"Contrary to hope, in hope believed..."
Text: Romans 4:18
THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM EXAMINED
What was the faith of Abraham like? Paul had these fine words to say about Abraham and his faith.
“Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed,
so that he became the father of many nations,
according to what was spoken.”
1. God’s promise to Abraham
a) There was the promise of becoming a great nation (Cf. Genesis 12:2).
b) There was the promise of having a great name (Cf. Genesis 12:2).
c) There was the promise of being a blessing to many (Cf. Genesis 12:3)
d) There was the promise of the land of Canaan (Cf. Genesis 12:7)
e) There was the promise of blessing upon all Abraham’s descendants (Cf. Genesis 13:14-17)
f) There was the promise of being “a father of many nations” (Cf. Genesis 17:4-5)
2. Contrary to hope, in hope believed
a) Abraham exercised faith in God’s promises.
b) However, the promises were not yet realized, and thus he had to place great trust in God. This is called “hope”.
c) Abraham had to battle doubts.
i) How could he become a father of many nations?
ii) How could God fulfill all He had promised?
iii) Abraham fought his doubts, and clung to his faith and hope in God!
A FAITH THAT GOD HONOURED
The faith of Abraham pleased God! As a result of his genuine faith in God, he was given a great name “father of many nations”. God thought it fitting to have a name change. Abram (“high father”) was now permanently changed to “Abraham”- father of many nations!