The same God who dealt with Abraham speaks now to us. “My Son died because of your sins and was raised again because of your declaration of acquital,” God tells us in the gospel. “I will count anyone in right standing with me who truly says ‘Amen’ to those realities.” (See Rom. 4:23-25.)
“How can this be?” we ask. “Surely we must contribute something!” But no. This God calls into being what does not exist. He did not make the universe from spare parts. He does not need our contribution to make us righteous. God simply pronounces us righteous — us, who have no righteousness and no right to be called righteous. And when God calls us righteous, we become righteous. Only God can perform such a feat. We must trust him entirely to do it. We cannot contribute anything to it. We can only say “Amen!” to God’s gospel promise.
When the God who speaks into being what does not exist promises to love us and to forgive us for the sake of Jesus Christ, we can say with absolute confidence, “Amen, God!” And when we do, God says, “I pronounce you righteous and, by my saying that, I make you what I call you.”