Many lack faith in God by lacking faith in God’s promises. However, Abraham had no unbelief that hindered his faith. Paul reported, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was ‘counted to him as righteousness.’” (Romans 4:20–22 ESV). Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac because Abraham believed that God would allow him to return home with Isaac (Genesis 22:5). It is written, “He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back” (Hebrews 11:19).
Why did Abraham believe that God would resurrect Isaac? This is not because the Scriptures report that God told Abraham that He would resurrect Isaac. Abraham believed that God could resurrect the dead and would resurrect Isaac because God keeps His promises. God promised, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named” (Hebrews 11:18; cf. Genesis 21:12). Many misotheists (haters of God) revile the Bible for teaching that God would command a father to kill his son. However, Abraham’s faith demonstrated that he believed God was just and there was no evil in sacrificing his son, because God promised to bless the nations through his son. Abraham believed that God must intend to resurrect the innocent and just.
God saves those who trust in Him specifically those who share the faith of Abraham (Romans 4:13–16). God’s grace is promised to more than the Israelites who received the Law but to all who have faith among all nations of the world (Romans 4:16). For this reason, Paul reported that Abraham is the father of all the faithful among the nations. Paul wrote, “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” (Romans 4:17). Trusting in God is believing that God brought everything in the universe into existence, so God can restore even recreate the bodies of the dead to life.
The Pauline writer of Hebrews declared, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). In other words, faith in God is the only view that accounts for everything and makes sense of reality. The faith that perceives the attributes of the Creator in the creation is the faith that a Christian must have. The writer of Hebrews further explained, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Abraham believed in God’s power to create, resurrect, and prepare a place for the resurrected. By faith, Abraham obeyed God and went to live in the Promised Land because “he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10). Christians live the way that Abraham did because the faithful like Abraham look forward to a city in a heavenly homeland that God has designed for them when they resurrect. Those who die in faith “desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16).
For Abraham, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Do you have faith like Abraham? Do you believe God will resurrect the faithful and believe in God’s coming judgment? Jesus’s resurrection is the gospel of hope that Christians proclaim as Jesus’s resurrection is essential to the Christian faith. Thank God that Jesus bodily rose from the dead.