Paul has written much about the importance of Abrahamís faith (belief and trust in God). However, Abraham came from a nation where people served false gods. In addition, he probably never read any part of our Bible. He could only believe those things that God had taught him directly. It seems important, therefore, for us to ask what Abraham actually believed.
Paul mentions here two particular beliefs that Abraham had. Hebrews chapter 11 also contains references to those two beliefs (Hebrews 11:3 and 11:19). They are simple beliefs, but they have the power to change peopleís lives completely. God changed Abrahamís life by these beliefs, and by that means he changed the future of the world.
(1) Abraham believed that God brings life to dead people. He considered that God had done that in his own life (4:19). He continued to believe it when God told him to offer his son, Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18); and God did not disappoint his faith (Hebrews 11:17-19).
(2) Abraham also believed that God creates. In other words, God causes to exist those things that do not exist. God did that when he created the world (Hebrews 11:3). He will do it again when he creates the new world (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). Abraham understood about Godís promise to do that, and he eagerly desired it (Hebrews 11:13-16).
So, Abraham believed that God can do impossible things. In other words, God does things that are impossible for us (Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Luke 1:37). Nothing is too difficult for God to do. Therefore, Abraham realised that he could trust Godís promises to him. Even when those promises seemed impossible, God would certainly carry them out.
Next part: Abrahamís hope (Romans 4:18-19)
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© 2017, Keith Simons.