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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas


Abraham is the father of all them who believe, and who walk in the steps of that faith which he had while yet uncircumcised.

This is the apostle's testimony.

I think I need scarcely say, yet it may be useful to do so, that no one can walk in the steps of Abraham's faith who does not believe the same things.

This is self-evident.

It is to be to Abraham according to his faith; and this is the rule for everyone else.

We shall inherit what we have faith in.

If we have an understanding faith in the truth, we shall inherit the truth; but if we believe in what is not true, and therefore visionary, we shall inherit nothing but the whirlwind.

Now, if it be asked, What is the truth? -- the answer is, the things which Abraham believed, with the acknowledgment that Jesus is the Seed spoken of in the promises made to him.

It is, therefore, essential to our salvation that we be familiar with the matters of his faith.

To make this as easy as possible then, I shall here subjoin a summary of the faith which was counted to him for righteousness.

I would just remind the reader here that Abraham was justified because he believed in God.

This does not mean because he believed in the existence of God.

This is implied.

To believe on God in the scripture sense is the "being fully persuaded that what he has promised, he is also able to perform"; and because this was the case with Abraham, "therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness".

Furthermore, this persuasion does not consist in saying, "Whatever it is God has promised I know not, but of this I am persuaded, He will perform it".

This is not the sort of persuasion God accepts.

He requires men to acquaint themselves first with what He has promised, and then to consult the testimony He has given until they are fully persuaded, as Abraham was.

"Now," says the apostle, "it was not written for Abraham's sake alone, that his full persuasion of the divine promise was counted to him for righteousness; but for us also to whom it shall be imputed if we believe on God.

In studying the life of Abraham, his biography presents him As an idolater under condemnation with the world; As a believer of the gospel preached by the angel of the Lord; As justified from all past sins by faith in its promises; and As justified by works unto eternal life.

These four particulars are affirmable of all Abraham's spiritual children.

Born of the flesh, they are denizens of the world, and heirs of condemnation; then they believe the gospel; afterwards they are justified by faith from past sins; and subjected to a subsequent probation by which their faith is tried and made perfect.

It is worthy of remark here, that Abraham believed the gospel ten years before his faith was counted to him for righteousness.