Summary: Abraham was unique because of his faith in God. You can be unique too.
Romans 4:18-24 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.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.
Do you trust me? The auto mechanic tells you that you need a lot of parts replaced in your car - is he telling the truth? Do I really need all that work done on my car? Do I trust him? The investment advisor tells you that you should place all your money into this mutual fund - it's a good fund - I guarantee it, he says! Do you trust him? The doctor tells you to take this pill - there are some side effects, but it will take away the problem you're dealing with - do you trust him? We have to trust a lot of people in this life don't we? Who do you trust? What if someone were to tell you something that was so outrageous, so unbelievable - would you believe it?
That was the situation for Abraham, the man we are focusing on in our sermon for this evening. As we prepare for the birth of Jesus during this season of Advent, we think about Jesus, and the members of his family. Jesus was a descendant of the Old Testament patriarch named Abraham. In that respect, he was the Son of Abraham. Next Wednesday, you will hear about Jesus being the Son of David. You'll also hear about Jesus, the Son of Joseph, the Son of Mary, and ultimately, the Son of God. Tonight, we think about Jesus as the Son of Abraham.
Abraham was asked to believe something that seemed pretty incredible - it had nothing to do with medicine or investments or car repairs. Abraham was told by God that he was going to the father of a brand new baby. From that baby would come millions of people. And from that baby would come someone who would bless the whole world. Would you have believed that promise if you were him? The thing that makes this promise a hard one for Abraham to believe was that he was so old - he was too old to be having a child. Listen to what our text says: "Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead." He was too old! And Sarah his wife - she was too old. And yet God told them - you're going to be parents - not adoptive parents or anything else like that - you and you're wife are going to conceive and bear a child together, and from that child, you'll have many descendants, and from that child will come someone who will bless the whole world.
Would you have believed if you were 100 years old? Trust me, God said to Abraham. And the Bible says that Abraham took that leap of faith and trusted God: "being fully persuaded that God had power to do what was promised." Abraham was not disappointed – at the age of 100, he and his wife who was 90, had a son, just like God promised. That son eventually had another son, and those descendants eventually numbered in the millions - the people of Israel, just like God promised. And from those descendants came someone who would bless the world - that's Jesus Christ. And how did he bless the world? By dying on the cross and taking away the sins of the world - just like God promised. If you were to summarize the theme of Abraham’s life with one word, that word would be "believe." Even if it seems impossible. Even if it seems like it's not going to happen. Even if you have no proof. Believe! That was Abraham!
Do you trust me? In many ways, God asks you that same question. Think about this - today, God wants you to be a "modern day Abraham." Now what does that mean? A "modern day Abraham" is someone who trusts in God's promises, no matter what. Is that you? Do you trust him? Do you believe that of all the things to focus on, this time of the year, the best and most important thing is Jesus Christ? In our culture Jesus seems to be the least important part of Christmas. Someone will tell you that you can't even use his name at Christmas time - you have to say "happy holidays" instead of "merry Christmas." The story of Jesus is not true, our culture says. If you want to celebrate Christmas, it’s all about the shopping. It’s all about the family gatherings and traveling. It’s all about being nice to other people - charity. It’s all about decorating. It’s all about the food. And then you hear the voice of God call out to you from the Bible, and God says to you, "The story of Jesus is true. God became man. Jesus died for your sins. You are forgiven and loved by God. Trust me, God says. Do you trust him? Are you a modern-day Abraham, trusting God's promises, God's Word?