Other than Jesus, there are few (if any) people in scripture more prominent than Abraham is. He is prominent in both the Old and New Testaments. He was the source of the Jewish people. The promise of the Christ is evident in the promises God made to him (Genesis 12:3). This one man became a nation, and through that nation God sent His Son, the Christ. Abraham was wealthy with a name that lives among the Jewish, the Christian, and the Muslim peoples. His recognizable name has endured for around 4,000 years. (Who will know your name in 150 years?)

Abraham performed some of the most astounding acts of obedience that occurred in scripture! Yet, scripture does not use Abraham as an outstanding example of obedience, but as an exceptional example of faith.

“Oh, I wish I could be Abraham!” Really? “Yes!” Do you mean you wish you had what Abraham had materially, or do you mean you wish you could develop the faith that led Abraham to do what he did?

Do you mean you wish you could leave your homeland and your family, recover from mistakes, make huge material sacrifices for a self-centered nephew, tell your son (Ishmael) good-bye, knowingly be prepared to kill your son whom God promised (Isaac), and have serious conflict with your spouse?

Abraham had an astounding faith in God which resulted in astounding obedience. However, without that remarkable faith there could not have been the remarkable obedience. Because he had that faith, he simply did what naturally expressed his trust in God. His faith demonstrated itself through his obedience. As James said:
“You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected (completed) ...” James 2:22, NASV

Walking with God in genuine trust commonly requires great costs. Spiritual maturity is neither simple nor easy. No matter what we do as Christians, salvation always will be a product of God’s mercy and grace. Never will it be a matter of what we have done for God, but what God did for us in Jesus’ death and resurrection.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 17 January 2010

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