After pointing out in Romans 3:28 the conclusion "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law," in Romans 4 Abraham is an example of justification by faith. In Rom. 4:3 we read, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness." The scripture quoted is Genesis 15:6 which is spoken of him after he had left his country and had dwelt in Palestine for several years. Here his belief was that God would give him a son from his own flesh to be his heir and through whom the promises of God would be fulfilled. Since Abraham is held up as an example of faith to us let us look at his faith. 1. Abraham's faith was based on Revelation. God called him in Ur of the Chaldees to leave his country, kindred, and father's house to go to a land He would show him. As a result God told him that he would be made a great nation with all families of the earth being blessed through his seed. (Gen. 12:1-3; Acts 7:1-3). Abraham listened to the word of God and when this command with its promises was repeated in Haran, "Abram departed as the Lord had spoken unto him." (Gen. 12:4). If we have faith Like Abraham we are going to believe just as strongly what Jesus told us in the Great Commission: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." (Mk. 16:16). We will act upon it just like Abraham acted on the revelation God gave him. 2. Abraham's faith was a growing faith. He showed several points of weakness as time progressed. He told Pharaoh that Sarah was his sister which was a half truth, but he did not tell the man she was also his wife (Gen. 12:14-20). God had in Genesis 12:3 told him He would be with him and Abraham had some doubts when faced with the hostile people of Egypt. In Genesis 15:2,3 Abram asked if Eliezer's seed would be his heirs causing God to assure him that of his own loins would the heir be born. Here is where he grew in faith by believing God would give him a son by Sarah. Sarah gave him Hagar by whom to have a son. This again showed weak faith in the promise (Gen. 16). The greatest test of Abraham's faith came when God told him to offer Isaac, the son of promise, on an altar on Moriah. Abraham arose, went, built that altar, laid that son upon it and raised his knife to kill him. God had to call him twice to stop him. Then God said, "Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." (Gen. 22:12). Here we see the height of his faith and dedication to God. No wonder God uses him as an example of faith. 3. Abraham's faith was based on promises. God promised that Sarah would have a son. Abraham believed for 25 years before he saw the reality of it. God promised that Isaac would be the heir then told him to offer him upon an altar. Abraham obeyed God because he just knew that God would raise him if God allowed him to offer Isaac. "By faith Abraham when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had receive the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Accounting that God was able to raise him from the dead: from whence also he received him in a figure." (Heb. 11:17-19). We don't get a strange feeling when we obey the gospel but we trust the Lord for the promise of the forgiveness of our sins. This makes us happy because God always fulfills his promises. This kind of faith is like that of Abraham. 4. Abraham always obeyed the commands of God. His was a faith that obeyed. "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."(Heb. 11:8). Every other command was obeyed in the same way. Saving faith is obeying faith. No one is ever saved by faith alone. (James 2:21-24). 5. Faith is shown in actions. It is said of Abraham "Who against hope, believed in hope" (Rom. 4:18). Every where Abraham camped he built an altar and worshipped (Gen. 12:7, 8; 13:4; 13:18). His faith caused him to stay in close contact with God by worship and service. After 25 years that son was born to him. Every action of Abraham was to carry out the will of God. What an example to us is Abraham!!
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