"Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations."He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be."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. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." 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. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." Romans 4:16-25
I was reading in Romans 4 this morning. What an amazing treatise on faith! Hebrews 11 has always been the "Faith Chapter", but this chapter is strong! Let me see if I can help you get your heart and mind around it.
FAITH IS BELIEVING
Abraham believed what he couldn't see. He trusted for something he had never see before. He was committed to a Higher Reality.
Why did he do that?
Because of a promise from God - "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as had been saint to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'" V. 18
Faith is believing what you have never seen - seeing with your spirit - because you trust the promise of God.
FAITH IS BEHAVING
Abraham not only trusted God in his mind and in his spirit, but he acted on what he believed. He took his wife and possessions and left for a place that had not yet been revealed to him. Every day he acted on what he believed God wanted him to do. As James tells us, "Faith without works is dead."
Why did he behave that way? He believed in the Person of God.
If you say you believe it is going to rain but you leave the house without your umbrella, you are not acting like someone who really believes. True belief, faith, expresses itself with action.
To say that you believe that the Bible is God's Word demands that you actually read it, know it, and live according to its truths. If the Bible doesn't shape your behavior, you are not a believer.
FAITH IS BECOMING
Because Abraham believed in the promise of God and the Person of God, but he also believed in the power of God to help him possess what He had promised! And because he believed and behaved like a believer - God believed in him.
The power to become is founded in the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead. Abraham's faith was amazing because not only did he experience God's power prior to the Resurrection, he believed it before Jesus was even born!
Abraham became a literal father, but because he believed and behaved as a man of faith, God made Him a spiritual father. If you could look up faith in God's dictionary you would find a picture of Abraham because to God, Abraham = faith.
God counted Abraham as the righeous father of a great nation, even when he was childless.
God loves it when, by faith, we become what He has designed us to become!
It was out of the faithfulness of Abraham that the Hebrew people became a nation. And it was out of this nation that Jesus was born. So not only is Abraham the example of faith, he is the father of THE Faith.
How is your faith?
Do you believe in God's promises? Do you behave in a manner consistent with His Person? Are you becoming like like Jesus by His power?