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Abraham -- Righteous by Faith

(Romans 4:2,3,13-25)

Lesson 3 -- second quarter 2002
March 17, 2002

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2002, Christian Light Publications

"According to that which was spoken"

Plenty of things abound upon which we could base our faith -- feelings, circumstances, tangible evidence, facts, people, God, ourselves, doctrine, practice, church, religion, government. For faith to stand firmly, it needs a firm foundation. God is that foundation. By extension, we can say that God's Word is also that foundation.

Abraham chose God as the foundation of his faith. He believed despite what seemed logically and emotionally sound. Because he believed the One who had spoken, he could also believe "according to that which was spoken" (Romans 4:18). Everything else that would rise up against that which was spoken had no place in Abraham's life and belief system.

May we have that kind of faith! And may that determine the course and substance of our lives. For that to happen, we must familiarize ourselves with "that which was spoken." How else shall we know and exercise faith?

I ask myself and I ask you: Do I believe what the Bible says enough to adjust my life to fit it? The answer you give that question is also the answer to this next question: Do I believe what God says enough to adjust my life to fit it?

Think about what God says. Here are several verses to prod our thinking (and our living!).

"For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Galatians 6:8,9). When it seems like the good you do just isn't worth it, when it seems as though peace and purity are no longer appreciated by most, don't give up. Keep sowing righteousness! Hang in there; you will reap. Have faith in what God has said . . . just like Abraham did.

"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15). Now, I ask you, what kind of life application can you make from this that God has proclaimed?

"He considered not his own . . ."

We humans are far too prone to allow reason to get in the way of faith. We look at our own _________, and our faith dissipates like a vapor. We need to take another lesson from Abraham, who considered God's promise, not his own body. Oh, I'm sure he was aware of just how old and past his prime he really was. But he didn't give that primary consideration, if he gave it any consideration at all. Why should have he? He had God for his focus. Everything else that would challenge God wasn't even worth considering. So he didn't.

Too bad he eventually figured out he needed to help God fulfill His promise. Talk about mucking things up! Let that be a lesson to us as well. God's delays aren't because of forgetfulness or impotence on His part. Our attitude should be, "If God can wait, why should I hurry?"

So in addition to not considering your own negatives and inabilities, also keep in mind to not consider your own timing and resources. Rather, consider God, "being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform" (Romans 4:21). No matter what, remember God "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17).

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