Key Verse: Romans 4:3 “…Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
How would you feel if you were almost 100 years old, your wife was 90; and you were still childless, even though God had promised you a son? You probably would have given up hope by now. You’d question the accuracy of the promise: at least, thinking that maybe you had misread the lines.
But Abraham, “against all hope…in hope believed” (v.18). He “believed God” and this act of faith (the hope plus the act of physically loving his 90-year-old wife) became the means, not only of the promise being fulfilled, but also of his justification. Because of his belief in the inviolability of God’s word, Abraham hung on to the promise and acted upon it. God, seeing this remarkable faith, counted it as “righteousness”, and Abraham was justified in His sight.
Notice that Abraham’s faith did not weaken, in spite of the physical realities. His body “was as good as dead” (v.19) and “Sarah’s womb was also dead”, but His faith was alive. The Bible says he simply “faced the fact” of the physical limitations and embraced the spiritual possibilities. His faith was so strong that he saw the promise fulfilled and became “the father of many nations” (v.19).
Paul makes the point that Abraham was vindicated, not because he was unusually adept at obeying the Law, but use of simply, persistent faith (v.13). It wasn’t his performance alone — bu the tenacity of the belief upon which his actions were founded. Abraham was convinced that God could be trusted and, in return, God trusted Abraham.