Abraham's faith, our faith

 

 


[Romans 4:17-25]

 

 

Look at Romans 4:23-24: “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.”  If we look at these words, “… it was credited to him  ….  but also for us, ….”  Based on this word, I would like to meditate on Abraham's faith, our faith.

 

First, Abraham's faith was his faith in God.

 

Look at Romans 4:3 – “What does the Scripture say?  ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.’”

 

(1)    Abraham's faith was faith in God who raises the dead.

 

Abraham's faith was faith in the God of life, the God who gives life.  Look at Romans 4:17, 19: “…  in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead  …  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead.”  When Abraham was 99 years old (Gen. 17:1) (Sarah was 89 years old), God promised Abraham that he would bear him a son through Sarah (v. 16).  At that moment, Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?  Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (v. 17)  When Abraham was 75 years old (12:4), God said to Abraham, “I will make you into a great nation… ” (v. 2).  When Abraham was 85 years old [at the age of 75, he left his hometown, relatives, and father's house (12:1) and came to the land of Canaan and lived there for 10 years (16:3)] Sarai was unable to give birth.  So, she asked Abraham to have a child with Hagar the Egyptian, her maidservant (vv. 1-4).  Abraham did as Sarai said and at the age of 86 gave birth to Ishmael (v. 16).  When Abraham was 99 years old (17:1) (Sarah was 89 years old), Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarai was 90 years old (v. 17); Rom.4:19) it seemed that his body was dead and that Sarah's womb was dead (Rom. 4:19).  But Abraham did not grow weak in his faith (v. 19) and did not doubt the promises of God because of lack of faith but was strengthened in faith and glorified God (v. 20).  This Abraham's faith was hopeful faith in the midst of hopelessness (v. 18).  Abraham and Sarah grew old because of their old age, and Sarah could not have a son (vv. 12, 13) because women's menstruation stopped (Gen. 17:11).  By faith, Sarah herself was given birth because of her old age, but she was given the strength to conceive (Heb. 11:11).  God gave Sarah the power to conceive, so she eventually gave birth to a son Isaac (Gen. 21:1-3).

 

(2)    Abraham's faith was faith in God who calls things that are not as though they were.

 

Abraham's faith was faith in God the Creator, Almighty God.  Look at Romans 4:17 – “…  the God  …  calls things that are not as though they were.”  God said, “I am who I am” (Exod. 3:14).  And God created something out of nothing (Gen. 1, the creation of the heavens and the earth).  God's promise was that he would make Abraham the father of many nations (Rom. 4:17, 18).  Abraham was confident that God was able to accomplish what He had promised (v. 21).  What was the result of Abraham's faith?  “This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness” (v. 22).

 

Second, what is our faith?

 

(1)    Our faith is in God.

 

Our faith is in God who raises the dead.  Our faith is in the God who raised Jesus our Lord from 

the dead.

 

(2)    Our faith is in Jesus.

 

Our faith is in the death of Jesus.  Because of our sins, God gave Jesus to the cross (v. 25).  Jesus paid the penalty for our sins.  As a result, we are free from sin.

 

(3)    Our faith is in the resurrection of Jesus.

 

We believe that God justifies us by raising Jesus from the dead in order to justify us (v. 25).

 

(4)    Our faith is in the Holy Spirit.

 

We believe in the Holy Spirit who helps us in our weakness, who Himself intercedes for us with groanings that cannot be uttered (8:26).  We believe in the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us according to the will of God (v. 27).  We believe in the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:2).  We believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to give us hope (Rom. 15:13).  We believe in the teaching of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:13).

 

We must prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus through disaster.  In due time God will make Christ manifest (1 Tim. 6:15).  We must test and confirm ourselves to see if we are living by faith (2 Cor. 13:5).  As God tested Abraham (Gen. 22), I pray that God will test us through hardship.  When faced with difficult situations, we must thoroughly realize that we have little faith and rely more on our Lord whom we depend on.  Like Abraham, we must believe in God.  We must believe in the God of life, the God who gives life.  We must believe in God the Creator, Almighty God.  We must believe in the true and faithful God of the covenant who will surely fulfill the promises.  We must believe in God who gave Jesus to the cross.  And we must examine whether we are living by faith (2 Cor. 13:5).  As God demonstrates His love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).  Likewise, we who know that love must examine and demonstrate our faith (2 Cor. 13:5).  Even when we cannot hope, we must hope and believe (Rom. 4:18).  We must be confident that God is also able to fulfill what He has promised (v. 21).  Even though we know that we are dead, our faith is not weakened, we do not doubt God's promises because we have no faith, but we must be strengthened in faith and glorify God (vv. 19-20).