|Vol. 15 No. 6 June 2013||
“And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our Father: for I say unto you that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matthew 3:9). John the Baptizer was at the Jordan River baptizing people. He noticed that the Pharisees and Sadducees had come out to see what he was doing. In verse seven it says they “come to his baptism.” It does not say that they came to be baptized. Even if they did intend to allow themselves to be baptized, John through inspiration knew that they were simply putting on a show for the other people there. John called them vipers. That was not what someone wanted to be called. John went further to tell them that repentance always brought forth the proper fruit. Then John made the statement in our verse above. What did John mean? We know that the Jews were descendants of Abraham. We know that God had said that all who were faithful were children of Abraham. So, what point was John making?
Many of the Jewish leaders in the first century taught that Abraham was unique. They believed that Abraham’s goodness was inherited by all Jews. They believed he had built up favor with God to the point that all Jews received merit with God because of Abraham. They believed that all Jews had a place in heaven because of Abraham. Some even taught that Abraham sat at the gate of hell to keep all Jews out. They had become extremely arrogant in their belief that they were saved no matter what they did, because of their ‘father’ Abraham. John was telling them that they were completely wrong in their belief. God could make children of Abraham out of stones if he wanted to do so. They were not as important as they thought they were. They were not saved like they thought they were. The Jew was required to repent of all sins just like any Gentile was required to do. The Jews were required to act like true servants of God by submitting to all His laws and by loving Him. Actions showed the true nature of one’s heart.
There are many professed Christians today who believe that it does not matter what they do or how they live. They believe that they are Abraham’s children simply by stating that they believe in God like Abraham. They are wrong. The only way to be a ‘child of Abraham’ is to obey God like Abraham did. They must obey His commandments.
Study your Bible. Learn what you need to do to be a true child of Abraham, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
Psalms 42, 48, 55 and 73 point out King David’s pondering of this question. He cited many problems created by the wicked for him. Yet, in each of these situations where God was not personally present working a miracle in his life, he cited the Lord’s continued loving kindness, righteousness and trust.
Yet, what was God doing during this time of sorrow in David’s life? The answer comes in Psalm 73:17. He noted that he suffered pain at the thought of the profits of the wicked and the Lord’s seeming absence “until I went into the sanctuary of God.” There God’s Word was being read and David said he “understood the wicked are set in slippery places.” They will slip up, be cast down and suffer for their sinful ways. King David had not left the Lord to curse him, leave his righteous ways or deny his trust during the time of sorrow. He understood God’s work on the wicked “when he went into the sanctuary of God.” Do we wish to be on a slippery slope or inside God’s teaching?