Many Christians, today, consider Abraham to have been a person who was just given or imputed righteousness by God due to his abstract (theoretical) thoughts that God would do what He had promised. Yet, this was not exactly the case with Abraham. Scriptures, clearly, teach that Abraham’s faith had to be proven to God by obedience to God’s instructions, before God counted him righteous.
Consider when the scripture tells us that God counted Abraham as righteous, this was usually followed by an amazing act of obedience to God’s instructions (meaning: immediate, no questions asked- following God’s instructions as if his life depended on it), as well as an unreal, faithful mindset (meaning: he had a relentless, unaltered belief) that God will do what He has promised.We can start in Genesis chapter 15:6 (KJV), where it says,
“And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.”
This scripture followed an incident where Abraham (then known as Abram) had decided that his promised heir would have to come through his Household Steward’s son that was actually born in his home, and not from his own body( because he was too old). Abraham seemed poised to make legal arrangements for this transition to occur, when God interrupted his plans and instructed him that the promised heir would come from his own body and not from his servants. He immediately believed God and cancelled his plans to make his Steward’s son heir.
After Abraham did this, based only on his staunch belief in the word of the Lord, God counted that to Abraham for righteousness. Before this, however, Abraham’s faith had already caused him to obey God’s instructions by leaving his father’s house, his relatives, and leaving the security of his community to go into a foreign land where he was a stranger.
Then, we see this same faithful obedience to the instruction of God in Genesis 22 after his promised beloved son, Isaac was born. One day God spoke to Abraham and told him to travel to the mountains of Moriah and offer his son, Isaac as a burnt offering to God. Now the average person would have questioned God, and tried to put off the event, not to mention have been seriously depressed, and confused. Not Abraham, he got up early in the morning on the next day (to obey God) and quickly packed the wood, his son, and two of his servants and left without one ‘hem or haw,’ on a three days journey. He did not question God; he didn’t cry, he just set out to do what God had told him to do.
What Was The Mindset Behind Abraham’s Faith?
We see this in the New Testament writings concerning Abraham’s faith found in the book of Romans chapter 4 and verses 18-21(KJV),
(18) ‘Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.’
(19) ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:’
(20) ‘He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;’
(21) ‘And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.’
Consider the terms the Apostle Paul uses to describe Abraham’s faith:
- “Who against hope believed in hope…”
- “…not weak in faith…”; “…he considered not his own body now dead…”
- “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith…”
- “And being fully persuaded…”
Abraham had an absolute, unusual, unreal, relentless obsession that God would do what He said He would do. This is a faithful mindset. And think about this, Abraham was 75 years old when God promised that he and his wife would conceive and bare a son that would become a great nation. Yet it was not until 25 years later, when he was 100 years old, that the child was actually born. In 25 years Abraham ignored the laws of nature and believe in hope, staggering not at the promise of God, but was fully persuaded and strong in faith without wavering.
The Significance of Abraham’s Obedience
By obeying God without question and with great determination, Abraham’s faith not only led to the creation of the nation of Israel and many other nations (through his other children), but it led to a blessing being brought to the whole world. By one man’s faith history was split in half from B.C. to A.D. God was able to bring His only Son into the world to save the world from their sins.
The birth of Jesus the Christ, is the product of Abraham’s faith. The glorious entrance of the Holy Ghost, was a product of Abraham’s faith. The healing of the sick, the raising the dead, and the opening of blinded eyes, were the product of Abraham’s faith. The saving gospel reaching the un-reached masses is, also, the product of Abraham’s faith. The salvation of my grandmother; the salvation of my mother and father; and my salvation is the product of Abraham’s faith! Wonder what could happen if we ALL had Abraham’s faith! A-MEN