Romansby David Cook
Abraham is the father of all those who have faith. The name “Abraham” means “father of many nations”, and that is what he is. Since Abraham is our father, he is our model or pattern. Paul says that the way God relates to Abraham is the way God relates to us.
Paul repeats that Abraham’s justification was not earned but was by faith (vv. 16–17). His faith is a model for ours. Its object was the promise of God (v. 18). Faith has no inherent value apart from its object. Bible teacher Paul E. Little said, “A strong faith in a weak bridge will not bridge the gulf, but a weak faith in a strong bridge will get you to the other side.”
The strength of faith (vv. 19–20) is seen in how Abraham believed in spite of the seeming impossibility of the promise that the aged Sarah would bear the aged Abraham a son. The focus of his faith was God’s ability to do what He said (v. 21). Abraham was not put off, because he was convinced of God’s power.
The blessing that flowed was righteousness, credited to him graciously through faith (v. 22). The reason this incident was recorded was not for his sake, but for ours (vv. 23–25)—that just as Abraham believed in the promise of God, so we are to believe in the work of Christ as the basis for our justification.
Just as Abraham believed God could bring an heir from one as good as dead, so we trust in the God who brought His own Son from death to life.
Verse 25 reminds us that Jesus died because of our sin. His resurrection was like God’s confirmation that Jesus’ work on the cross had been accepted. Therefore our justification is sure.
Abraham believed the promise of redemption (v. 17), and so do we (v. 24). Abraham looked forward to the blessing that would come to his life (Genesis 12:3); we look back to the Redeemer who came and through whom we are blessed, as was Abraham. Abraham’s life was one of great blessing. He had known persecution and harassment, yet God blessed him, and today there are approximately 1.4 billion living sons and daughters of Abraham.
He is indeed our father, our model and our pattern.
In what way does Abraham’s faith in God challenge our own?
Which of God’s promises to us are you finding hardest to trust today? Why? How does Abraham’s example help you?