The vision of the Lord directing Abraham to count the stars, woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld from a 1860 Bible in Pictures edition.
(from Abraham – Wikipedia)

What Does It Mean To Be Saved?

In the last post in this two-part series, HAVE YOU TRUSTED GOD YET? — PART 1 | Prince William-Manassas Family Alliance (familyallianceonline.org), we considered why we should spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we considered the possibility of a revival. Here we will look at what happens to us when we accept the salvation offered by Jesus Christ.

Genesis 15:6 NASB – Bible Gateway does not seem especially important, just an odd assertion. Still, let’s consider it context.

Genesis 15:1-6 New American Standard Bible

15 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,

“Do not fear, Abram,

I am a shield to you;

Your reward shall be very great.”

But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the [d]heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram also said, “Since You have given me no son, one who has been born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He credited it to him as righteousness.

Abram, who would soon be renamed Abraham, believed in the Lord, and God credited it to him as righteousness. Why? Well, here is another translation of that verse.

Genesis 15:6 Good News Translation

6 Abram put his trust in the Lord, and because of this the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him.

God seeks relationship with us as strong as good marriage between a man and a woman. What is a marriage without trust?

Note that when Abram lived his life Jesus Christ had not yet been born of the woman named Mary. Jesus had not yet died upon that cross or arisen from His hideous death. God credited Abram’s trust in Him as righteous. Because Jesus is God, when we trust Him and put our faith in Him, we do as Abram did. We put our trust in the Lord.

How does trusting in the Lord make us righteous? James explained it this way.

James 2:17-19 New American Standard Bible

17 In the same way, faith also, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

The demons believe God exist, but they don’t trust God. So, the demons don’t obey God. The demons remain enemies of God, in rebellion against Him. The demons don’t accept God as their God. When we put our faith in God, however, we put Him first in our lives.

The story of Abraham begins in Genesis 12 NASB – Bible Gateway and ends in Genesis 25 NASB – Abraham’s Death – Bible Gateway. It is a story about a man whose trust in God increases the longer he lives, and Abraham demonstrates this trust through his increasing obedience. Nevertheless, God did not reckon Abram righteous because he obeyed Him. God looked upon Abram’s heart, something we cannot do. God credited Abram with righteousness because He knew Abram believed in and trusted Him. God treasured Abram’s trust and obedience, not his accomplishments.

Similarly, when we are saved, we are saved because we trust God enough to obey Him. Our works don’t save us. Our faith in God does. Our works — the opportunity to do good works — are both our reward and our gift of obedience in love to God

Ephesians 2:1-10 New American Standard Bible

And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

Are hard times ahead? Will hard times result in a revival? Because we are just human beings, we can only guess. If we believe in God and trust Him, we will spread His Gospel. We will pray for the salvation of those who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior, and we can celebrate the salvation of those who have accepted Jesus Christ.

Because God loves us, the salvation offered by Jesus Christ is cause for joy, not sorrow.

John 3:16 New American Standard Bible

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.

Additional References

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