Romans 4:9-12 – Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Throughout Scripture, Abraham is presented as the father of our faith.
Like the rest of us, Abraham started as just another lost pagan from a messy family. He came from Ur of the Chaldeans, which means he was probably a Babylonian bad guy (Nehemiah 9:7; Acts 7:2-3). As a Gentile, he was saved by God’s grace at the age of 75 and circumcised himself 24 years later at the age of 99 along with his household, thereby the Jewish nation (Genesis 17:24-26). In Abraham, we learn the following 7 things about real faith:
- Real faith comes with risk and loss. Abraham was told to leave the people and place he knew for the unknown.
- Real faith is not perfect faith, but faith in a perfect God. Once Abraham gave away the Promised Land, and twice he gave away his beloved wife, but God was faithful to return both.
- Real faith struggles to trust both God’s will and timing. Abraham struggled to trust God’s promise as he waited from age 75 to 99 for his son to be born.
- Real faith has always been in Jesus Christ. Abraham looked forward to Jesus’ first coming, and we look backward at His first coming, and forward to His second coming.
- Real faith results in obedience. Abraham’s trust in God resulted in him doing what God told him – like leaving his father and family to found a new nation.
- Real faith grows as God proves faithful. After waiting more than two decades for his son to be born, his faith grew so strong that he even trusted that God could bring Isaac back from the dead if needed (Hebrews 11:17-20).
- Real faith sees beyond this life. Hebrews 11:10 says Abraham, “was looking forward to the city whose designer and builder is God…”
Which of these seven faith lessons is God teaching you right now?
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