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Volume 24 - Page 101 of 211 Index | Zoom | |
"And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our
fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope
to come. For which hope's sake, King Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews. Why should it
be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" (Acts 26: 6-8).
There is no need for proof here that in the mind of Paul "the hope of the promise made
of God" and the resurrection of the dead were inseparable.
Among the fathers who received the promise of God Abraham stands out
pre-eminently. Let us turn to the inspired comment upon his faith given in Rom. 4: In
verses 13, 14 and 16 the promise to Abraham is specifically mentioned; and at verse 17
the apostle speaks of Abraham's own reaction to the promise of God, and reveals the
secret spring of all his faith and hope:--
"(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before Him Whom he
believed, even God, Who quickeneth the dead and calleth those things which be not as
though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father
of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being
not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an
hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb: 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"
(Rom. 4: 17-21).
Comment upon such plain speaking is superfluous. The God that stood behind the
promise to a man and woman as good as dead, must be the God of resurrection.
We find the same facts presented in a slightly different form and for a different
purpose in Heb. 11::--
"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. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the
stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea-shore innumerable"
(Heb. 11: 11, 12).
Here the birth of Isaac is again seen to be nothing short of life from the dead.
Heb. 11: takes us forward to that crisis in Abraham's experience, when he became
willing to offer up his son Isaac. Here again we may perceive the strength of his faith in
the God of resurrection:--
"By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the
promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy
seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from
whence also he received him in a figure" (Heb. 11: 17-19).
Associated with the promises of God there is His own power to raise the dead, there is
His own Son Who was raised from the dead, and there is His own purpose to raise all His