Genesis 15 shows that God "counted" Abraham's belief in God's promise as BEING
THE SAME AS "righteousness."
Note that this great
promise includes Abraham having his own naturally born son as his heir.
to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that we, like Abraham, are "reckoned," "counted,"
and "imputed" with righteousness, based on our believing of God's promise of salvation by faith in
Romans 4:17 contains a strange phrase in this regard:
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed,
even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great
reward. Note -- God renamed, "Abram" -- "Abraham".
2And Abram said, LORD God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house
is this Eliezer of Damascus?
Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall
not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven,
and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
In the New Testament book of Romans chapter 4 we have the inspired commentary on this:
Verse 19 confirms again that the bodies of Abraham and Sarah were dead as far as having children.
Furthermore, verses 20-25 show God's great pleasure in, and high regard for, Abraham in believing God's promise
This included, as we saw above, God's promised giving of a naturally
born son to be his heir.
King James Bible (KJB)
1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2For if Abraham were justified
by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted
unto him for righteousness.
4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5But to him that worketh not,
but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man,
unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man to whom
the Lord will not impute sin.
9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say
that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision?
Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet
being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness
might be imputed unto them also:
12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in
the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world,
was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made
void, and the promise made of none effect:
15Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16Therefore it is of faith,
that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but
to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)
before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall
thy seed be.
being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the
deadness of Sarah's womb:
20He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to
being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23Now it was not written for
his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord
from the dead;
was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.