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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Father Abraham, Mother Sarah

In the Old Testament, we read the story of Abraham, a remarkable man who obeyed God, led his family to travel eventually to the land of Canaan, and trusted in the Lord. He even had the privilege of meeting pre-incarnate Jesus in the plains of Mamre. He was brave and obedient, and the Arab and Jewish people rightly credit him for being their forefather. (Abraham and Hagar’s son Ishmael became the father of the Arabs, and his “son of the covenant” Isaac, born to Sarah in their old age, is the father of the Jews.)

The Bible says there are additional sons of Abraham. The Apostle Paul writes in the New Testament, Romans 4:16: Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all.

The passage goes on to describe God’s covenant with Abraham—to make him the father of many nations—and how Abraham believed God, even though he and Sarah were both beyond the age of having children. (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb (verses 17-19).

God reveals Abraham’s unswerving faith: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness (verses 20-22). So how was Abraham saved? Just like everyone—by faith in God’s Word, by faith in God! (See also Ephesians 2:8-9.)

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Roman church continues: Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification (verses 23-25). Paul reiterates that salvation comes through faith in God, believing in Jesus’ death for our sins and His burial and resurrection.

And so, the promise of God is sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all (Romans 4:16).

The clear teaching is that Christians—those who have put their faith in the God of Abraham and have accepted God’s Son Jesus as Savior—are children of Abraham through faith. We don’t have to be Arab or Jewish to be in this group. We can be his children through faith.

Galatians 3:7 repeats this: Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

What about Sarah? How can we be her children?

This answer is fascinating, and it’s for women only. Let’s read 1 Peter 3:1-6 to understand. First, notice it’s talking to wives of unbelieving husbands, and later the instruction seems to include all women who want to please God: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Now, we come to the part specifically about Sarah: For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Reading back to find out how to become Sarah’s daughters, we find that she’s an example to women in several ways:
  • Her spirit was meek and quiet.
  • Her heart trusted in God. (Faith)
  • She yielded to her husband.
  • She respected her husband.
  • She wasn’t afraid.

Anyone of true saving faith in Jesus Christ is a child of Abraham.

Any believing wife who has a meek and quiet spirit, yields to and respects her husband, and doesn’t live in fear is a daughter of Sarah, too.

Are you a child of Abraham by faith? Are you also Sarah's daughter? 

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