When a jet aircraft thunders down the runway and rises majestically to soar like an arrow to its destination, we are reminded of the accomplishments of human engineering. But we might also be reminded that not one of those was built without conformity to the prototype—the original form, pattern, or model after which the whole fleet is designed. This wisdom in engineering is founded upon the most practical of principles: only build upon patterns that work!
In the “kingdom” order of things, Abraham has been declared the “father” of all who walk by faith in obedience to Jesus Christ, God’s Son. Accordingly, Romans 4 shows Abraham as a prototype, the “first of a line,” which God planned (or engineered) to soar to higher destinies than fallen man or fleshly motivated humans could ever reach.
We are not told of Abraham’s beginning here, as one who trusted in God’s grace to save and not his own works, but pointed toward a study of his life. This is a handbook on “kingdom living,” charted through one man’s life lessons in faith centuries before Christ. It merits our turning to Genesis 12, where God began with Abraham. From his initial call to faith, we are taught in practical, prototypical terms: the “faith engineered” life will fly!