There once was a man who set out on a journey. He didn't know where he was going, only that he was following a promise from God. He left houses, lands, positions, and possessions to obey the call of the One who was greater than it all. Years passed. He kept journeying, following but not seeing the answer to the promise. One evening, the man sat worrying, wondering. The voice of the One who holds it all together, spoke. "Fear not, I am your shield and your reward shall be very great." The man answered, "But God what will you give me? I have waited all these years and I don't have even one of what you have promised. Your version is Plan A but I really don't see it happening. Should I move onto Plan B?"
"Come outside. Look toward the heaven and number the stars if you are able to number them. So great shall the blessings be that I have for you." said the Great I AM. The man believed the Lord and it was counted to him as righteousness. Simple as that. God spoke, the man believed. That belief, that faith, was credited to the man as righteousness. Credited means to take something that belongs to someone and credit to another's account. It is a one-sided transaction. Today many sincere people are confused about what God wants them to do. They want to do right, they even want to be consider righteous before God but seeing their frailty, their own selfish heart, the sin in their past that haunts them today, they wonder how could that ever be possible.
Paul, the author of many books in the New Testament, quotes these words repeatedly. "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:6. Paul got the gospel and desperately wants us to know it too. Throughout the book of Romans, Paul tells us that though we have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory. God, as a gift, justified us by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24) To be justified means to be pardoned from the guilt and penalty of sin. As huge as that pardon is, it doesn't stop there. God then gives the believer's sin to the account of Jesus Christ, and the perfect righteousness of Christ to the believer. All of this is possible because of the sacrificial death of Jesus, the perfect, sinless Lamb of God. The sinner receives this gift of God's grace by faith, by belief, alone.
So why is it so important to believe that? It only affects absolutely everything. What I believe in my heart, determines how I think and act. I will be led into freedom or more bondage all according to what I believe. Romans 5:1 "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." As one who forfeited that peace for way too many years, I am clinging to the Word of God that is truth. It is far weightier than my own thoughts and feelings. It is absolute truth. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." (John 8:32) Like the man in Luke 9:24, I am crying out, " Lord, I do believe! Help my unbelief!"