Abraham, yet again inspired me. Actually, this time is the the call in Genesis and the answer in the New Testament. I have started to uncover the truth that the foundations of our faith have been laid out from the very beginning of time. In the story of Abraham around the time of Isaac’s birth, we see a beautiful display of salvation by grace. Later on, Paul would offer commentary on this story.
Paul actually dedicated a whole 25 verses in commentary on the life of Abraham, actually chapter 4 in its entirety. Here is what Paul says:
17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness[c] of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.”
Henry Morris lays it out so well, I am going to just quote his words:
Abraham, therefore is offered throughout the New Testament as the prototype of those who are justified by faith. The apostle Paul stresses that this imputed righteousness was received by Abraham even before he was circumcised (Romans 4: 9-12) and long before the Mosaic law was given (Galatians 3: 16-18), so that salvation depends neither on the ritual nor the moral law, but only on God’s grace received through faith. Abraham is called “the father of all them who believe” (Romans 4:11) and “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16) Further, scripture assures us that “they which are of faith, the same are children of Abraham” and that “they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (Galatians 3: 7, 9).
What an amazing example! In the life of Abraham, God shows us how he provided salvation by grace for all. He counted Abraham righteous before he instituted the sign of the covenant which was circumcision and before He instituted the law. This paved the way for Hebrews and gentiles to have access to grace, through faith.
The apostle Paul, in Galatians 3, tackles legalism. Early in the chapter he reprimands the Galatian Christians for trying to attain salvation by human effort and then explains salvation by grace through the story of Abraham. This story has been used down through the ages to teach Christians about their faith!
“For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise: but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.”
What an amazing connection relating the old and new testaments and what an amazing God we serve!