For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Some people are simply dense. In spite of themselves they’ll be so self-consumed that they miss someone who needs a smile or a word of encouragement. They are so oblivious that they fail to offer to help when others are struggling to complete a task. Most of us don’t do that on purpose. Yet we slip too easily into a focus on our own needs and live in service to the unholy trinity of Me, Myself, and I.
There is this little phrase in v. 23, speaking of Abraham and the gift to him of God’s righteousness. The phrase is not the one to which Paul refers: “It was counted to him.” That is a profoundly important phrase. It describes the manner in which Abraham was justified. He was incredibly blessed to have been counted righteous by God because of his faith. The simple truth is that we honor God when we believe his word. That is a call to faith. It is a great source of joy and favor because God’s word is a good word.
The little phrase for us are the words, “not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” In other words, the reality of Abraham’s justification was a blessing for him, and a promise for us. We are to learn something from the manner of Abraham’s blessing. Those words are for our sake as well as Abraham’s sake. If that is the case, then certainly we must realize that these words are not only for our sake. They are for the sake of all people who believe in the God who sent his Son to die for our sins and be raised for our justification.
The unholy trinity needs to be brought down from its throne if we are to believe in God and embrace the promise that was given to Abraham. And if we embrace this truth for ourselves, then surely we must extend that same promise to our neighbor, or closest friend, our family members, and even our enemies.