I recently answered the question, “Is faith different between the Old and New Testaments?” I began by making this clear and emphatic statement: “No matter what age men have lived in; one has always been ‘saved by grace through faith’ in the Lord Jesus Christ and His death on the cross.” Men, like David, may not have had the light (knowledge) concerning all the details of salvation through Christ, but their faith was always in the “revelation that God gave to them.” We could say that “their faith looked forward to God’s salvation” and God, who saw their faith, declared them to be righteous in His sight.

Let’s read Romans 4:1-8:  “What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham BELIEVED GOD and IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but BELIEVES IN HIM WHO JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY, HIS FAITH IS ACCOUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God IMPUTES RIGHTEOUSNESS APART FROM WORKS: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the LORD shall not impute sin” (NKJV).

We see in this passage that both Abraham and David were declared righteous by God “apart from works”; they were “justified by faith.” We know that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17) so Abraham and David had both received “a word from God’ and THEY BELIEVED IT! And because they believed it, GOD DECLARED THEM RIGHTEOUS. What was the revelation that God gave to Abraham? If you read Genesis 15:4-6 you will see that “the word of the Lord” came to him promising him a son and “he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (see also Galatians 3:6 & James 2:23). You may be thinking, “But what does Abraham’s son have to do with Jesus?” The answer is in verse 5 for after telling Abraham to look up at the stars and count them God said, “So shall thy SEED be.” God was assuring him that through this ONE SON there would be countless descendants. Who is that SEED? That SEED is CHRIST! How do we know that? Because God tells us that in Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his SEED were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy SEED, which is Christ.” Christ was the SEED that God promised right after sin came into the world, for he told the serpent who had deceived Eve, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This was the first “Gospel promise” concerning Christ and eventually Christ was “born of a woman” and became the Redeemer of all who would believe. “But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4-5). Abraham was part of “the Godly line” that brought forth the Savior into the world. Abraham believed He would come through him and God accounted his faith for righteousness!

What did David believe? We know that HIS FAITH WAS JUST LIKE ABRAHAM’S for we read in Romans 4:6-7, “JUST AS David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.’” (David wrote those words in Psalm 32:1-2). David, like Abraham, knew he could only be RIGHTEOUS before God on the basis of FAITH. David knew himself to be a sinner but he believed that “God JUSTIFIES the ungodly.” He surely didn’t have all the knowledge of how God would accomplish the forgiveness of his sins (though he did believe that God’s Son was his Lord…see Psalm 110:1; Matthew 22:41-46), but HE BELIEVED HE WOULD DO IT! This (believing God’s Word), dear friend, is the only way you can experience the forgiveness that David did and be declared righteous before God. I will end will the Apostle Paul’s gospel message to us today, “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the FORGIVENESS OF SINS; and BY HIM EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IS JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38-39).  (DO)  (525.5)