Summary: One way to know the Bible is to become familiar with those who walk up and down in its pages. As we think about Abraham, the one word that comes to mind is faith. In the pages of Scripture, Abraham moves before us as the man through whom faith, the living
Abraham: Man of Faith
Text: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed” (Heb. 11:8).
One way to know the Bible is to become familiar with those who walk up and down in its pages. As we think about Abraham, the one word that comes to mind is faith. In the pages of Scripture, Abraham moves before us as the man through whom faith, the living principle of true religion, becomes a force in human life. Abraham’s faith went beyond mere belief to action. We can learn three lessons from him.
I. Abraham illustrates that the man of faith interprets his life in terms of mission.
When Abraham was called (Gen. 12:1-3; Acts 7:1-4), he did not try to bargain with God. He allowed himself no backward glance. The Genesis account summarizes Abraham’s act of faith in words of simplicity: “So Abram left, as the LORD had told him” (12:4NIV). Faith opened up the long view and revealed the far horizon, because it lifted one isolated human being out of his hopelessness and meaninglessness and made him a part of the ongoing purpose of God.
Abraham viewed his life in terms of mission. He regarded himself as a person sent by God. This same sense of mission is found in that select com¬pany of the faithful through the centuries. The supreme example of this is Jesus, who was conscious of a unique relationship with the Father at the age of twelve (Luke 2:49) and who, when he was grown up, said again and again, “He sent me” (John 7:29 NIV).
Here is a frame in which every Christian can put his or her own picture. Such a sense of mission is not reserved for a few like Abraham and Moses, Jesus and Paul. Our faith has failed unless it has helped us to interpret our lives in terms of God’s will and to know that, like Abraham, we have been called for a specific purpose. Such a sense of mission does two things for us.
A. This sense of mission gives purpose and meaning to our daily work. A cook in a . certain household spoke the truth when she said, “Life around here is so daily.” Many people would echo that sentiment. Multitudes move along in a treadmill kind of existence, bored to tears. The solution to this problem can be found in going back to Abraham and learning from him a sense of mission. This door stands open to every Christian.
B. This sense of mission offers not only purpose but power. Faith in God is not sim¬ply an exalted philosophy of life, a savior from the darkness of unbelief, and a sustaining motive for patient service; it is also a source of power for positive achievement. When people are doing what they are convinced is God’s will, they can count on God’s power and feel that they are in har¬mony with his purpose for them.
||. Abraham demonstrates that the man of faith is not always a man of perfect character.
When God told Abraham, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Gen. 17:1), he was urging his servant to live in close touch with him and thus live a life of moral perfection. But Abraham did not always do this.