According to Romans Chapter 4, Abraham believed God and his belief was counted as righteousness.
Let us examine this statement. The word for believe is the Greek word, pisteuō, which
by definition means to give credit, have confidence in, to have conviction and trust in, to acknowledge.
Notice that it does not just mean to acknowledge as true BUT to put one’s trust and confidence in. So then to believe in God, or have faith in God is to have relationship with God.
In other words one is entrusting himself to God for his whole life. This relationship is what constitutes salvation AND accredits to the believer Christ’s righteousness.
Counted is the same word as imputed (logizomai)
which means to to pass to one’s account, determine, purpose, decide.
So what is righteousness? According to the bible, righteousness which in the Greek meansdikaiosynē, approved of by God withintegrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness correctness of thinking feeling, and acting just and virtuous.
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Romans 4: 3
“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Galatians 3:6
“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” James 2:23
Romans 4: 4,5 says that to him who works for his salvation the reward is of debt and not grace. In other words if we work to try and attain God’s righteousness we are in a state of debt. WE OWE. How can we pay? Well, scriptures say that in order to work for our salvation we must keep ALL THE LAW. That means we cannot break even one and scriptures tell us that no one has ever been able to do this except Jesus. The bible says that ALL have sinned and fallen short. There is NONE THAT DOES GOOD!
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3: 23
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” Romans 3:10
The good news is that for those who believe (have relationship) with God through Jesus Christ, they are justified and made righteous by faith through Grace(God’s mercy)
This means that our reward of eternal life is of grace and not of debt. God imputes Christ’s righteousness and does not hold our sins against us they are forgiven and forgotten!
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Romans 3:24
“ Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” Romans 4:6-8
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE FOR ALL.” Hebrews 10:10