Passing It Off

Genesis 17:1–7, 15–16; Romans 4:13–25; Mark 8:31–38

I grew up with Richard Scarry books. One of my favorite stories was about the Bunny Family going to bed. As Daddy Bunny put each child to bed, each child shared their “future” dream job. The last child said, “I’ll be what I’ll be,” and he dreamed to be a Daddy Bunny. Of course, my dad loved that I identified with that last child. One of my greatest honors is the fact that I am a dad.

My perspective wasn’t that my kids would be my legacy (not the thought pattern of a child), but Abraham’s was. Culturally, a person without a legacy (and the legacy being children than other things) was close to worthless. Ishmael (son with a servant) and Isaac (son with the wife) were it (at this point).  Not much of a legacy for the era.

Yet, Abraham’s imputed righteousness was because he believed (trusted) God when God said that Abraham would be the father of nations. This is why Paul centers on our ance through faith.

Paul notes that we are Abraham’s legacy. We are Abraham’s children through faith, not (necessarily) by blood. While Paul is here dealing with the “ance” aspect of Jew versus Gentile, there are other aspects that we can examine.

An ance is not “earned”. An ance is given. It is given by the person whose it is to the person (or people) whose it isn’t. Even when dealing with the how (blood or faith) of the ance, Paul overrides it all with the of the ance.


  • Have you ever had an ance? Were you surprised by it?
  • What does having an ance from God mean to you? How is an ance from God different from an ance from a family member or someone else?


Gracious God, may we never view the ance we’ve been given as something we’ve earned or deserve. Amen.
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