And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.
For the first time in the Bible, Genesis 15:6 clearly states how we are saved. We are saved by believing God, by trusting God, by putting our faith in God.
In Genesis 15:1, Abraham had attacked a marauding army and rescued his nephew Lot. In the aftermath, fears well up. Will they counterattack? So God comes to Abraham and assures him of his protection. And he repeats his promise to make Abraham a great nation.
Abraham hears God’s promise – an astounding promise for an elderly, childless couple – and believes him. Abraham believes God’s promise. Abraham considered that God was faithful, that God could be trusted. And in response, God declares Abraham righteous (right with God). “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
That’s exactly the way you and I are saved. We believe God, we trust God’s promise, we place our faith in God’s Son, and God credits it to us as righteousness.
Salvation by faith. This is so humbling. We admit that we cannot save ourselves. We cannot earn salvation. We cannot trust ourselves to be good enough or religious enough. Our only hope is to abandon self-trust and place our trust in a Savior.
Faith is the same as trust or belief. Faith is the humble trust by which we receive the grace of God. Faith is the empty hand of a beggar receiving a gift. It is not doing something but receiving something.
This is God’s way. This is the only way. Salvation by God’s grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ. If you have never done so, call out to Jesus, even now, to save you.
He will hear that prayer.