We were talking in Sunday school about the faith of Abraham, how he didn’t waver in his unbelief, but grew stronger in his faith Romans 4:20. We have all heard and read the definition of faith, faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen Hebrews 11:1… That’s Abraham!
I love in Romans 4:19 where it says he was contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb, despite being against the odds, worst than that, despite all the facts and all the troubles he was confronted with he had faith and hope… In hope against hope he believed as we learned last week Romans 4:18. Abraham put his confidence in what God said He would do, thus giving God the glory.
The only way we as believers can give God the glory is to believe (have faith) in what He says He will do, It’s our disobedience that makes us waver in our faith.
Kittels says this… (pístis) which is attested first, means a. “trusting” (also with the nuance of “obedient”) and b. “trustworthy,” i.e., faithful, reliable, has the sense of a. “confidence,” “certainty,” “trust,” then b. “trustworthiness,” and c. “guarantee” or “assurance” in the sense of a pledge or oath with the two nuances of “trustworthiness” and “proof.” When pístis is specifically faith in Christ, hope is mentioned separately, but such hope contains an element of believing confidence (1 Th. 1:3; 1 Cor. 13:13; 1 Pet. 1:21).
Paul states the content of faith in Rom. 10:9. It involves acknowledgment of the risen Christ. Faith in Christ means faith in his resurrection, and his resurrection implies his prior death for sin (1 Cor. 15:11; cf. Rom. 4:24; 1 Th. 4:14; Phil. 2:6ff.). Kerygma and faith always go together (cf. Acts 2:22ff.), and the reference is always to Christ and what he has done (cf. Jn. 20:31; 16:27; 14:10; 8:24; Rom. 6:8).
Faith in the NT is the same as faith in the OT inasmuch as it is belief in God’s word, but with the difference that God’s deed is now disclosed only in the word. The OT righteous believe in God on the basis of manifested acts, but NT believers believe in God in and with the act of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ as this is known only by gospel proclamation.
Faith is believing His word… In John believing Jesus or his words is believing in him, for proclaimer and proclaimed are the same as the proclaimed himself meets and speaks with us. The act of God is word, and Jesus is this word-act (Jn. 1:1). Believing in Jesus is the same as coming to him, receiving him, or loving him (John 1:12; 5:43; 8:42) TDNT
So Abraham believed God, Abraham did not waver in his faith. 1. He was willing to go to a foreign land, and 2. then believed God to raise up a son from Sarah’s dead womb. Then 3. the greatest test of his faith when God said to Abraham go and sacrifice your one and only son Isaac in Genesis 22:1-18 In all those difficulties he trusted God. After each test I believe Abraham faith grew stronger.
If you’re reading this and saying, I’m not Abraham… Read this from one writer…..
“The very fact that Abraham was trying to understand how God’s promise could be fulfilled indicates he was looking for a way of fulfillment, although he could not yet see a way. Weaker faith might have simply succumbed to doubt. Sincere struggling with spiritual problems comes from strong, godly faith. Such faith refuses to doubt and trusts in God’s promises, even when no way of fulfillment is humanly imaginable. God’s testing of His children’s faith is designed to strengthen their trust, and they should thank Him for it, hard as it seems to be at the time (see James 1:2–4). When Abraham was tested by God, he grew strong in faith.”
Abraham was convinced and certain how this could all happen, not by his strength but God’s grace and promise… Abraham was fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to do. That’s faith…
The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen
and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria