Please Stand. Turn to Romans 4. Meet Father Abraham : An Example of Faith and Obedience
R OMANS 4:1 “What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?”
R OMANS 4:17-18 “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”
R OMANS 4:19-20 “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;”
R OMANS 4:21-24 “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;”
R OMANS 4:25 “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
A BRAHAM Hebrew Name – Father of a Multitude Included as a patriarch in – Judaism – Islam – Christianity
H ARPER ’ S B IBLE D ICTIONARY “The Biblical account moves from Mesopotamia to Palestine (as is shown on Map 2 in the section of color maps). The genealogy of Abraham (Gen. 11:10-32) places him in Ur. He then receives divine instructions to leave (Gen. 12:1-8). This is followed by the story of Sarah and Abraham in jeopardy (Gen. 12:10-13:1). Next follows the tale contrasting Abraham and Lot (an ethnological story, meant to demonstrate the character and origin of the Moabites and Edomites).”
Question: Historical or Ethnological Person? What is our litmus test?
V ALIDATION Probably the best validation to the authenticity to Abraham’s existence is the direct quote from our Lord Jesus. He said, John 8:58 – “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”
No Middle Ground Either there was an Abraham and you can count on the Biblical record to be true and authentic, or Christ is a liar!
R EFERENCES TO A BRAHAM 75 References – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – Acts and Romans – 2 Corinthians and Galatians – Hebrews – James and 1 Peter
A BRAHAM IS K NOWN FOR His – Great Faith – Remarkable Obedience to God
P AUL ’ S USE OF A BRAHAM Several Jewish non-canonical, apocryphal books taught that Abraham was justified by keeping the law. – Ecclesiasticus (the Wisdom of Sirach) – Prayer of Manasseh – The Book of Jubilees
A BRAHAM B ELIEVED G OD. Romans 4:3 Galatians 3:6 James 2:23 – “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
M AC A RTHUR WRITES : “By using Abraham as the supreme scriptural example of justification, or salvation, by faith alone, Paul was storming the very citadel of traditional Judaism. By demonstrating that Abraham was not justified by works, the apostle demolished the foundation of rabbinical teaching—that man is made right with God by keeping the law.”
Turn to Genesis 17. God’s Covenant with Abraham
A BRAHAM WAS NOT P ERFECT. Genesis 17:17 – “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?”
S ARAH T OO S TRUGGLED. Sarah also struggled with God’s ability to create life in a womb that was old and barren, and she too laughed at the message—but their struggles did not hamper God’s covenant. “And the Lord asked Abraham – Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” Gen 18:14
BUT He did have a son through Sarah, and Isaac was born as the covenant child.
F AITH Genesis 22:8 – “And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.”
O BEDIENCE Genesis 22:18 – “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
Let’s Go Back to Romans 4:17. What was it that Abraham believed about God?
R OMANS 4:17 “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who – quickeneth the dead, and – calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
Two Aspects of Abraham’s Belief: Vs. 17 1. God has the power to make the dead live.
Two Aspects of Abraham’s Belief: Vs. 17 2. God calleth those things which be NOT as though they were.
C REATOR G OD Abraham was fully convinced in the TRUTH that God possessed the power to call things that do NOT exist into existence.
R OMANS 4:17 “and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” 21 st Century English “and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (ESV). “and calls into existence the things that do not exist” (ESV). “and calls into being that which does not exist” (NASB, 1995).
Faith: At the core of Abraham’s exceptional FAITH was a belief that only God has the power to call things into existence without preexisting matter.
I N A B IBLICAL W ORLDVIEW Life existed before matter existed. I N A H UMANISTIC W ORLDVIEW Matter existed before life. Matter existed before life.
R OMANS 4:18 “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”
R OMANS 4:19 “And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:” Abraham had to ignore the “plain facts” and believe the Word of God!
R OMANS 4:20 “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;” John 14:3 “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”
R OMANS 4:21 “And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” Perfect Definition of Faith
Question: How do we know Abraham was fully persuaded?