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The Faith of Abraham

  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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