SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Wednesday October 9, 1996

The Obedience of Abraham
(James 2:14-26)

Abraham is widely known for his faith in God. What do the following texts teach regarding other qualities that Abraham pos- sessed? Gen. 18:19; 26:4,5.

Abraham knew that we are not saved by works, but by God's mercy and power. However, this insight did not counteract his willingness to obey God. Instead, it inspired him to do all that the Lord required of him. He did not suppose that his willing obedience took the place of faith or that it earned him any merit with God. It was his delight to do the will of the Lord, because he recognized the blessedness of the divine will, and he appropriated the grace of God that enabled him to carry out His will.

What lessons does James draw from the life of Abraham to illustrate the qualities of true faith? James 2:14-24.

"Abraham's test was the most severe that could come to a human being. Had he failed under it, he would never have been registered as the father of the faithful. Had he deviated from God's command, the world would have lost an inspiring example of unquestioning faith and obedience."-Youth's Instructor, June 6, 1901.

Faith and obedience are linked as closely as fire and heat. Obedience is a natural result of faith.

Rowing with both oars. An elderly Scotsman once operated a small rowboat ferry. One day a passenger noticed that the man had carved on one oar the word Faith and on the other the word Works. When the passenger inquired about this, the Scotsman, a Christian, proceeded to demonstrate. When he rowed with only the oar labeled Works, the boat went around in circles. When he rowed with only the oar labeled Faith, the boat went around in circles in the opposite direction. He ended his demonstration with this thought, "Faith and works pulling together make for safety, progress, and blessing." -Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations, p. 403; adapted.

What did God call Abraham? Isa. 41:8. To whom else does He apply the same designation? John 15:14.

How de Abraham's faith and obedience correlate with the description of the saved in Revelation 14:12?