Accurate: “free from error especially as the result of care; conforming exactly to truth or to a standard; (of information, measurements, statistics, etc.) correct in all details; exact; going to, reaching, or hitting the intended target, not missing the target.”
Accounting: “a systematic process of identifying, recording, measuring, classifying, verifying, summarizing, interpreting and communicating [credits and debits]. It reveals profit or loss for a given period, and the value and nature of assets, liabilities and equity.”
Ten times in Romans 4, Paul uses a form of the Greek word credit; other versions translate this word as count or reckon.
This Greek word is an Accounting term, involving both debits (something owed) and credits (something due to be received).
3049. λογίζομαιlogízomai; … from lógos (3056), reason, word, account. To reckon, impute, number….Actually, the verb logízomai means to put together with one’s mind, to count, to occupy oneself with reckonings or calculations…To count something to somebody means to reckon something to a person, to put to his account, either in his favor or for what he must be answerable…Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
57.227 λογίζομαιd: to keep records of commercial accounts, involving both debits and credits—‘to put into one’s account, to charge one’s account, to regard as an account… Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
Accounting. Math. It may seem a bit odd to consider the LORD’s evaluation of humanity in terms of math. But then, math deals in indisputable facts. No gray area. It is what it is. And if the deposit exceeds the debit, then the sum total is positive.
Consider His Accurate Accounting
Paul is driving home a point and he goes back to where it all began. All the way back to one man, chosen by God, one man He called to Himself.
Now the Lord said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3).
Later, circumcision would follow, as the sign of God’s Righteousness credited to him, the sign of God’s acceptance and justification.
For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised…(4:9-11).
And later, the Law would come; but before the Law and rituals, ceremonies and observances, this one would be credited as righteous.
Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness, (Genesis 15:6 CSB).
The righteousness credited to Abraham was not about his trying to be good or acting right. Righteousness is a complete and exact adherence to God’s standard; a standard that, in and of ourselves, is completely impossible to achieve and maintain.
1343. δικαιοσύνη dikaiosúnē; gen. dikaiosúnēs, fem. noun from díkaios (1342), just, righteous. Justice, righteousness… In both the OT and NT, righteousness is the state commanded by God and standing the test of His judgment (2 Cor. 3:9; 6:14; Eph. 4:24). It is conformity to all that He commands or appoints. Since God Himself is the standard of the believers, the righteousness of God means the righteousness which belongs to God or to oneself from God, or God–like righteousness (Matt. 6:33; James 1:20). Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance
“88.13 δικαιοσύνηa, ης f: the act of doing what God requires—‘righteousness, doing what God requires, doing what is right.’” Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
And before Abraham tried or acted or did anything… he believed. And in His Accurate Accounting, belief, and belief alone, is credited as righteousness.
For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” (4:3).
- In His Accurate Accounting, wages are due to the one who works: Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due, (4:4).
- For the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23).
- In His Accurate Accounting, only faith is attributed as credit: But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited… (4:5).
- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 6:23).
- In His Accurate Accounting, He credits faith, apart from works, with His Righteousness: just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works…(4:6).
- nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified, (Galatians 2:16).
- In His Accurate Accounting, it is God’s work, never our own, that credits our account: Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, “Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised… 22 Therefore it was also credited to him as righteousness. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, (4:9-11, 22-24)
- For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; (Isaiah 64:6).
- For all of us have become like one who is unclean,
How must we respond to His Accurate Accounting?
When we place our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the sum total of His Accurate Accounting equals our justification, granting us His Righteousness.
He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification, (4:25)
You may have heard Justified explained, “just as if I’d” never sinned. Through Christ, we are declared righteous in His sight, just as if we had never sinned!
Justification: 34.46 δικαιόωa; δικαίωσιςa, εως f; δικαιοσύνηb, ης f: to cause someone to be in a proper or right relation with someone else—‘to put right with, to cause to be in a right relationship with.’ Louw-Nida Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law, (Romans 3:28).
This is great news… for those who believe.
But we must never forget, the day is coming when all must stand before Him. Eternity is not left up to chance; every life will be judged according to His Accurate Accounting.
Those who have placed their faith in what Christ alone has accomplished, are credited with His Righteousness and recorded in the Book of Life. And tragically, those who depend upon their own works will receive the wages they themselves have earned.
Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire, (Revelation 20:11-15).
May we sense the urgency. The message of Jesus was never ambiguous; He was emphatically clear regarding the outcome of those who refuse Him in their unbelief.
“Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24).
The day will come when the opportunity to receive His credited Righteousness by faith will suddenly cease.
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night, (1 Thessalonians 5:2).
Let us live each day in this sense of urgency, always ready in our commitment to share the Gospel message. Let us prayerfully study and live our lives submitted to Him in obedience, that He would demonstrate His Righteousness credited to us, to a world so desperately in need.
Let us humbly, yet boldly, ask Him to use our lives to bring others to the place of repentance, that many would also be found, by His Accurate Accounting, recorded in the Book of Life.
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts, (Romans 13:11-14).
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction, (2 Timothy 4:1-2).