The Father of our Faith (Messed Up a Lot)

Abraham is considered the father of the Christian faith. Two other major belief systems consider him their father also – Islam and Judaism. So basically more than half the world considers him the father of their faith.


But when we read Abraham’s life, you don’t have a picture of spotless perfection. We have a man who’s committed scandalous offenses including:

  • fathering a child with the household help then later abandoning the child and his mother,
  • fearing for his own life so he convinced his wife to risk her safety and honor to save him (twice!)
  • enriching himself significantly by having abandoned his wife

If any presidential candidate had just one of those offenses go public, it would torpedo his campaign. Abraham has three such transgressions.

But God continually reminded Abraham of His promises to bless him, give him a huge family, and use him to help all nations.

Why would God work with such a man? How could He say, “This is my guy. The one who I’ll use to introduce myself to the whole world.”

A simple answer: Abraham believed God.

And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:6

When God said something Abraham believed it. And that became Abraham’s righteousness. It effectively covered over all of his horrible mistakes and made him eligible to receive all God promised. When God checked Abraham’s statement of account, He didn’t count any of Abraham’s mistakes. All He saw was Abraham was righteous because he believed.

That’s insane. Is that all it really takes? Were his crimes forgotten that quickly? Is Abraham this worldwide icon today despite having a life that reads like a tabloid story simply because he believed? Yes.

And the Bible says that God’s deal with Abraham is available to us also:

But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:23-25

Thoughts for us:

  1. Faith saves us. Christianity is not for the perfect (or people who imagine themselves to be perfect). It’s for those who know they’re sinful, but are willing to believe that in Jesus Christ, there is forgiveness for sin.
  2. Faith causes us to act. Abraham didn’t have a perfect life, but his faith meant that he followed wherever God said. And when he made a mistake, he heard God’s voice again and followed where it directed.
  3. Faith receives the impossible. From a random childless individual walking around Mesopotamia to having great wealth, an extremely blessed lineage, and becoming a pillar of human civilization, Abraham’s entire life changed the moment he believed God’s Word to him.

Now the only question is, “Do you believe?”

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