A Righteous Life By Faith In God

What does it take to live a righteous life? Many believe our righteousness strictly depends on how we behave. That way of thinking, however, just puts the cart before the horse.

For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Romans 4:3

Our behavior changes when we put our faith in God. In other words, we knew nothing about living a righteous life before we met the Lord.

Did you ever wonder what credentials Abram had that caught God’s attention? Outwardly, he had none. How did Abram even know about God? Some think he learned about Him from Noah.

But many others believe his birth happened a couple of years after Noah’s death. So, we don’t know much about Abram before the Lord spoke to him.

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The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. Genesis 12:1

We know God didn’t arbitrarily choose Noah to save the human race. Why? Because as God searched the earth, He found Noah as the only one found living a righteous life.

When the Lord spoke to Abram, we saw nothing about his faith or righteousness, but God knew his heart. So, He chose Abram out of all the people on the earth and made him an offer.

I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. And I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” Genesis 12:2-3

Righteous life

The Founder of Israel?

In Romans 4, Paul said when thinking in human terms, Abraham became the founder of the Jewish nation. He only got to that place because he accepted God’s generous offer.

If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. Romans 4:2

I want you to see the importance of how Abraham’s legacy began. He didn’t wake up one day and declare to his wife that he would father a great nation. He did try to help God along, though.

Abraham took Sarah’s handmaiden and fathered Ishmael. When taking matters upon himself, he created problems for Isaac, the son God planned for him and Sarah.

Please understand God didn’t disown Abraham just because he made a mistake. And he won’t disown us when we make mistakes. He does, however, want us, by faith, to trust Him.

And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. James 2:23

From Abraham came a great nation. The twelve tribes of Israel came from His grandson, Jacob. God’s nation of chosen people has survived for thousands of years. And it continues to grow.

I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Genesis22:17

righteous life

The Blessings of Abraham

Abraham’s blessings sound wonderful. What’s more, Jesus used him in a story (probably a true story) of Lazarus and the rich man. In it, Abraham sat in a place of prominence.

The poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the heavenly banquet. The rich man also died and was buried, and he went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side. Luke 16:22-23

But Abraham’s legacy only happened because he believed God. All of Abraham’s accomplishments resulted because he lived a righteous life. That was his real legacy.

  • It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8
  • Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. Romans 4:13

How many times have you tried to please God by doing something? Paul quoted David, who understood God wants us to set things aside and live a righteous life.

David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: Romans 4:6

David counted it joyous that God readily forgives our sins. We get a new chance to live a righteous life because the Lord keeps no record of them.

Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” Romans 4:7-8

Live a Righteous Life

How Righteous is Your Life?

God’s promise to Abraham before he started to live a righteous life has expanded to every person. But it comes with a prerequisite.

So the promise is received by faith. God gave it as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. Romans 4:16

Too many people feel they need to live a righteous life before they come to Christ. But that works as well as putting the cart before the horse. It doesn’t work that way and never will.

We can all have a legacy like Abraham’s, although we won’t have the same results. We will, however, by faith, live a righteous life, one pleasing to God in every way.

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. Romans 4:20-21

God counted Abraham’s faith as righteous. And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s life and benefit. He included us as well.

It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Romans 4:23-24

Lord, thank you for accepting us in our sinful ways. By your grace, you showed us how, by faith, we can each live a righteous life that pleases you.

Check out these related posts about how a righteous life requires faith

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