Abraham’s faith was like Noah’s ‘a righteousness of faith’, of which they became heirs. Abraham just like Noah walked a walk of faith. As to their lives, they lived by faith. As to their death, they died in faith.
GALATIANS 3:6 *Very Important* Abraham was accounted righteous some four hundred and thirty years before the law was given to Moses, and , moreover, that this was by faith alone:
‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness’.
In the New Testament Abraham is seen as the exemplar, his believing as exemplary, and in him justification is set forth an example the radiance of which shines to the ends of the earth and to the closing days of time. More than any person, and more than any other place — save, perhaps (Habakkuk 2:4), Abraham in Gen. 15:6 is cited to show the substance of the gospel and the essence of the faith. It is true to say that to the Apostle Paul the gospel of Jesus Christ could not be properly be preached/teached, nor could faith in him be rightly be declared, without opening, enlarging, and applying the truth that ‘Abraham believed god and it was converted to him for righteousness’.
Here was Abraham, the Father of the faithful, the heir of the promises, the friend of God Almighty, the one in whose hearing was sworn the oath of the Sovereign One, who heard his immutable counsel, saw the vision of the righteousness of faith, of Christ, of Christ crucified, of the resurrection from the dead of the heavenly country, and of the Holy City.
Here was the one in whom the gospel was preached before to the heathen, the one in whom all nations should be blessed. Here was the father of all the children of promise, the one in whom the gospel was ministered four hundred and thirty years before the law was given: in a words, here was the one of whom it was written, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness’.
Abraham believed God, despite the darkness, despite the serpent, despite the fall, despite sin, despite the curse, despite death/murder, despite the judgement to come, he believed God. He believed god to overcome the darkness, the serpent, the fall, the sin, the curse, death, and the judgement to come which he feared. Like Noah, Abraham was moved with fear, knowing that god would judge the world in righteousness not by water for a generation but by fire for evermore, of which the fire fell upon Sodom and Gomorrah —– Abraham having seen the country burning as a furnace with his own eyes — was but a token.
Observing Noah’s belief, Abraham looked for a spiritual ark by faith, an ark that would carry him and his seed through the coming deluge of eternal fire. Like Noah, Abraham built an altar, Gen.8:20; 12:7,8, and 13:18, becoming heir with him of the righteousness which is by faith Hebrews 11:7.
And how should Abraham know so much of Noah, that he should follow the faith of him who found grace in the eyes of the Lord?
Because for well over half a century Abraham and Noah were contemporaries. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing where he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise. Yes, by faith he went out into a place, the land of promise, but he never received it as an inheritance, he dwelt in it as in a strange country. What did he think of this, did his faith fail him?
NO, for he looked through the earthly sign to the heavenly reality. He gazed beyond time into eternity. He saw past death to the resurrection and the new life. Hence Abraham endured as seeing Him who is invisible, receiving the promise of earthly Canaan as a heavenly pledge that he should be heir of the world to come (ROMANS 4:13).
In this world, Abraham received not so much as a foot’s breadth of land. For all the promise, he had needs, a need to purchase a burying place, a graveyard, from the sons of Heth, to lay to rest his wife. Nothing. Abraham had nothing. No land. Despite the promise of God, he was after all a stranger in the land, a sojourner, he wandered as a nomad, dwelling in tents to the third generation. No land to build a house. No permanent building. No city for his posterity. Did this ancient patriarch Abraham still
believe after all that?
YES, by faith he ’looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God’, (HEBREWS 11:10). Abraham’s faith, the faith of God’s elect was true and saving faith, the faith that comes from God alone, and could not fail. Nor shall any of his spiritual seed.
Abraham, who rejoiced to see Christ’s day, believed in the Lord when he met Melchizedek, GEN.14:18,19,20, and gave him all tithes.
What did Abraham see in this man Melchizedek (mystery man), that he should part with a tenth of all his income? And who was this that blessed even Abraham, for ‘ without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better’?
Indeed, who was this, said to be Abraham’s better, and what did the friend of God, the father of the faithful, see in him?
Abraham saw one ‘without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; one made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually, (HEBREWS 7:3). And
Abraham believed in the Lord, and it was counted to him for righteousness.
In the person of Melchizedek, by faith Abraham beheld the King in his beauty. The name Melchizedek is a compound which unites the Hebrew word for king, melek, with that for Righteousness, tsedeq. It is, by interpretation, King of righteousness. He reigned over human righteousness, legal righteousness, divine righteousness, (every form of righteousness): it was his royal gift. Righteousness, absolutely, was his dominion. It was his administration.
King of Salem, which is King of peace is what Melchizedek stood for. His was a dominion of peace. So righteousness and peace kissed each other. The basis of peace is righteousness established:
Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. This Prince of Peace, who reigned through righteousness upon Mount Zion, brought forth bread and wine, symbols of a broken body and shed blood to come, which should bring in everlasting righteousness. Melchizedek blessed Abraham saying, ‘Peace be unto thee.’
(c) 2005 copyright Daniele Luciano Moskal
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