May 22, 2023 – Monday
Romans 4:4-8 NIV
17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations. (Genesis 17:5) He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5)
Abraham, he believed, Abraham in hope believed. There is no doubt Abraham believed and Paul wants us to understand that even if we understand nothing else. The way it is written I wonder if others were given the opportunity to believe. We are not told if there were others, but it is reasonable to assume there were others who chose not to believe, just as there are those who chose not to believe what Jesus did on the cross. Or even if they do believe, they are not willing to give up a life of sin.
Abraham left all he knew behind to follow God or as our first verse says, 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations. He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. Abraham believed God could give life to the dead and call into being things that were not. He believed He was the creator of all things just as Genesis tells us. Abraham believed Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Because of his faith, his belief, he was made a father of many nations.
Then we read, 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” What does Against all hope mean? In his old age and Sarah’s old age he believed against all hope they could have a child. And they did. Guzik writes, The conception of Abraham’s son Isaac was a miracle, but it was not an immaculate conception. Abraham’s faith did not mean that he did nothing and just waited for God to create a child in Sarah’s womb. Abraham and Sarah had marital relations and trusted God for a miraculous result. This shows us that faith does not mean doing nothing, but doing everything with trust and reliance on God. I really like how Guzik ends this with the phrase doing everything with trust and reliance on God. That is what faith, what believing makes possible.
Spurgeon adds how this leads to obedience, All true believers, like Abraham, obey. Obedience is faith in action. You are to walk in the steps of the faith of father Abraham. His faith did not sit still, it took steps; and you must take these steps also by obeying God because you believe him. That faith which has no works with it is a dead faith, and will justify no one. This seems right out of James 2 when we consider the following two verses; 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone and 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
Bottom Line: Believing, really believing, requires action, acting in the faith, the belief one has. Otherwise as James says, faith without deeds is dead.
Prayer: Almighty God, Thank You for calling our faith, our belief, in You and Your Son and the Holy Spirit to action, to obedience to You through Your Word. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.,
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton