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Wednesday: Abraham, Father of God’s People — 29 Comments

  1. Have the simple faith of Abraham. How did he attain to righteousness? By not
    considering the deadness and powerlessness of his own body, but by being willing to grant all the glory to God, strong in faith that He could bring all things out of that which was not. You, therefore, in like manner, consider not the weakness of your own body, but the power and grace of our Lord, being assured that the same word which can create a universe and raise the dead can also create in you a clean heart and make you alive unto God. And so you shall be a child of Abraham, even a child of God by faith in Christ
    Lessons on Faith – A.T. Jones & E.J. Waggoner
    The relationship must be founded on the sure foundation of our faith in Christ Jesus.
    Where is the foundation of our faith?

  2. The lesson refers to the fact that Abraham according to Paul in Hebrews look forward to a city built by God.
    I find this interesting and I note that Hebrews also refers to all the heroes of faith not having received the promises.
    What did people in the OT believe? To what were they looking forward? resurrection? God's kingdom restored on the earth? heaven? new heaven & new earth?
    Can anyone answer these questions?

    Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
    Heb 11:13 These all died by way of faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off. And they were persuaded of them and embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
    Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, did not receive the promise, Heb 11:40 for God had provided some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us.

  3. Two things about Abraham that stand out to me.

    God called him "My friend" (2 Chron. 20:7, Isa. 41:8, Gen 18:17)
    Secondly Abraham recognized God's voice

    Abraham had a close relationship with God, he accepted God's Principles of Life as the guiding principles of his life.

    The righteousness of Christ is not a cloak to cover unconfessed and unforsaken sin; it is a PRINCIPLE OF LIFE that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the PRINCIPLES OF HEAVEN. DoA 555,556


    • And it is important to note that this close union with God that Abraham enjoyed was due to Abraham's obedience to God's "commandments, statutes, and laws"(Gen 26:5) which started with his response to God's command to leave his home to go to a place God would show Him. Yes, the City which God is the builder of when He makes all things new again.

      • Robert, you state "And it is important to note that this close union with God that Abraham enjoyed was due to Abraham's obedience to God's "commandments, statutes, and laws"(Gen 26:5).

        Do you view what you have written to be different from what Shirley was referring to when she said "Abraham had a close relationship with God, he accepted God's Principles of Life as the guiding principles of his life"?

        If so, what do you see to be the difference?

  4. Faith is not a mushroom that grows overnight in damp soil, it is an oak tree that grows for a thousand years under the blast of the wind and rain.
    Gen 12:4 Abram departed from Haran and Lot his nephew went with him. God commanded him to go out from his kindred but he brought Lot. Lot will not be a blessing to Abraham. He will bring alot of trouble and inconvenience.
    Gen 13:5-7 the contention between Abram's and Lot's hired workers. Something had to be done,they couldn't continue like this before the unbelieving inhabitants of Canaan.
    Gen 13:10-13 Lot made his choice purely based on what he could see with his eyes. Lot thought " I can serve God as well there as here. They probably need a witness " but he was deceiving himself.
    Gen 14:11-14 Abram hears of Lot's captivity and with 318 servants Abram defeats the five kings and rescues Lot, unfortunately Lot moves right back to where he was in Sodom.
    Gen 18:16-19 Abram learns of the fate of Sodom. He bargained with God and worked hard to intercede on behalf of a city that deserved judgement. First he lowered the numbers by units of five, then by units of ten, until the number settled was ten but there were no ten righteous people in the city.
    Gen 19:27-29 Abram learnt of destruction of Sodom and knew that the ten didn't work.
    Gen 19:33-38 lot carried out the shameful act that he himself had suggested to the men of Sodom. Through him moabites and Ammonites were born who were obstacles for the children of Abraham.

  5. Faith in God is what connects us all! Faith to obedience. Faith in a Lord that knows the future. How much we do need this faith! God showed him which way to go and he trusted... We need to develop more of this faith.

  6. We are not privy of Abrahams up bringing, but I imagine his parents must have instilled in him that to trust and obey was the only way to be happy in God. He learned to walk with the Lord in the light of His word. Abraham walked by God’s side, what He said he did do, and where He sent he did go, he never feared, he learned to trust and obey. Of course on his own free will, by his faith in God. Abraham saw the light from God drawing him to Himself. He did not resist this drawing. He was led to the alter of sacrifice for the sins that had sacrificed the lamb. Then the Spirit of God through faith produced a new life in his soul. Abrahams thoughts and desires were brought into obedience to the will of God. His heart, his mind, were created anew in the image of Him who works to subdue all things to Himself. Then the law of God is written in Abrahams mind and heart, and he said, I will go out of the land of Haran, as You will lead. Terah, Abrahams father had already taken the family out of the land of Ur. Yes indeed Abraham was a testimony to us. By faith Abraham... Hebrews 11:8-19.

    • Abraham's family and friends worshiped many gods, which is why God commanded him to leave his home and family to follow Him. A very important lesson in this for us today. Didn't Jesus also teach this important point? We cannot follow Him if still connected to our nets/tax sbooth/family/friends/job/associations/riches/hobbies/interests/etc if they keep us fixed upon the things of this sinful world.

  7. Oh what a blessing this is that Abraham testermony could be to our life today . First he obeyed, then trusted that God would give him the blessings he promised. So many times we give up because we disobey. God has a plan for all of us if we trust and obey.

  8. The apostle Paul is very clear that Abraham was justified by faith and not by works. Our faith is to be in Jesus and his obedience and not in our obedience.

  9. The personal question at the end, places the responsibility squarely on our shoulders. As Christians, many times our standard answer to the 'how do you' questions is "Keep a close relationship with Christ in prayer." That is good and right, but your belief and/or faith must go beyond that just as Abraham's did.

    All your prayer and study must culminate with 'faith in action.' Had Abraham not obeyed, his belief would have been useless. Even Satan and his followers "believe and tremble." (James 2:19) They "believe" but do not obey God and act according to that belief but against it.

    Accept the responsibility of belief and faith; obey and follow God in all you do and say!

  10. 7th Day Adventist Christians have a unique opportunity to evangelize the world for the LORD by remembering that all the major monotheistic religions of the world; Christianity, Islam and Judaism trace their heritage to Abraham

  11. Is obedience a "duty" or is the natural out flowing of a changed heart?

    EGW DoA 668
    All true obedience comes from the heart. It was heart work with Christ. And if we consent, He will so identify Himself with our thoughts and aims, so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses. The will, refined and sanctified, will find its highest delight in doing His service. When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.

    • I would again affirm the point you are hilighting Shirley.

      "Obedience" can be described as willingly choosing to live in harmony with the principles that God has outlined will, if followed, support eternal, abundant life. When I realise that God's laws are not merely 'rules' that I must follow, but principles that alone can support eternal, abundant life, wanting to live in harmony with them - to be obedient to them - is something I am drawn to do (Ps 40:8)!

      Conversely, "disobedience" would simply be the choice to live in violation of those principles.

      • Hi Phil, I agree with your point it is principles not rules.

        Even more important is the point: "(He will)so blend our hearts and minds into conformity to His will, that when obeying Him we shall be but carrying out our own impulses"
        Once our hearts have been changed we will automatically live in harmony with God's Principles of Life, we don't have to force ourselves to live that way.

        The righteousness of Christ ... is a principle of life that transforms the character and controls the conduct. Holiness is wholeness for God; it is the entire surrender of heart and life to the indwelling of the principles of heaven. DoA 555,556

      • Remember why God gives them as "rules", in a fallen world. Once we repent and are converted, they cease to be rules contrary to our fallen nature, as we see them as Divine principles that bring peace, joy, contentment and true prosperity through faith.(Ps 1:2,3, Prov 3:1-8, Josh 1:8, etc) Yes, it's the "goodness of God" that leads to repentance, as the "rules" convict us of "sin, and righteousness, and judgment", leading us to Christ as our only hope(Gal 3:24). God knows best how to save sinners from themselves.

        • Reading Gal 3 tells me that God did re-state the principles that constituted His Kingdom as 'rules' at a particular point in time. Gal 3:19 says that God "added (them) because of transgression ... until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made".

          Jesus, then re-stated them back as principles again in the Sermon on the Mount.

          What do you find when you share with others? Does presenting God's ways as principles or rules work better with the people you share with? This is a genuine question - not sarcastic rhetorical.

          • Phil, I can't say that I have presented the law/principles as one or the other exclusively with intention. It depends on the knowledge, experience and understanding of the individual that is questioning.

            The point I'm making is that God gave them in simple terms to arouse the sinner to realize their peril and need. I think most who give any effort to meditate on the law will recognize the principle, if it is their intention to know the truth in order to obey it. If one is looking to argue or refute the law, they will not understand it fully. Unbelief changes our ability to see correctly, while obedience brings a clear understanding that leads to repentance and allows advancement in the sanctified life.

            For the sinner, the law operates much like a smoke alarm, warning of danger but offering no "salvation", while urging the one in danger to find safety. Doesn't the urgency of the alarm make the principle of seeking safety and help very clear?

          • Phil, the last thing I would like to point out for this discussion is to note how God chose to speak and write (in stone) His laws/principles. What Jesus taught on the Mount of Blessing was what the people, by that time, should have understood, yet they were being misled by their nations leaders by looking at the law as some sort of mechanism by which they could earn favor with God who is otherwise angry and looking for heads to roll. This led to the thinking that the law was something one could fulfill to the letter, while remaining fallen in nature, and still living for self-advantage at the expense of others, including parents(think of the rich young ruler, who said he had "kept" the law since his youth, while remaining in violation of its principles).

            Once explaining the principles of the law, and thus putting conformity out of the sinners reach, Jesus offers sinners to become yoked together with Him, being connected like a branch to a vine, and thus able to reach the "mark of our high calling in Christ". (Doesn't this example reveal the great need to present the law and gospel together?)

            Do you find it significant to realize how God spoke/wrote the law on Sinai, as given to us today in scripture? Advancement is needed, but only once beginning where God first appeals to the sinner. There is order in the Gospel, which God has established. As written, the law will convict sinners at every level, and no one will be mistaken concerning their guilt, which is where salvation must begin with every sinner("Blessed are the poor in spirit...").

          • Robert, do you find it significant that Christ lived the Law while on this planet?
            I understand that He was the embodiment/ultimate revelation of the Law of God of which the Ten Commandments are but a dim reflection. As Phil points out, this law of self-renouncing love is a basic principle of life in the universe. It is the law of life for earth and heaven.
            Do you find reason to by-pass the full revelation of this law of life in favor of the law written in stone?

          • Inge, if you look at my comment, I suggest no such thing. What Jesus taught on the mount of Blessings vs Sinai is identical, as well as what He lived in His earthly life as a man. Yet, the language of the Sinai "version" is able to convict the basest of sinners. What I am pointing out is that Sinai's version is how God spoke and wrote it in stone, and is how it is preserved in the heavenly sanctuary even today, soon to be revealed to the whole world.

            So any complaint against Sinai must be directed at God, not me.

            In our effort to reach sinners, what version of the law did Jesus point to?

            I have no argument with the sermon on the mount, but look at the audience vs the world at large, keeping in mind how God recorded the 10 commandments stone with the intention to arouse the conscience of ever sinner, with the offer of forgiveness to be mentioned in the next breath of every call to repentance. God is offering grace, not threats. His "threats"(as some view them) are gracious warnings of the inevitable results of impenitence.

            God is serious about sin, and freeing sinners from it's penalty, power, and finally it's presence. Sin must be called by it's right name if sinners are to be fairly warned. It's not about accusation, but accountability and salvation. The law in stone is stern, and should be, since the wages of sin are stern as well. The CONVERTED sinner will focus on the Mount of Blessings once the warning from Sinai has been received and acted on. There is no need of Christ if one does not first see the need of repentance.

            I hope this helps to clarify the point I was making to Phil.

          • Thanks again Robert for your feedback.

            You asked a question: "Doesn't this example reveal the great need to present the law and gospel together?"

            Do you have concerns in regard to how the gospel is being presented?

    • God requires obedience, so yes, it is a duty(Eccl 12:13,14). However, it is not something any sinner can do alone, and must be the result of a saving faith in Christ and love for God. It is not seen as a duty, but a blessed privilege to allow God to "work in us to will and do of His good pleasure". The life of Jesus will inspire and encourage us to seek the promised Aide as we repent and pray in faith for this Gift of God.

  12. Abraham believed God, and his life demonstrated this faith. Abraham was faithful to follow the “faith once delivered to the saints”(See Gen 26:5) In all this, Abraham was in unity with God, which included faith in the sacrifice God had established for the observance of all repentant sinners. So we could say that in Christ, Abraham found unity with God, since there is no other way to achieve this. So Christians today will find unity with God in Christ, and with one another as all find this same unity with the Lord by faith.

    Our daily words/actions and even our thoughts will reveal either our faith or our unbelief.


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