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Genesis 15:6 & meaning...


believed in Yahweh, who credited it to him for righteousness.

Genesis 15:6


Genesis 15 [2.] Abram said, “Lord Yahweh, what will you give me, since I go childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” Abram said, “Behold, to me you have given no children: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.”

Genesis 15 [4.] Behold, Yahweh’s word came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come out of your own body will be your heir.” Yahweh brought him outside, and said, “Look now toward the sky, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” He said to Abram, “So will your offspring be.” He believed in Yahweh, who credited it to him for righteousness. He said to Abram, “I am Yahweh who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it.”

Genesis 15 [8.] He said, “Lord Yahweh, how will I know that I will inherit it?”


  • The Promise to Abram:

God’s Covenant with Abram: In Genesis 15, God reaffirms His covenant with Abram, promising that he will have many descendants and that they will inherit the land. This promise comes at a time when Abram and his wife Sarai (later known as Sarah) are childless and advanced in years.

Abram’s Response: Despite the seeming impossibility of the promise, Abram believes God. His belief is not just intellectual agreement but a deep, trusting faith in God’s word and character.

  • Righteousness Credited by Faith:

Imputed Righteousness: The phrase "credited it to him for righteousness" signifies that God counted Abram's faith as righteousness. This means that Abram was considered righteous before God not because of his works or adherence to the law (which had not yet been given) but because of his faith.

Faith’s Role: This verse establishes a key theological principle that righteousness before God is based on faith. Abram’s faith is seen as the basis for his right standing with God, setting a precedent for how righteousness is understood throughout the Bible.

Theological Significance

  • Foundation for Justification by Faith:

Old Testament and New Testament Continuity: Genesis 15:6 is frequently cited in the New Testament to support the doctrine of justification by faith. This continuity shows that the principle of being made righteous through faith is not a new concept but one rooted deeply in the Old Testament.

Example for Believers: Abram’s faith serves as a model for believers. Just as Abram was justified by faith, so are all who believe in God’s promises, especially the promise of salvation through Jesus Christ.

  • God’s Faithfulness:

Trust in God’s Promises: Abram’s faith highlights the importance of trusting in God’s promises, even when they seem impossible. This trust is grounded in the character of God, who is faithful and able to fulfill His word.

Unconditional Covenant: The covenant with Abram is unconditional, based solely on God’s promise and Abram’s faith, rather than any action on Abram’s part. This underscores the concept of grace.

Applications for Our Lives

  • Living by Faith:

Personal Faith: Just as Abram believed God, we are called to believe in God’s promises. This means trusting in His word and relying on His character, even when circumstances make it difficult.

Rejecting Legalism: Abram’s example teaches us that righteousness is not about following rules or performing good works to earn God’s favor. Instead, it is about having a relationship with God based on faith and trust.

  • Deepening Our Trust:

Daily Dependence: Living by faith involves daily dependence on God. This means seeking His guidance, trusting His provision, and believing in His promises for our lives.

Faith in Trials: Like Abram, we may face situations that test our faith. In such times, we are encouraged to hold fast to our belief in God’s faithfulness and ability to fulfill His promises.


Romans 4:3: "For what does the Scripture say? 'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'" Paul uses Genesis 15:6 to argue that righteousness comes through faith, not works, making Abraham the father of all who believe.

Galatians 3:6-7: "Even as Abraham 'believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.' Know therefore that those who are of faith are children of Abraham." Paul again cites this verse to emphasize that those who have faith are true descendants of Abraham and heirs to the promise.

James 2:23: "And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness,' and he was called the friend of God." James highlights that Abraham’s faith was proven genuine through his actions, showing that true faith results in obedience to God.

Conclusion: Genesis 15:6 is a cornerstone verse that illuminates the principle of righteousness by faith. Abram’s belief in God’s promise, despite the seemingly impossible circumstances, is credited to him as righteousness, establishing a foundational precedent for understanding faith and righteousness throughout the Bible. This verse teaches us that righteousness comes through trusting in God’s promises and character, not through our own efforts or adherence to the law.

As we reflect on Abram’s example, we are encouraged to deepen our trust in God, live by faith daily, and reject legalistic tendencies. By doing so, we align ourselves with the biblical principle that true righteousness is based on faith. Abram’s story reassures us that God is faithful and able to fulfill His promises, inviting us to a life of trust and dependence on Him.

belief - righteous - promise

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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