Dead Man...Having Babies?? 

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, April 4, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Last week I shared with you about faith in God and how, in the Bible, Abraham is our example.  Go back to last week’s post if you haven’t read it to help give yourself some insight into where we are going this week.

  Part of the promise God made to Abraham was that he would be the “father of many nations.”  At this point in Abraham’s life, he had zero children.  In fact, his name was originally Abram – which means “Father.”  Imagine being a grown man, married, having a thriving income, and a name that indicates you should be a parent – but having no children.  I cannot imagine what it was like for Abram, and I bet that he and his wife Sarah longed to be parents and tried to be parents with every ounce of strength they had.  I also cannot imagine the potential embarrassment when God changed his name to Abraham – meaning “father of many.”

  Put yourself in his place for a moment.  You have an encounter with God, and you are promised that you will have children, so many children that you will be called the “father of nations.”  Then add in that God changes your name, calling you the “father of many” when you have yet to have even one child.  What would you do?  Would you hide the new name?  Would you be ashamed to admit what was promised to you?

  Abraham apparently believes God so much that he accepts the name and starts to live his life as if the promise were already true.  Abraham had faith that what God said would happen, would.  And he aligned his attitude and his life in preparation for the promise to become reality.  Read Romans 4:17-25.

  I am totally blown away by verse 19.  Talk about an incredible example of faith – trusting God for His promise, even though every physical and observable rational fact would say the opposite.  Abraham, “WITHOUT WEAKENING IN HIS FAITH, faced the fact that his body was as good as dead – since he was about 100 years old – and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  YET he did not waiver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being FULLY PERSUADED that God had the POWER to do what He had PROMISED.”

Now that is faith!  Abraham wasn’t swayed by the lack of children so far, he wasn’t swayed by his age or Sarah having gone through menopause, and he wasn’t swayed by his own doubts.   Abraham relied on one thing and one thing only – if God is God, then He CAN do what He says He WILL do.  And ultimately, God does provide him children, even through Sarah.  But his “father of many” status extended beyond his physical offspring.  Because Abraham set the example of what it is to have faith, anyone who follows that example is a child of the promise.  Believers in Jesus Christ can all themselves “children” of Abraham, when our faith follows his example.  God made Abraham the father of biological children and spiritual offspring that are more numerous than the sand of the seashore or the stars in the sky – just like He said He would.

   Paul ends that chapter of Romans by making the connection that we, likewise, are made right before God when we have faith in Jesus Christ.  Abraham’s faith believed God in contrast to every physical reality that seemed contrary, and God credited him as being righteous for it.  God literally declared Abraham to be in right standing in his relationship with God, just because he trusted Him to do what He said.  It is the same for us with Jesus.  When we have faith in Jesus and trust that his sacrifice on the cross overcame our sin, trust that God raised Him from the dead to overcome death, and trust that He will one day return to reward the righteous with eternal life – we are also credited with being in right standing before God.

I have to ask, though, is your faith like Abraham’s?  Do you trust God’s promises, even in the face of overwhelming pressure to deny God?  Do you try to “help God” by trying to make His promises happen or rationalize events to seem like He did it?  Do you hope in what he actually promised or what a leader or some flawed doctrine has prompted you to “name and claim” for yourself?

(On a side note: Do not be deceived, part of our faith in Jesus is also that He will one day return to judge those who have not trusted God.  And as the Bible teaches us, everyone is vulnerable to being lead astray by our desires, pride, wishful thinking, imagination, false teachers, etc.  If we have faith, it cannot be in who we “think” is Jesus or what some teacher told us was God’s promise for us.  We must get to know God through His Word (the Bible), through the Holy Spirit, and through wise counsel that is mature in relationship with God and not caught up in ideas that are corrupted by worldly desires.  The last part can be hard to discern, and I recommend learning to study God’s Word for yourself so that you become skilled at knowing when someone is wise in God and when they are just persuasive with some broken doctrine.)

May you have faith, and may God strengthen and ground your faith in Him through Jesus Christ.  May every flawed human doctrine be shown for what it is, and may the grace of God lead us ever closer to living and having our being in the life God promised and made possible for us to have by faith in Jesus Christ.  May you stand against all odds and all persecution, and see the fulfillment of God’s promises in your life.

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