Exerts from the life of Abraham,,

We see in this the workings of God’s grace very early in the Old Testament. The gospel didn’t start with the life and death of Jesus but goes all the way back to Genesis. In Genesis 3:15, God made a promise that the “seed of the woman” would crush the head of the serpent. Theologians believe this is the first mention of the gospel in the Bible. The rest of the Old Testament chronicles the outworking of the gospel of God’s grace through the line of promise beginning with Seth (Genesis 4:26). The calling of Abraham was just another piece in the story of redemption. Paul tells us that the gospel was preached beforehand to Abraham when God told him “all nations will be blessed through you” (Galatians 3:8).

Another thing we learn from Abraham’s life is that faith is not hereditary. In Matthew 3:9, Luke 3:8, and John 8:39, we learn that it is not enough to be physically descended from Abraham to be saved. The application for us is that it is not enough to be raised in a Christian home; we do not enter into fellowship with God or gain entry into heaven based on someone else’s faith. God is not obligated to save us simply because we have an impeccable Christian pedigree. Paul uses Abraham to illustrate this in Romans 9, where he says not all who descended from Abraham were elected unto salvation (Romans 9:7). God sovereignly chooses those who will receive salvation, but that salvation comes through the same faith that Abraham exercised in his life.

Finally, we see that James uses the life of Abraham as an illustration that faith without works is dead (James 2:21). The example he uses is the story of Abraham and Isaac on Mount Moriah. Mere assent to the truths of the gospel is not enough to save. Faith must result in good works of obedience that show a living faith. The faith that was enough to justify Abraham and count him as righteous in God’s eyes (Genesis 15)

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