Children of Abraham
Adam and Eve
19 December 2018
The Son of God, the Lord Christ, is eternal. He was in the beginning with God (Jn 1:1). That means the Savior Himself consorted with the patriarchs and made promises to them. The living Word of God expressed Himself to His forefathers in the flesh and spoke of the coming salvation that He would provide for them. The knowledge of the Messiah was reciprocal. He knew the patriarchs and He was known by them. As the eternal Son revealed Himself and promised His coming to the patriarchs, the patriarchs like Abraham had a full experience of the messianic life and hope, seeing, like us, what was unseen.
 
We have the same faith as the patriarchs, the only differences are the amount of information that has been opened to us through the fulfillment of the divine promises (2Pt 1:19) and our perspective looking back on the fulfillment rather than ahead to a fulfillment yet to come. We are in the same position of walking by faith, just as they were. Whether you have more or less information, look backward or forward, it doesn't matter. It's all by faith. This is what makes us all children of Abraham.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Irenaeus of Lyons
"Abraham, knowing the Father through the Word, who made heaven and earth, confessed Him to be God; and having learned, by an announcement [made to him], that the Son of God would be a man among men, by whose advent his seed should be as the stars of heaven, he desired to see that day, so that he might himself also embrace Christ; and, seeing it through the spirit of prophecy, he rejoiced (Gn 17:17; Jn 8:56). Therefore Simeon, one of his descendants, also carried out fully the rejoicing of the patriarch, and said: 'Lord, now let Your servant depart in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in the sight of all people: a light for the revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of Your people Israel' (Lk 2:29). Likewise, angels announced tidings of great joy to the shepherds who were keeping watch by night (Lk 2:8). Moreover, Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior' (Lk 1:46). The rejoicing of Abraham descended upon those who sprang from him, those, who were watching, and who beheld Christ, and believed in Him; while, on the other hand, there was a reciprocal rejoicing which passed backwards from the children to Abraham, who also desired to see the day of Christ's coming. Rightly, then, did our Lord bear witness to him, saying, 'Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad' (Jn 8:56).
 
"For it was not alone upon Abraham's account that God said these things. He said these things that He might point out how all who have known God from the beginning, and have foretold the advent of Christ, have received the revelation from the Son Himself. They foretold the coming of the One who also in the last times was made visible, capable of suffering, and spoke with the human race, that He might from the stones raise up children of Abraham, and fulfill the promise which God had given him, and that He might make Abraham's seed as the stars of heaven (Gn 15:5), as John the Baptizer says: 'For God is able from these stones to raise up children unto Abraham' (Mt 3:9). Now, this Jesus did by drawing us off from the religion of stones, and bringing us over from hard and fruitless cogitations, and establishing in us a faith like to Abraham. As Paul does also testify, saying that we are children of Abraham because of the similarity of our faith, and the promise of the inheritance."

 Irenaeus, Against Heresies
Romans 4:9-17

For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
 
For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
 
That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring-not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"-in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. (ESV)
Prayer
Lord God, heavenly Father, as Abraham believed in the messianic hope and it was credited to him as righteousness, grant that we too share that hope with Abraham, have that righteousness as a gift of grace, dwell in the inheritance of Abraham, and see with Abraham what he saw, even Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we pray. Amen.
 
For all shut in Christians, especially Joyce Burrows, Lois Vaughn, Carl and Gladys Ferm, Ed Jutzi, Helen Weaver, Anita Markwardt, Rita Baker, Marie Hoyer, Joanie Hoyer, and Lucille Herter, that their gracious Lord would grant them faith and confidence in the care of their gracious Lord as they await His glorious return
 
For the children of Memorial Lutheran School as they provide word and song during the Advent service tonight, that they would be witnesses to the coming Christ
 
For all those who are burdened by psychological disease, that they would find their strength and hope in Christ
 
For all foreign missionaries, that they would find joy in their calling to serve the people of every tribe and nation
Art: Raffaellino dell Garbo  The Annunciation (c. 1510)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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