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Romans 4:18-20


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

I've been having a hard time this morning, applying myself to do this next study. My life seems to be getting fuller spiritually with studying in 'this' area, or 'that' area. But I know that my primary responsibility before You is to continue this Romans study so I just ask for Your help with disciplining myself to get this done. I feel like the enemy will use any distraction, however 'good' it may appear, to keep me out of Your Word, so I'm glad to be here Father, right now, as I go into today's study.

 

I ask that You would pour our Your Spirit over the words written today...that their 'life' would permeate each person's heart, causing them to be filled with Your Truth. May we begin to know the true life in Christ that You have provided for us, with Your Son.

 

May the transformations that You work in each of our lives, bring glory to You...may You find our desire to be more obedient pleasing. As for me, myself, take my life this day, and work out Your perfect will in it. As each day goes by, I find myself wanting more of Your will, than my own, which in and of itself is nothing short of a miracle.

 

I love You, Father.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

18. Who against hope in hope kept on believing, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to what was spoken: So shall thy seed be!

 

19. And not at all weakened in his faith, he took full account of his own body, as in a dead condition (he being about a hundred years old), and also the deadness of Sarah's womb,

 

20. But, looking unto God's promise, he wavered not through unbelief, but on the contrary became inwardly strengthened through faith, giving glory to God,

 

Watchman Nee comments in verse 18, on the word "in", stating: "Literally, on. Abraham, as the example of one who is justified out of faith, lived by the things hoped for."

 

The rvbv writes, "Here, then, in verses 18 to 25 we have the difficult, though blessed and glorious, yea, and God-glorifying path of faith, exemplified in Abraham. He kept on in hope, believing contrary to all human hopes! There were many trials to his faith, the essence of the difficulty, however, always being to "look unto the promise of God" alone, and not to circumstances, or to the impossibility, according to the flesh, of the promise's being fulfilled.

 

We inherit what Abraham believed for and received. Mark down two points, naming the first "A" for Abraham; and the second, "C" for Christ. Now draw a line from "A" to "C" and then onward, and let that line represent the line of God's blessing. The promises of blessing were lodged in Abraham, and all conditions of blessing were fulfilled by Christ; and you and I merely step into the line of blessing from Abraham through Christ. It is good to be born into a good family on earth; how blessed to be in the great family of faith, the family of God, along with Abraham!

 

Satan hates active faith in a believer's heart, and opposes it, with all his power. The world, of course, is unbelieving, and despises those who claim only "the righteousness of faith." The example of professing Christians generally is also against the path of simple faith. Among the "seven abominations" that Bunyan said he still found in his heart, was "a secret inclining to unbelief." "Against hope," against reason, against "feeling," against opinions of others, against all human possibilities whatever, we are to keep believing.

 

This is the very article and essence of faith, that it reckons as God does, - that is, upon God as described here, giving live not to the feeble, but to the dead, to those who cannot be "recovered" or "helped" or so wrought upon or patched up as to become something that they were not before; but who are absolutely hopeless, dead!

 

That God should call the things that are not as being, is what faith rejoices in! Only God could call things thus. Abraham becomes before our eyes the particular shining example of this.

 

Verse 19: His own body as in a dead condition - "he considered" it, and knew it to be thus, and was therefore wholly hopeless in himself. Moreover, Abraham knew Sarah was "past age," unable to bear a child. He had before him, then, himself as dead, and the deadness of Sarah's womb. But he also had before him the promise of God: "Thou shalt become a father of many nations"; "So shall thy seed be."

 

Verse 20: It was plainly and only a question of the veracity of God, and of His ability to carry out what He had promised. Abraham, therefore, believed in Jehovah (Gen. 15:5,6); and he wavered not through unbelief, but became inwardly strengthened through faith, giving glory to God; and also even Sarah herself "counted Him faithful who had promised; and received power to conceive seed."

 

We find in Genesis 17:17 that Abraham not only considered the natural deadness of his body, but also brought up the quesiton before the Lord: "Shall a child be born unto him that is a hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?" But, Jehovah having answered his objection with a definite promise, Abraham thereafter refused to have his faith weakened by any natural thought of himself and Sarah, but set God's promise only before his mind, without wavering, as "double-minded" people, in their doubting, do. (James 1:6-8). Indeed, his constancy was such that it evidently wrought upon the doubting Sarah, who learned that He was "faithful who had promised." (God let Abraham wait many years, over thirteen at least...before he began to let him realize the promises in the birth of Isaac.) Sarah's incredulous but eager laugh (gen. 18:12,13,15) Jehovah charged her sternly with; for He had before when Abraham laughed (Gen. 17:16-19), named the son whom she was to bear "Isaac" - which means laughter! Thus both Abraham and Sarah thought this thing "too good to be true"; but God in faithfulness brought it to pass. And we remember the happy laughter into which Sarah finally entered: "Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh; every one that heareth will laugh with me" (Gen. 21:5-7). Every time she spoke the name "Isaac" she could remember her doubt, and how gracious Jehovah had been to her."

 

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I've struggled getting this study done this morning. I'm having trouble applying myself, so I'm sorry. But let each step I take towards it, regardless of how I'm feeling, be blessed by You. I really do love Your Word, I love this learning process I've been going through while doing this Romans study, but I don't know why this morning, I've just felt a little distant. I know this walk is not by feeling, but by faith, so I trust that You will do Your perfect will, even with this.

 

Bless all who read today's study, and help me Lord to get a few things I need to get done, around here.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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