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The perfecting of Abraham's faith, however, is seen in Gen. 22: There he not only
stood before God, having left his native land, his kindred, his father's house, but he had
also foregone his rights in the matter of Lot, and now he goes to the full limits and
voluntarily gives his best, his beloved son in whom all the promises of God were vested.
The Hebrews were exhorted to:
"Be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience INHERIT the
promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no
greater, He sware by Himself" (Heb. 6: 12, 13).
Abraham "patiently endured" and "obtained the promise". So, continues the epistle to
these tried Hebrews:
"Ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive
the promise" (Heb. 10: 36).
James 2: 22 declares that in the offering of Isaac Abraham's faith was "perfected",
brought to its true end, the keyword of Hebrews. Translated into terms of doctrine, the
several steps in Abraham's faith are seen to be so many approximations of the cross of
The step that followed the death of Terah stands for the crucifixion of the old man
(Rom. 6: 6).
The separation from Lot, and the vision that followed with the dwelling at Hebron,
the place of fellowship, stands for the crucifixion of the flesh (Gal. 5: 24).
The repudiation of all reward from the king of Sodom "lest he should say, I have
made Abraham rich", stands for the crucifixion of the world (Gal. 6: 14).
The offering up of Isaac, the beloved son, is the fellowship of His sufferings, the
conformity to His death, which is on the one hand intimately connected with
the perfecting, the prize, and the heavenly citizenship, and on the other is
strongly contrasted with those who mind earthly things, and constitute
themselves "enemies of the cross of Christ" (Phil. 3: 10-21; Heb. 6: 6).
So far we have traced the meaning of the statement "By faith Abraham . . . . . obeyed".
Looking to the opening paragraph of this section we see that there is another pair of
statements to consider. The obedience of faith is found in the words, "Go out", "he went
out". As we read Heb. 11: 8 it might appear that the fact that Abraham knew all about
the inheritance, enabled him to step out in faith. "By faith Abraham, when he was called
to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed". This,
however, is not the meaning. When he obeyed he did not have the inheritance so
definitely revealed, for the verse continues, "and he went out, not knowing whither he
went". This brings Abraham into line with the other examples of faith. "Faith is the
substance . . . . . of things not seen". Noah was warned of the things not seen as yet.
Abraham knew that he was to go into a land of the Lord's providing, and he knew that it
was to be his inheritance, but the revelation of that inheritance grew with his obedience.
Is there no parallel experience suggested in Eph. 1: 18? "That ye may know what
is . . . . . the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints." Is there no parallel in