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A Man Called Of God

by Ron Bartanen

bartenen3“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out unto a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed: and he went out, not knowing whither he went” (Hebrews 11:8 ).

Few, if any, Old Testament person is more significant than faithful Abraham, a man honored by the adherents to the world’s three most prominent religions—Christian, Jewish and Islam. He is the one Old Testament saint most often referred to in the New Testament. The apostle Paul spoke of him as “the father of all them that believe, who walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Romans 4:11-12 ). Verses 17 and 18 thus speak of him as “a father of many nations.”

Abraham was truly a man called of God who was willing to step out in faith and obey God. Called by God out of Ur of the Chaldees, a city notorious for its idolatry, to journey to a foreign land, the land of Canaan, Abraham obeyed, accepting, by faith, the reality of the God who called Him, and the promises of God. God not only had promised the land to Abraham and his descendants through his son Isaac, but had also promised, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because thou hast obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18 ). That promised seed or descendant is Jesus (Galatians 3:16 ).

While Abraham looked forward to the promised seed by faith, we look backward to the Seed who has come. Only through faith in Christ can we obtain the blessing conferred upon this man of faith. Romans 4 , a chapter on the faith of Abraham, speaks of him as “the father of them that believe…that righteousness might be imputed to them also” (Rom. 4:11), then declaring, “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

The faith of Abraham was in response to the call of God. The call of God today is not direct and audible, but through the gospel. To the Christians at Thessalonica Paul declared, “He called you by our gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:14). Ours is a call to a far-more-glorious land than the land of Canaan—a “heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1 ). Our response, too, is by faith to step out in obedience to His word in repentance, confession of faith and baptism (Acts 2:38 ; Romans 10:10 ; Acts 22:16 ), trusting Him who “died for our sins…was buried, and rose again…” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ) Have you heeded that call? Do you continue to “walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Romans 11:18 )?

-Ron Bartanen  lives in Sullivan, IL and  preaches for the  Arthur Church of Christ

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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10