Read: Romans 4; Galatians 3
Summary: When Christians need to know the foundational truth that our justification is by faith, not by works of the Law, the Bible appeals to Abraham as an example of that kind of faith. Particularly Abraham’s experiences in regard to Isaac, the promised child.
Yes, even for Christians, Abraham is the one who shows us what living by faith looks like.
Pros and Cons
Have you ever drawn a line down the middle of a page and on one side written all the “pro’s” and the “con’s” on the other side? That can be a useful exercise in trying to think through a choice or a decision. Getting it on paper can clarify our thinking.
Or, it might be misleading.
I don’t know that Abraham ever did this kind of thing or not. But if he had, his piece of paper would not have supported his conclusion. Regarding the notion that he and Sarah, his wife, would have a child, the paper did not look promising.
On the “con” side of the ledger, were several notable and weighty entries. Things like “physically unable”, that is, his own body “was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old)” (Rom. 4:19). Also, there was “Sarah’s barren womb.” Ninety-year old, childless women just don’t have babies. Further, it had been so long since the promise had been made–25 years to be exact. All of these appeared to add up to impossible.
No wonder the Bible says he “believed against hope” (Rom. 4:18). The “against” list was quite formidable. Except for one thing–literally, one thing. The “pro” list was short. It shouldn’t be called a list at all as it contained a grand total of one entry: “God promised.” For Abraham, that trumped everything.
“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised” (Rom. 4:20-21).
It’s no wonder why Abraham’s faith stands as the kind of faith to which I should aspire.