Yesterday we introduced Abraham as the subject person of this sermon. Today we open with this truth:
God First Separated Abraham unto Himself
I thank perhaps Christians as a whole do not fully recognize nor appreciate the faith of Abraham. It is easy to think that the faith of the Old Testament believers somehow is dramatically different than that of Christians. Should we believe that Christians have more faith than Moses, Joseph, King David, Daniel, Isaiah, etc. etc. etc.? I think not.
Let us focus on the call of Abraham and his faith in Christ. First, the Bible tells of God’s visits with Abraham. While being interrogated by the Jewish Council Stephen said this to the high priest: “Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan” We aren’t told in what manner God visited Abraham but is surely could have been a personal visit.
Then there is the famous story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis Chapters 18-19. There can be no doubt that one of the personages who visited Abraham at that time was God. Did not Abraham have a greater personal experience with God than perhaps most Christians today? I think so.
Here is a most telling verse of the faith of Abraham. In his letter to the Galatians Paul wrote this of Abraham faith: “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.”
The gospel that Abraham heard had to have been the gospel of Christ because it is only through the crucified and risen Christ that all nations are blessed. That Abraham knew of the coming Christ and His reconciliatory work is evidenced by the words of Jesus Christ in a rebuke of the testy Jews.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” John 8:56
No doubt is possible concerning the true faith of Abraham. Neither is any doubt allowed about Abraham’s place in heaven. Let us read what Jesus said about that. “And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 8:11 Jesus pictured a time when Gentiles from the entire world will assemble with Abraham and his faithful brethren in heaven. What a time of fellowship that will be!
We will close this section “God First Separated Abraham unto Himself” with these three Biblical accolades validating Abraham’s faith.
1. (Isaiah 41:8) God referred to Abraham as His friend.
2. (Romans 4:11) Paul sets Abraham as the “father of all believers.”
3. Galatians 3:7) Christians are the spiritual children of Abraham.