What did the change of name mean for Abraham?

The change of name did not mean a different way of calling Abraham, much less a change of identity.

The change of name in Abraham is the precedent for the way God attributes His nature to those who believe Him; however, even more, since the designation of a new name was based on Abraham’s act of faith in believing God, the change of name establishes the teaching that God transforms the reality of the person who is willing to submit to His Lordship, no matter if his case is a totally impossible one.

In the English language, this divine act is not very clear, since “Abram” and “Abraham” are practically two completely different masculine names. However, in the Hebrew language, Abraham is only the alteration of the name Abram, caused by the integration of a single consonant, “hei” (ה). For that reason in the biblical text we read that Abram means “senior father”, while Abraham, “father of multitudes of peoples”.

The value of this teaching is to show that the name change was actually a genetic transformation in Abraham; the letter “hei” (ה) belongs to the name of Jehovah-God (יְהוָה֙). Not only was the alteration of the first name intended to show by its meaning what God would do with Abraham, the integration of one of the consonants that form Jehovah-God’s name served to bear witness that God also altered the genetics of their bodies, of Abraham and Sarah, to establish what centuries later Jesus would present as “the new birth” (John 3:1-8)

The change of name in Abraham is the precedent for the teaching of the “new birth”, a birth that is not symbolic and/or nominal, a birth that does not claim to be only the religious expression of affiliation to an evangelical denomination. The change of name in Abraham, the new birth proclaimed by Jesus, is a real and legitimate transformation, by which the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, (Luke 7:22). It is so real, that even the kingdom of darkness no longer has authority over them: For it has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of its beloved Son; (Colossians 1:13).

The change of name in Abraham is the Gospel of the Good Will of the Kingdom of Heaven proclaimed to men/women, so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:15).

The change of name in Abraham is not just a fantasy story, it is God’s promise to the man of faith to intervene in his circumstance, to establish by it, and in him, the testimony that God is a personal God.

Revelation for our day consists of understanding that Abraham is not only a teaching of faith, that his interaction with Jehovah-God points to the new birth in Jesus, and above all, that Abraham shows us the path of genetic transformation through the new birth that takes place when we decide to submit to His Lordship.

This confronts many who confess themselves as nominal believers, as if faith were only assenting to a belief, or confessing a dogma, but in reality suffering without understanding that the new birth means regeneration. How many people suffer from physical ailments, illnesses, crises, depressions, anxieties, without understanding that in the new birth such situations have already been transformed into health and life?

If you are a son of Abraham, that is, a son of faith, you too have had your name changed, so don’t keep calling yourself the old way.

The biblical quotations are taken from the Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

Pastor Pedro Montoya

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