“…just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness”
Paul now turns to arguments for grace through faith from Scripture. He takes up the case of how God justified Abraham, the first Jew. Abraham lived before the Mosaic Law. There were no Ten Commandments in his day. God did not give those commandments until 500 years later. God justified Abraham by faith before He gave the law. Until Abraham believed God, he was a Gentile. When he believed, he became the first Jew.
Paul now gives an illustration of the points he made in verses 1-5. This is an analogy linking Abraham’s belief and the principle of grace. God justified the Galatians just as He justified Abraham by faith. It is not enough to be a natural descendant for salvation.
Abraham “believed God,
This verse quotes Genesis 15:6. God promised Abraham that he would have many descendants (Genesis 12:3). Abraham was the first Jew. If God justified the father of Judaism by faith, God certainly will justify his followers by faith as well.
Note that Abraham did not believe “on” or “in” God; He simply believed God. He believed what God said. Abraham believed God provided salvation; he did not work for salvation. He believed God’s Word.
The Greek indicates Abraham came to believe at a point in time. We come into this world physically once. We come into eternal life once. As we are not born physically over and over so we are not born spiritually over and over. Christians are not born again repeatedly.
and it was accounted to him for righteousness
“Accounted” signifies to calculate, reckon, impute, deliberate. After evaluating Abraham’s faith, God put His own righteousness to Abraham’s account when he believed. God did not justify Abraham by his self-effort. God keeps an eternal record of Abraham’s righteousness (Romans 4:7-12).
God did not circumcise Abraham to save him because God saved him before He required him to be circumcised. He credited Abraham with God’s very own righteousness. We cannot stand before God on our works.
God always saves people the same way – by faith through grace.
God set up a system whereby we appropriate grace by faith. Faith is always the sole condition for salvation (Acts 16:31; Ephesians 2:8-9). Has anyone given you the party line of legalism – that you have to do something for your salvation?
God saves people a.d. 2000 the same way he saved people 2000 b.c. God never changes His plan of salvation. He always saves people by faith through grace. There are not two plans of salvation – one by works and another by grace. God does not give a plan of salvation for Jews and another for Gentiles.
The moment we believe what God said about the death of Jesus Christ paying for our sins, God counts us as righteous as He is.