David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works...
Thoughts for Today:
Abraham did not live under the Law because it wasn't introduced until 400 years later by Moses. However, despite this difference "the same thing" Paul references in our passage today is like Abraham -- David discovered believing God is more important than works. David learned that although he lived under the Law he could never be saved by it. I'll bet it gave David great relief to know "God credits righteousness apart from works". Why do I think so? Because many of David's "works" were evil.
Remember the story of David and Bathsheba from 2 Samuel 11. David should have been leading his troops in battle, but instead he was hanging out late at night on the rooftop of his palace. He spied a beautiful young woman (Bathsheba) who was bathing nearby; he sent for her -- discovering she was the wife of one his most valued soldiers -- Uriah; regardless of this knowledge, he began an illicit affair with her which ultimately led to a pregnancy. Rather than confessing this sin and dealing with the consequences, he instead ordered Uriah to be placed on the front lines of the battle -- thereby assuring his death. David thus became not just an adulterer, but a murderer as well.
I'm sure we all could agree that David's acts were evil and deserved punishment of the highest level. In fact when confronted by Nathan the prophet in chapter 12, even David agreed. I think it is interesting to note -- David's early writing in Psalms contained many references to his own righteousness (how there was no vanity in his life, or inequity on his hands). But then he stumbled with Bathsheba -- he realized he wasn't as righteous as he thought he was -- and his later Psalms reflected this discovery.
Questions to Ponder:
I think from time to time we can all begin to feel a little self-righteous.
That is until like David we discover just how flawed we are.
I am so very grateful God blesses me with righteousness based on belief and not on works. Are you?
Or do you still think your works will be enough to earn God's forgiveness?