Romans 4:13-18 (ESV)
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”
People are often surprised when they read from our verse today that Abraham is the father of us all. Isn’t Abraham the father of the Jewish nation? God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations not just the Jewish nation.
Through the line of Abraham would come Jesus and therefore many nations would be blessed. Abraham pleased God not through his actions but through his faith in the promise God had given him. All Abraham had to go on was God’s promise to guide and bless him.
When Jesus entered this earth, God’s promise to Abraham was fulfilled. Through Abrahams’s faith in what he could not see the entire world would be blessed.
We please God by our faith is Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross. Jesus said in John 20:29 to his disciple, Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” We believe because we have faith in what we cannot see but know in our hearts to be true. Through faith in Jesus we not only have God’s promise of eternal life but also his promise to guide and bless us.
Through faith like Abraham we too can bless many generations to come, and say with confidence “Yes, I am a child of Abraham; and more wondrously I am a child of the Living God.”
Father of Abraham and our Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that I am your child through faith in Jesus not by what I see or do but by what I believe in my heart. Help me live as your child, trusting in your promises and guidance and sharing my faith with others so that generations to come may be blessed. Amen