In Romans 4:18-21 it talks about Abraham and his faith. In this case (I believe) it is talking about the faith he has that God is going to give him a son with his wife. Then in verse 20, the bible says he did not waiver. However, we know that Abraham slept with Hagar and had a child before Sarah gave birth. When I see that, I feel like Abraham did waiver. I was wondering if you could explain that to me?


About your question. I think you could argue that in Romans 4:20 Paul is slightly exaggerating, but only very slightly. Clearly, Abraham at least wavered somewhat. Nevertheless. God uses Abraham as his personification of faith. He is the "father" of those who are saved by faith. He is, arguably, the Hebrew writer’s chief example of faith, and for very good reason. Abraham left everything behind and spent the rest of his life as a wanderer. Did he ever "look back?" Probably, but he never wavered, in the sense that he never went back to Ur. He is the father of faith and the one who "never wavered" because he was willing to make the most incredible sacrifice–even greater than giving up our life for God. He was willing to give up his "one and only son." So, we could get picky and say that technically, Paul is not correct in Romans 4:20, but as far as human beings who have EVER lived, Abraham is the best example we know of of a person who did not waver in their faith and their commitment to literally give up everything they have to follow God. So, I can see how one might feel this is an error, but if we understand the point of Romans 4, which is Paul is the prime example of one who, by faith, gave up everything and followed God, and who was "saved" by faith, it would be Abraham.

John Oakes

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