Having just declared the amazing truths that, in spite of the universal failure of all mankind, the Jews as well as the Gentiles, to live up to His standards, God had paid the price in the Person of Jesus Christ and now accepts as righteous all who put their faith in His Son, Paul brings up the subject of Abraham, the father and greatest hero of the nation of Israel.Abraham, said Paul, had discovered something amazing about being made right with God. For if anyone had works that should commend them to God’s favor, it was Abraham. And if these works had been the cause of God’s favor to him, Abraham would have impressive boasting rights. Had he not left his homeland at God’s command, traveling without knowing his final destination? Did he not worship and obey God in every particular? Did he not finally take his most beloved son up to the mount of sacrifice at God’s command?
But Abraham did not boast before God, and God’s way was not to extol Abraham’s many achievements. Instead, the Scripture recorded what made him right with God. “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Romans 4:3 NLT
And so, from the very beginnings of the nation of Israel, God showed forth His way of making people right with Himself; Abraham believed God, and God counted him righteous. Now, God counts as righteous those who believe in the Person and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Abraham had impressive achievements; most of us, not so much. But, in fact, none of us, not even Abraham could achieve the perfect righteousness of God by works. The only One Who could perfectly satisfy the justice of God, did so on our behalf. And, just as Abraham was counted righteous by God when he hung all his hopes on the promises of God, so now, we who hang our eternal hopes solely on Jesus Christ are counted righteous by God.