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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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Abraham: The Father of Faith
“If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”—Galatians 3:29 (NIV)
As we saw yesterday, God created a perfect universe. On the sixth day, He created for Himself children in His image and likeness, the crowning jewel of His creation. Then things went terribly wrong as Adam and Eve rebelled against God and brought sin and death into the world. But this was not the end of the story. God had a plan. You see, with the coming of death, our marvelous and merciful God also gave the promise of life.
In Genesis 3, God explained how it would all go down: Women would experience pain and labor in order to bring new life into the world . . . but new life would come. And that new life would one day produce a Seed who would crush the head of the wicked serpent (Genesis 3:15). Regarding this reveal, John Gill wrote, “The Messiah, the eminent seed of the woman, (would) bruise the head of the old serpent the devil, that is, destroy him . . . break and confound all his schemes, and ruin all his works, crush his whole empire, strip him of his authority and sovereignty, and particularly of his power over death, and his tyranny over the bodies and souls of men; all which was done by Christ, when he became incarnate.”
Today, we’ll explore the man of faith through whom God chose to bring about the promised Seed. His name was Abraham, affectionately known as the father of faith. Right about now, you may be asking yourself, “Why did God choose Abraham?” “What was so special about him?”
We’re first introduced to Abraham, a descendent of Shem, in Genesis 12. Here, God instructs him to pack up and leave his home and all his comforts behind, to uproot his family and travel to a foreign land. Interestingly, Abraham wasn’t even told which land. God told him to “go to the land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1 NLT). But along with this colossal call came a promise: “I will make you into a great nation . . . All the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2–3 NLT). And it’s in this moment where we see the reason God chose him.
It wasn’t because Abraham was special, talented, or righteous. God chose Abraham because He knew Abraham would obey. John McArthur wrote, “As soon as he understood what God was saying, he started packing. It was instant obedience. It may have taken several days, or even weeks or months, to make final preparation for the trip, but in his mind he was already on the way. From then on, everything he did revolved around obeying God’s call.”
James 2:23 (NLT, emphasis added) tells us, “‘Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.’ He was even called the friend of God.” At 75 years old, Abraham answered God’s call and headed out with his family. The interesting thing about God’s promise of making him a great nation and blessing the whole world through Abraham’s offspring was that Abraham and his wife Sarah had no offspring. How would God make a great nation out of a childless old man and his wife? Well, Abraham wondered the same thing! So, God revealed His plan and told Abraham that he would have a child, and that eventually his descendants would outnumber the stars! And guess what? Despite the odds, despite the logic and circumstances, Abraham believed God!
The story of Abraham teaches us our role in God’s plan of salvation. It’s not work, but faith and worship. In Genesis 12, Abraham received the promise by faith, and immediately after that he built an altar, a place of worship. Why? Because he understood very clearly that neither his right standing with God nor the promises God made to him were dependent on who he was or what he did, but on God’s faithfulness.
As you go through your day today, remember there is power in worshiping God for all He is and the strength He gives you. As we see with Abraham, it’s not about what we can do, but what He’s done. So, believe in His promises and worship Him, because “you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ . . . And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26–27, 29 NKJV).
For the Kids
Yesterday we learned how sin came into the world. This caused us to be separated from God . . . but God had a plan to save us! And today, we’ll start to see His plan come together.
One day, God asked a man named Abraham to pack up his stuff, leave his parents and home, and move far away. God also made Abraham a promise that day—that a great nation would come from his family and all families on the earth would be blessed through him.
But here’s the crazy part: Abraham was 75 years old and didn’t have any children yet. But even though God’s promise didn’t make any sense, Abraham believed it would happen. That’s why Abraham is called the father of faith and the friend of God. And guess what? God kept His promise! Abraham had a son named Isaac, and his family grew and grew. And almost 2,000 years after Abraham’s death, God fulfilled the second part of His promise by sending Jesus through Abraham’s family tree to bless all people of the earth and save us from our sins.
Abraham’s story teaches us that we need to have faith! We don’t have to earn God’s love, all we have to do is believe in Him. Take the time to thank God for sending His Son Jesus.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.