Inheriting the Promises: Following in the steps of Abraham - A Book by Pastor Dan Caram





September 2003


Inheriting the Promises:
Following in the steps of Abraham


The true pattern of faith

"Who through faith…obtained promises" (Heb. 11:33). The foregoing verse tells us that faith is the medium through which the promises of God are claimed. With this thought in mind, we are going to consider the man who is called "The father of faith" (Rom. 4:11-16). Of course, that man is Abraham and he was counted as one that inherited the promise.

Abraham’s life represents the true pattern for inheriting the promises of God. He is a prototype (a pattern) to the children of faith. His walk will show us how we too can inherit the promises and blessing. It says of Abraham: "And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise" (Heb 6:15). How many promises are left unclaimed because of a failure to allow the word of promise to test us?

In today’s Christian society there is a certain pervading mentality that has come to be known as "easy get-ism" – no cost, no investment, no price to be paid. Just claim it, it’s yours! We suddenly have a generation that can jump from Egypt into the Promised Land without the testing of the wilderness. That is scarcely the pattern that we find in Holy Scripture.

Until faith becomes sight

Gal 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Yes, we can legitimately say that we are called to inherit a blessing through Abraham. We could quote Galatians 3:14 and say; "Abraham’s blessings are mine." Theoretically we are called, but what we often overlook is that there are certain conditions that must be satisfied before we receive that promise. Jesus said, "For many are called, but few are chosen" (Mat 22:14).

What does that mean: many are called, but few are chosen? That simply means that to be called is one thing, and to be qualified is something else. The prophet Isaiah declared that we are qualified in the furnace of affliction. In other words, we are qualified via the trial of our faith. "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction" (Isa. 48:10). Being chosen is associated with passing the test.

Walking in the faithful steps

Israel could claim to be heirs of father Abraham physically but spiritually their lives did not measure up to that of faithful Abraham. Israel had very little spiritual fruit, and their lives bore little resemblance to Abraham’s. That is why John the Baptist said, "God is able of these stones to raise up seed to Abraham" (Matt. 3:19). Abraham is the spiritual father of those who follow in his steps:

"And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith" (Rom. 4:12-13).

The promise to Abraham concerned his seed – whose seed we are if we walk in the faithful steps of Abraham. This is what is called "the righteousness of faith." Abraham not only believed, but he walked out what God said. He activated his faith through obedience.

Called, chosen and faithful

Abraham’s life is an example of one who was called, chosen and found faithful. We shall consider these three aspects of the Christian journey throughout this commentary. Just being called and chosen is not enough, it is the end of the race that counts! Many do not finish the race – they are not faithful until the end. The prerequisite for reigning with Christ in the millennium is found in Revelation 17:14:

"These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful."


The life of Abraham helps us (the church) to put life into the right perspective. Abraham caught a glimpse of something eternal, and that vision consumed his whole life. It says of Abraham: "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb 11:10).

The city that Abraham saw afar off was not an earthly one, it was an heavenly one, and it was comprised of his own spiritual offspring. He knew that the real Kingdom was the heavenly one, even though many of the promises concerned the physical realm as well. (The realities of the physical promises are to be realized in the millennium). But as for his sojourn upon earth, he was destined to be a stranger and a pilgrim, setting a precedent for the spiritual offspring who were to follow. (See Heb. 11:13 and 1 Pet. 2:11.)

The greater promises to be fulfilled by Abraham’s seed

The full scope of the promises given to Abraham was only received in token measure. This is stated clearly in Hebrews 11:13: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth"

We are also told in Hebrews 11:39-40: "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."

Our spiritual fathers saw these things from a distance. They were convinced of their validity, they lived their lives in the light of that vision, and it was accounted unto them as though they had attained! However, it is through the church that the vision will be completed: "…They without us should not be made perfect." It is through the means of the church that the vision shall be consummated! In fact, the Master himself substantiated the point when He said: "Greater works than these shall he do…." It is the glorious latter day church that shall complete the acts of faith and they shall incorporate the city that Abraham saw from a distance!

It is with this final thought in mind that I have penned this little commentary: that through the spiritual lessons demonstrated through the steps of faithful Abraham, we too might be recipients of those promises and enter into the things that Father Abraham saw from a distance. Amen!

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
(Heb 6:11-12)



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