Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Proof of Our Reckoning

For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” … Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. (Romans 4:3; 23-25)
“Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness” — that’s what Genesis 15:6 says. “Righteousness” is rightness, being right with God. It is a word of covenant relationship, a judgment or determination about whether one has kept the terms of covenant. God made covenant with Abraham that day (Genesis 15:7-21). Abraham believed and was judged to be right with God on that basis.

In his letter to believers at Rome, the apostle Paul shows how this has always been God’s way of being in right relationship with Him. It was not only Abraham who was made right with God in this way, but also everyone who believes the promise God made is counted as righteous.

This promise is fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah, Son of David, Heir of Abraham. Everything God promised Abraham funnels down through Him to all who are in Him. He was delivered up, nailed to the cross, for our offenses, all the ways we have been out of joint with God. More than that, He was raised from the dead for our justification. His resurrection demonstrates that our offences have been dealt with before God — and that God has accepted it — so that we may be judged as being in right relationship with God.

It is an accounting, a reckoning, an imputation. God puts Jesus’ act of obedience to our account. This is reckoned to all those who accept the fulfillment of what God promised Abraham, who believe that God has raised Jesus, Messiah and King, from the dead. We are now judged to be righteous, declared as being in right relationship with God through Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the proof of that declaration.