Summary: Abraham was justified before Isaac was born, yet his sacrifice was evidence of this faith. This study looks at our lifestyle as evidence for our faith in Christ or in the world.
Walking by Faith and Blameless
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
2 "And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly."
3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
4 "As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
5 "No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 "I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 "And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
8 "Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God."
9 And God said to Abraham: "As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10 "This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;
11 "and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
Abraham is the forefather of faith in Christ. Abraham wasn’t justified by works, but by trusting God. The works followed, but he was justified before he carried out any acts of religious works.
God revealed Himself
Abraham’s journey of faith began by God revealing Himself to Abraham. Abraham did not seek out God, but God sought and called Abraham. That has never changed. No one decides to find God. We may think we are the one searching, but in reality God is working in our lives to draw us to Himself. God deals with people in different ways. Some people hit rock bottom and then are driven to look for God. Some people are drawn to intellectually search for answers through knowledge or religion and eventually find God. Some people see God in the lives of others and some have chance encounters and someone shares the gospel with them. There are countless ways people find Christ, but all of these have one thing in common, God’s unseen hand drawing others to Himself. Jesus taught this principle in the following passages:
John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
27 "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.
28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The Bible expressly tells us that no one can come to the knowledge of Christ and find salvation unless the Father draws him. We are all drawn by the unseen hand of God. Through circumstances, problems or just the emptiness inside that God stirs to make us search for something more. Scripture makes it clear that the Father draws us to the Son and no one can come to the Father except through the Son, Jesus Christ. Or as Acts 4:12 puts it, Jesus Christ is the only “name under heaven given to us by which we must be saved”. You cannot find God unless He draws you and you cannot have salvation without Christ. We are drawn to Christ for our salvation. This hasn’t changed since the beginning. Abraham’s faith was in God through the promise that would one day be fulfilled in Christ.
Abraham’s relationship with God began with God revealing Himself.
Walk Before Me
The relationship was established first. God’s call is never to just believe that He exists. God calls for active faith. God called for Abraham to walk before God and be blameless. We are counted as blameless through our abiding relationship. We become pure by inheriting God’s purity, His holiness and His righteousness. Our goodness is a foreign goodness that is credited to us as though it is our own, but without our own merits. The Bible makes it clear that I cannot offer anything that is acceptable to God by my own works. God will only accept what He has produced in my life and I offer back to Him. God only produces the fruits of righteousness in the lives of those who abide in Him. To abide is to have a continuous walk and unbroken relationship with Him.