Hebrew Roots/Restoration/Faith & Works/The Walk of Faith
ABRAHAM - THE FATHER OF OUR FAITH[edit | edit source]
The Bible starts an account of Abraham's life when he was called out of the land of Ur of the Chaldees (Gen 12) and follows the stages of his spiritual growth in following the Lord from the time he leaves his place of birth and his own people, until the time he matures in his faith and receives the various promises later made to him. The account begins at a time when he already has a relationship with God in the midst of an idol-worshiping household and community, when Nimrod's power was taking over the city-states of the area of Babel. Abraham was a contemporary of Nimrod and of the time of judgment on Babel (Genesis 10:8,11:1-9).
Josephus tells us that he came to a conviction that the idols his father worshiped were lifeless and preached against the idolatry that was practiced around him in Ur. It was at this time due to an uprising against him and the threat to his life, that Yahweh God directed him to leave that godless society (Josephus Antiquities Ch. 7.1). The Book of Jasher also records this in more detail in Chs.11&12, as does The Legends of the Jews.
Abraham's faith was imputed to him for righteousness when he was promised an heir which would become like the stars of heaven in number (Genesis 15:5-6). Although Abraham had believed in God previous to this and faithfully followed the directions He gave him in his life, it was not until this point, after he had separated from his family and honoured the priesthood of Melchizedek, that righteousness was imputed to him.
The promise of a spiritual inheritance which the new covenant apostles refer to, did not come till many years later when he entered into the covenant of being a "father of many nations" (Genesis 17:5). We see here the two covenants, first the natural and then the spiritual, are based upon and proportionate to, his developing faith.
These two promises, both based upon faith, are identified in the new covenant, "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, I have made you a father of many nations Genesis 17:5) in the presence of Him who he believed - God," (Romans 4:16-17)
He was promised a natural seed as well as a spiritual seed and inheritance.
We are told that this same righteousness with God shall be reckoned to us also, if we believe in God and His provision of deliverance for us from our sins through His Son dying and being raised again to justify us, as it is written, "It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up our Lord from the dead, who was delivered for our offences and raised for our justification" (Romans 4:24-25)
Abraham turned from idols to serve the living God in Ur, but it was not until he was in Canaan that he came to saving faith in the promised Messiah. We are told that Abraham believed God regarding the promised Messiah which would come through his son Isaac, and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:9-23). Abraham and the other Patriarchs each had a personal walk with Yahweh God based on their faith in Him as the one true God and in His promised salvation through the Messiah which was to come.
This is the basis of the salvation He has provided for all nations, who like Abraham, turn from the many forms of idolatry in the world, to worship the one true God and believe in the salvation He has provided for us. They that "are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham" (Galatians 3:9)
We are the children of Abraham, not by natural genealogy as the natural seed, but by faith in Christ Jesus.
"And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:29)
"For the promise that he would be heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law but through the righteousness of faith." (Romans 4:13; Galatians 3:7; 16)
ABRAHAM - THE FATHER OF FAITH KEPT THE LAW[edit | edit source]
Due to the emphasis that Paul makes on faith, as compared to those of natural descent, it can be overlooked that Abraham was chosen to be the father of the faith on the basis of his faithfulness to the charge that was given to him and for his obedience in walking in accordance to Yahweh God's ways.
"Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his his works and by works faith was made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' And he was called the friend of God. You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." (James 2:21)
CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM have a FAITH WALK (Romans 4:13,16; Gal.3:6-7) = FAITH + WORKS
"was not our father Abraham justified by works .. " "Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?"
Abraham had faith + works in his life and this requirement also applies to us. See James 2:23-26
His spiritual 'children' should order their lives in the same manner in which he trained his natural children, as that was why he was chosen to inherit the promises in the first place, not on the basis of his faith (Gen. 26:4-5).
HE KEPT YAHWEH'S CHARGE, LAWS, COMMANDS AND STATUTES - Genesis 18:19; 26:5
His faith was in the promises of God and his works were in obeying all the commandments, laws and statutes of Yahweh God. Yahweh said in Genesis 26:5, that He chose Abraham on the basis that he, "kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws". Although he lived before before the formal giving of the 'Law' at Sinai - he kept the principles of the Law, and Yahweh God knew he could be trusted to order his household likewise, to keep His commandments, statutes and laws, and therefore bring forth a godly lineage.
As new covenant people in the nations, we are of faith like faithful Abraham, and like him we also should keep His charge, His commandments, His statutes and His laws. Abraham entered into relationship with Yahweh God by faith but maintained that relationship with Him by walking in His principles.
ABRAHAM'S FAITH IN MESSIAH[edit | edit source]
We see how Abraham came to a place of saving faith when the promise of an heir was made to him (Gen. 17:5).
Yeshua said, "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." (John 8:56) Stephen, when speaking before the Jewish council also referred to the "God of glory" appearing to Abraham (Acts 7:2).
His faith was so rooted in this reality of the Messiah to come through his seed, that he offered up his son Isaac, full expecting him to be raised from the dead, if need be, as a perfect type of Messiah's death and resurrection; "being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:21; Genesis 22)
We see many instances where Abraham exercised his faith in the offering of sacrifices which represented the One who was to come (Genesis 12:7, 8; 13:4, 18; 15:9-11; Ch.22). He was a man of faith in Messiah under the sacrificial system before the law, who looked forward in faith to the coming of Messiah. They had the sacrificial lamb as a token of THE sacrificial LAMB to come.
Those of the old era and those of the new all must exercise faith in the atonement of Yeshua as our Saviour.We look back in history to exercise faith in the atoning work of the Lamb of God (John 1:29) Whether forward or backward, it was the same exercise of faith that was required.
The Law of sacrifices has not changed. Yeshua met all the requirements of the laws pertaining to sacrifice. We still offer a sacrifice for sin by faith in His blood, initially for conversion and afterward if we should be overcome in a fault, and commit sin. The blood of the Sacrificial Lamb is our means of atonement (1 John 1:7-9)