faith was credited to us as righteousness before our God?

But wait.  Before we think that our faith would never equal that of Abraham’s, let’s look at some other verses.

“So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”  Galatians 3:9 (NIV)

In the Old Testament, people were taught that they had to obey the laws of God in order to be considered righteous.  Moses was addressing the people of Israel when he made this statement:  “The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. 25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”  Deuteronomy 6: 24-25 (NIV)

But then God, (there it is), came to us.  Just like the word of the Lord came to Abraham, the Word of the Lord came to us, in the flesh.   And when He came, He came to draw us to Himself, to call us to come to Him.

The Apostle Paul wrote a lot about the difference between trusting in the works of our flesh, the Law, and trusting in God.  Galations 3 and Romans chapters 3 and 4 are wonderful to read.  We cannot obtain righteousness through our works but only in our faith in God and in what Christ did for us on the cross.  Abraham did not perform any works.  He simply believed.

Paul writes this in Romans:

“Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  Romans 4:18-25 (NIV)

So there it is in verse 24: “but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”

We can be credited for our righteousness.  But we have to believe wholly on God.  We need to believe in Christ.  Not in ourselves, our works.  Not on anyone or anything else.  We have to hold on to the promises of God.  We need to praise Him for all He has done and will do.  We have to have faith in Him.

But, do we live that faith outwardly?  Do we allow others to know and see how strong our faith is?  Abraham proved his belief and trust in God’s promises by the way he lived.  And because of how he lived, others could see outwardly the faith he had inwardly for God.  That’s how people were able to say God credited that to him as righteousness.

I hope we can all say we believe in God.  We believe in Christ, His birth, death, burial and resurrection.  We believe so God does credit that to us as our righteousness.  The question is, can others see it?

Walking With God

“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”  Genesis 5:21-24 (NIV)

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”  Hebrews 11:5-6 (NIV)

In Genesis 5:24, we read that Enoch walked with God and that then “he was no more, because God took Him away.”  I like to imagine Enoch and God just walking along one day, maybe like they had many times before.  Perhaps they were admiring the beauties of creation or talking about the state of men’s hearts.  But then imagine this; God looks at Enoch and says, “You want to come on home with Me?”

I’ve seen people pass away peacefully.  They seemingly are just asleep and simply take one last breath.  Then there are some who, unfortunately, have to experience a horrible death.  In talking with others about death, I’ve said I don’t fear dying, because I hold on to the truth that to be absent from my body means I will be present with the Lord.  But I do fear how I may die.  I long to be in Heaven, but like I’ve heard my pastor say, “I’m not getting a load up to go tonight.”

It must have been great to be so close to God that He decides to just usher you on into His heavenly home.  How wonderful it must have been to not have to go through death.  However, I think instead of focusing on the fact that Enoch didn’t experience death, it would benefit us more to focus on how close he was with God.  In Genesis 5, it says that Enoch walked faithfully with God and in Hebrews 11, it says he pleased God.  The key to Enoch not having to experience death was in how he lived.

Have you ever been around people who are so close to each other that they finish each other’s sentences?  I know some twins who do that often.  They are able to finish each other’s sentences, often talking in unison, because they have been with each other since birth (or you could say, 9 months before birth.)  My husband thinks I can read his mind because many times I know what he is going to say or do before he says or does it.  But we have been married for over 30 years so it’s easy to predict how we both will react in certain situations.

The Bible says we can have the mind of Christ.  If we have that type of intimate relationship with God, that daily communion, then we can cease being ourselves, but instead be one with God.  We can know how He would have us to act and what we should say in any situation.  We can only have the mind of God if we are filled with His Spirit and we can only be filled with His Spirit if we have accepted Him as Lord and Savior.

“These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”   1 Corinthians 2:10-16 (NIV)

So we can think the thoughts of God because the Spirit of God lives within us. The sad thing is that the opposite of this is also true.  For those who have not accepted Christ, not only can they not discern the things of God, but they are blinded by Satan.  The things of God seem foolish to unbelievers as it tells us in the following scripture:

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”  2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)

As believers, when we strive to obey God and allow the Spirit to give us insight and wisdom into the things that He wants us to do, then we, too, can walk close to God.  In fact, walking with God is exactly what He wants us to do.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”   Micah 6:8 (NIV)


I want to walk with God daily like Enoch and the saints of old.  I don’t really believe God would simply transport any of us now from this earth to His home without us going through the process of death.  However, if we are His child, He will usher us into His home the moment we breathe our last breath here.  Even though God may not choose to simply take me like He did Enoch, I do hope to hear Him say someday, “Come on home with Me, good and faithful servant.”

When The Lord Comes to Visit

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.  They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”  But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”  So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel – because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.  Genesis 11:1-9  NIV

In Genesis 11:5, it says that the Lord came down to see what the sons of men were doing.  Of course, we know that God is all-knowing and all-seeing.  So why would He have to come down?  Matthew Henry’s Commentary gives a very good explanation of this chapter.  It is so theologically deep and covers way too much for me to be able to expound on it here.  (For those who want to study this further, the link is below.)  The Lord didn’t just come down to “hang out” with the people.  He already knew what they were doing, but as a result of them trying to do things on their own and without the leading of God, the Lord came down, “Before he gave judgment upon their cause, he enquired into it; for God is incontestably just and fair in all his proceedings against sin and sinners, and condemns none unheard.” [1]

I believe that the Lord wants to have fellowship with man.  Just like in the beginning when the Lord would spend time with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God desires fellowship with His creation.  But on this occasion in Chapter 11, the people were attempting to build a tower that would reach to the heaven in order to build a name for themselves.  When the Lord saw the works of their hands, He said that if the people continued to work together as one people, then nothing would be impossible for them to do.  He, of course, did not mean that they would be stronger than God.  If the people accomplished this act, then they would continue living in sin, giving God no thought or room in their lives.  With one language and united in the revelry of a sinful lifestyle, they would have had no reason to fill the earth as God had intended.  So God confused their language to cause the people to scatter throughout the earth.

We are not told if the Lord revealed Himself to the people or whether or not He talked with them.  It seems, though, that the people were not aware of His presence for they continued to work on the tower even after He came down.  However, He did observe them and carried out His plan for their lives.

This passage says several things to me:

  1. God wants to be involved in our lives. He sees every act that we do, knows every thought and intent of our hearts. Good and bad. Sometimes He meets with us to bless us with His mighty presence, but sometimes He confronts us with our sin so that we can repent and have our fellowship with Him restored.
  2. He knows what is best for us. If the people had continued to build the tower and as God said, tried to do everything on their own, they would not have learned to rely on God. Sometimes we need to be faced with our shortcomings to realize we can do nothing of real value without our Lord.  “He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.” Luke 1:51 NIV
  3. Even when we are not aware of Him, He is fully aware of us. He watches over us and orders circumstances around us for our own good. It may be confusing to us, but makes total sense to God.

As believers, we have the awesome privilege of having God living inside of us all the time.  We still at times, though, try to do our own thing and fail to listen to the leading of the Spirit.  When God visited the people in Shinar, He came for the purpose of confusing their language because of their sin.  That was a lasting change to the world because it led to the development of all the different nations.

At other times, God visits us by allowing His presence to become so real, it feels like He is standing right there in the room.  That’s the kind of visit from the Lord I long for.  His presence is always within me, but at those times when His presence is all around me, that’s the best visits of all.  My hope is that when God chooses to “visit” me with His presence, it will be for the purpose of fellowship and not to confuse my plans because they were not initiated by Him.


[1] Accessed 3/25/15:


The account of the fall of man is one of the saddest stories in the Bible, if not the worst.  Stop and think about it.  Had Adam and Eve not sinned, nothing else bad in the Bible would have occurred.  We could still be enjoying the Garden of Eden, meeting and walking with the Lord in the evenings.

Let’s read the account:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”  Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)

Let There Be Light

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.   And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.  And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”  So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.  God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.  And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.  Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.  And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.  God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.  And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.  Genesis 1:1-19  (NIV)

Have you ever read a certain passage of scripture hundreds of times and then all of a sudden, when you read it again, you notice something new?  I love it when this happens.  I’m not a Bible scholar so I may not always catch on to things like some do.  Though I have read the creation account many times, one day I noticed the order of the creation was not what I had always envisioned.