Abram the Called

Abraham

“So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.” (Genesis 12:4)

It is not clear from the text just how God made Himself known to Abram when He called him to go to Canaan. The language would imply that there was an audible conversation of some sort—far different from what you and I might expect today. At the time of this calling, Abram was a not then a follower of Yahweh, yet the circumstances of God’s intervention were enough to persuade Abram to uproot his family and start the journey.

Abram’s calling and initial response (Genesis 12:1-5) are analogous to an “awakening,” the initial faith to “see” God (Ephesians 2:8). There were no specifics in God’s promise, only broad terms of blessing.

Abram’s response was all that he knew to do at that time, to respond in obedience (non-resistance) just as the Scripture implies we are to do (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2-5). Salvation is completely God’s doing; our “work” is never involved (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:8-17). All we can ever do is rebel and reject the drawing that God wields (John 6:44). Damnation is man’s work (John 3:19-21; Romans 1:18-32).

That is why Abram became the biblical example of the faithful (Galatians 3:6-9; Hebrews 11:8-10). The actual moment of Abram’s “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24) seems to have come somewhat later when he “believes God” (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3). Although repentance and faith may come in a rapid sequence, sometimes (especially in adult conversions) the events may be drawn out over time. Either way, it is by “grace are ye saved, through faith” (Ephesians 2:8).

 

 

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Faith, Self Defined

Faith Towards Jesus

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off and were persuaded of them, and embraced them.” (Hebrews 11:13)

Some have struggled with the word “faith,” desiring a succinct definition of it, but nowhere in Scripture does a working definition of faith appear. In places, however, the Bible gives a rather indirect definition of faith. Keeping in mind that the words “belief” and “faith” are translations of the same Greek word, let us look at several such texts.

Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, said of Mary, “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).

Paul knew that God intended for him to be brought before Caesar and encouraged his shipmates as they were about to be shipwrecked with the words: “Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me” (Acts 27:25).

Speaking of Abraham’s faith that God would give him a son, Paul says that “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” (Romans 4:20-21).

Of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, it is said, “Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised” (Hebrews 11:11).

These verses and the verse in our text give us a working definition of faith. It is, therefore, a firm belief, a conviction, a judgment that God is both capable and faithful to perform what He has promised and that there will be such a performance. This kind of faith brings the future into present reality.

 

 

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Parents told to switch off life support as it ‘cost too much’

Parents who were told by doctors to end life support for their premature daughter because of the cost, have now celebrated her third birthday.

Faith Snell was born at 25 weeks in December 2012, weighing just 1lb 2oz.

She spent the first six weeks of her life in intensive care after suffering a brain haemorrhage during an emergency caesarean section.

Quality of life

Faith lost 60 per cent of the function in the left side of her brain, and doctors told parents Leanne and Anthony that she would not be able to walk, talk or have any quality of life.

Leanne and Anthony had already lost a child, Zander, who was stillborn at 22 weeks in 2010.

The couple were twice recommended to turn off their daughter Faith’s life support machine.

‘More important’

Leanne said that on the second occasion, doctors said “Are you sure? It’s going to cost us a lot of money”.

She told the doctors, “my daughter’s life is a lot more important than money”.

Leanne and Anthony took Faith home in April 2013 expecting her to be on oxygen for four years – yet a week later she was breathing on her own.

First steps

She now suffers from hemiplegia, which means she will never have much movement in the right-hand side of her body.

With the help of physiotherapy, Faith learned to crawl at 18 months and took her first steps aided by leg splints after she had turned two.

Leanne said: “She can talk more than they thought she would be able to. She can play, she can draw and she’s really good at counting.”

Normal life

“Her consultant thinks that she will just live a normal life and go to a normal school”.

“She is a bit clumsy and she gets frustrated with things like eating because she can’t use her right hand so she can’t feed herself.

“But I just want people to know that it is not all bad”, she added.

Angry

Referring to the hospital’s advice to turn off Faith’s life support, Leanne said: “Seeing how well she has done now I feel angry and sad that they even gave us the option”.

“If we did we wouldn’t know what we do now. Every time Faith does something new I think ‘If I’d turned the machines off I never would have seen this’.”

The Christian Institute’s ‘Choose Life’ series highlighted stories of parents who chose not to abort.

Life expectancy

Writer and broadcaster Hilary McDowell was given a life expectancy of three weeks when she was born.

Doctors said she would never walk and possibly never speak but today her success in many fields means she travels the globe for writing and speaking engagements.

She said: “Every child deserves life”.

 

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