The Deeds of Abraham

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Deeds of Abraham

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

"I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven, and will give your descendants all these lands; and by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My Commandments, My statutes and My laws." Genesis 26:4-5

 Because Abraham is called the father of the faithful and because he acquired the righteousness of God through his faith, many assume that he did not walk according to the Laws of God. Our text clearly shows that "because" Abraham obeyed God and kept His Laws, God made a Covenant with him and greatly blessed him and his descendants forever.

 Of course, these Laws did not include those added later due to transgressions under Moses.-"Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions. . .until the Seed would come to whom the Promise had been made." (Gal.3) Verse 10 identifies these additional Laws as -"the Book of the Law"  which refers to the more than 600 Laws added later under Moses in the Sinai Covenant.

 But now that Jesus, the Promised Seed and Mediator of Abraham's Covenant of Promise has come we have entered a better Covenant - a Covenant of Grace but not a Covenant without Law, but without the additional Laws. Like Abraham, we obey God and keep the Ten Commandments, the Food Laws, the Law of Tithing and the Holy Day Statutes.

The true children of Abraham and the true heirs of the Covenant of Promise, are those born of the Spirit, -"And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abrahamís descendants, heirs according to promise" (Gal.3) "It is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants." (Rom.9) This is not to say that Abraham obtained righteousness because He kept Godís Laws because we have all sinned and there is no Law that can wash away sin or impart righteousness. The Law reveals to us what sin is,-"Sin is the transgression of the Law." (1 Jo.3)

Because Abraham believed God it was reckoned to him as righteousness, so we see that his righteousness came by faith not by Law. However, he was not lawless but obedient to Godís Laws, Commandments and Statutes.

To the Romans Paul wrote, -"by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified"  but also, -"it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." To bring these two verses into harmony, all we must do is understand the role of the Law - it cannot justify the sinner, yet a sinner cannot be justified without repenting from breaking it.

To continue in sin is an act of rebellion against the sovereignty of God and would be doing the very thing Peter warned against, -"It would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy Commandment handed to them."  Clearly, living the way of righteousness includes obeying Godís Commandments. Jesus said those who love Him will keep the Commandments. (Jo.14)

Abraham was not motivated by the promise of a land flowing with milk and honey, but was looking ahead to his citizenship in the New Jerusalem, -"For he was looking for a city which has foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God." Abraham is the father of the faithful, that is, the Church of God.

 The children of Israel rarely walked in faith and the Apostles warned the Church against following in their mistakes, -"With most of them God was not well-pleased;. . .we should not crave evil things as they also craved. . .nor let us act immorally as some of them did. . .nor let us try the Lord. . .these things were written for our instruction. . .Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." (1 Cor.10)

When facing off with some corrupt Jewish leaders Jesus said, -"If you are Abrahamís children, do the deeds of Abraham." (Jo.8) The deeds of Abraham were produced by his faith. James wrote that faith without works is a dead faith. James said that Abraham demonstrated his faith in the work of being willing to offer his son Isaac, -"faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected." (Ja.2)  Where there is faith, there also are the deeds of Abraham.


 

 

 

 

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