For your Sake !

Bible 4     “As it is written . . . . I have made thee a father of many nations, before Him Whom he (Abraham) believed . . . . even God (Elohim – the Mighty One), Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they already were . . . !”   Romans 4:17

     This is the power which is brought to view in Romans 4:17. Now let us read on, that we may see the force of this language in this connection. Still speaking of Abraham, the apostle says: Who against hope believed in hope (with expectation, anticipation and confidence), that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be !

     The fourth chapter of Romans is one of the richest in the Bible in the hope and courage which it contains for the Christian. In Abraham we have an example of righteousness by faith and we have set before us the wonderful Inheritance Promised to those who have the faith of Abraham. And this Promise is not limited. The Blessing of Abraham (Galatians 3:14) comes on the Gentiles as well as on the Jews; there is none so poor that he may not share it, for “it is of faith, that it might be by grace* (G5485); to the end the Promise might be sure to all the seed.” Romans 4:16

The last clause of the seventeenth verse is worthy of special attention. It contains the secret of the possibility of our success in the Christian life. It says that Abraham believed “God, Who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they already were !” This marks God’s power; it involves Creative power. God can call a thing which is not as though it existed. If a man should do that, what would you call it? A lie. If a man should say that a thing is, when it is not, it would be a lie. But God cannot lie. (ref: Hebrews 6:18 & Titus 1:2). Therefore when God calls those things that be not, as though they were, it is evident that that (His Word, His calling them) makes them be !

Note: It is His calling them, that makes them be. It is His speaking which brings them into existence !

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of GOD that sheweth mercy . . . Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved (delivered, set free, rescued, healed, made us whole) us, by the washing (baptism) of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit !” Romans 9:16 & Titus 3:5

And the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance (He does not change His mind) !”   Romans 11:29
That is, they spring into existence at His Word. We have all heard, as an illustration of confidence, the little girl’s statement that “if ma says so, it’s so even if it isn’t so.” That is exactly the case with God. Before that time spoken of as “in the beginning,” there was a dreary waste of absolute nothingness; God spoke, and instantly worlds sprang into being. For “by the Word of the LORD (Jehovah, Yehuwah) were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the Breath (Spirit) of His mouth. . . . for He spake, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast !” Psalm 33:6-9.

Note: And it still stands fast; for the Word of the LORD liveth and abideth forever. Nothing can be put to It, neither anything taken from it. ref: Ecclesiastes 3:14

     “For God (Elohim – the Mighty One) is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (change His mind) . . . for hath He said, and shall He not do it? or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good ? . . . . Behold, I have received commandment to bless: and He hath Blessed; and I cannot reverse it . . . !” Numbers 23:19-20 & I Samuel 15:29

Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and I plant that that was desolate . . . . I the LORD (Yehuwah) have spoken it, and I will do it !”    Ezekiel 36:36 & 37:14
      This is the power which is brought to view in Romans 4:17. Now let us read on, that we may see the force of this language in this connection. Still speaking of Abraham, the apostle says: Who against hope believed in hope (with expectation, anticipation and confidence), that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be !

Abram = the mighty father
Abraham = the father of a great multitude

And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb; he staggered not at the Promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He had Promised, He was able also to perform . . .

For it is not by might, nor by power; but by My Spirit saith the LORD of hosts . . . . and the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life !”      Zechariah 4:6 & John 6:63

And therefore it was imputed to him for (as) righteousness !”   Romans 4:18-22

Note:     Every time that Abraham was introduced, he was placed in a position of the trial of his faith. For when he was asked, What is your name? if he had said Abram, he would be denying the promise of God’s spoken Word. But if he said Abraham, then he would be forced to proclaim the gospel, “that what God hath promised, He is faithful to fulfill !” “And all the Promises of God in Him (Christ Jesus), are Yea, and in Him, Amen !” Hebrews 10:23, II Corinthians 1:20 & I Thessalonians 5:24. For they would then surely ask him, If you are the father of a great multitude, then where are your children?

This is the promise of Righteousness by faith spoken of in ever greater clarity throughout the book of Romans. “For the righteousness which is of (by) faith speaketh on this wise . . . the Word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: and that is the Word of faith which we preach.” “For with the heart man believ-eth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (to profess and speak aloud) is made unto Salvation.* And the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him (the Word which was made flesh) shall not be ashamed . . . !”
Romans 10:6-11 & Deuteronomy 30:11-14

Here we learn that Abraham’s faith in God, as One Who could bring things into existence by His Word, was exercised with respect to His being able to create righteousness in a person destitute of it. Those who look at the trial of Abraham’s faith as relating simply to the birth of Isaac and ending there, lose all the point and beauty of the sacred record. Isaac was only the one in whom his Seed was to be called, and that Seed was Christ. See Galatians 3:16.

When God told Abraham that in his Seed all nations of the earth should be Blessed, He was preaching the gospel to him (Gal. 3:8); therefore Abraham’s faith in the Promise of God was direct faith in Christ as the Saviour of sinners. This was the faith which was counted to him for (as) righteousness.

Now note the strength of that faith. His own body was already virtually dead from age and Sarah was in a like condition. The birth of Isaac from such a pair was nothing less than the bringing of life from the dead. It was a symbol of God’s power to quicken to spiritual life those who are dead in trespasses and sins.

Abraham hoped against hope . . . “and hope maketh not ashamed !” Romans 5:5. There was no human possibility of the fulfillment of the Promise; everything was against it, but his faith grasped and rested upon the unchanging Word of God, and His power to create and to make alive. “And therefore it was imputed unto him for righteousness.” Now for the point of it all:

Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered (given up, in exchange) for our offenses and was raised again for our justification.”    Romans 4:23-25

So Abraham’s faith was the same that ours must be, and in the same object. The fact that it is by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ that we have the same righteousness imputed to us that was imputed to Abra-ham, shows that Abraham’s faith was likewise in the death and resurrection of Christ.

Jesus said unto them . . . Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day: and he saw it, and was glad !” John 8:56

      “For if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (that Yehushua is Adoni – the Sovereign King), and shall believe in thine heart that GOD (Yehuwah) hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be Saved (delivered, set free, rescued, healed and restored whole) !”   Romans 10:8-10

 

     All the Promises of God to Abraham were for us as well as for him. Indeed, we are told in one place that they were specially for our benefit. “When God made Promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no greater, He sware by Himself.” “Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of Promise the immutability of His counsel (Zechariah 6:13), confirmed it by an Oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.” Heb. 6:13, 17, 18. Our hope, therefore, rests upon God’s Promise and Oath to Abraham, for that Promise to Abraham, confirmed by that Oath, contains all the Blessings which God can possibly give to man.

But let us make this matter a little more personal before leaving it. Trembling soul, say not that your sins are so many and that you are so weak that there is no hope for you. Christ came to save the lost, and He is able to save to the uttermost those that come to God by Him (Hebrews 7:25).

You are weak, but He says, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9. And the inspired record tells us of those who “out of weakness were made strong.” Heb. 11:34. That means that God took their very weakness and turned it into strength. In so doing He demonstrates His power. It is His way of working. For “God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty, and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are; that no flesh should glory in His Presence.” I Corinthians 1:27-29.

“For it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit saith the LORD of hosts . . . And the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life . . . !” Zechariah 4:6 & John 6:63

 

Note: When we see Christ Jesus, “Who was made to be sin for us,” Who took upon Himself the sins of the whole world; and even in this state where it ‘pleased the LORD to bruise Him,’ yet here also, we are shown the great mercy and love of Our Father, in that He raised Him again from the dead !

      “For we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in GOD which raiseth the dead . . .!”     II Corinthians 1:9-10

     Have the simple faith of Abraham. How did he attain to righteousness? By not considering the deadness and powerlessness of his own body, but by being willing to grant all the glory to God, strong in faith that He could bring all things out of that which was not. That He isable to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (imagine), according to the power which worketh in us . . . !” Ephesians 3:20

You, therefore, in like manner, consider not the weakness of your own body, but the power and grace* (G5485 – Divine Influence upon your heart) of our Lord, being assured that the same Word which can create a universe and raise the dead can also create in you a clean heart and make you alive unto God. And so you shall be a child of Abraham, even a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus !”

– E. J. Waggoner

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