(as it is written, "A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU") in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.Romans 4:17(NASB)
Abraham is often referred to as the father of faith, because the Lord used His trust in God's promises as the foundational example of a man who is credited with the righteousness of Christ, by grace through faith. Among other things, God appointed Abraham as the father of many nations - the spiritual father of both believing Jews and believing Gentiles.
But Abraham is one of many men and women of faith who believed God's promises and took Him at His Word. And Paul explains WHO this great God of Abraham is: He is the God Who brings the dead back to life. He is the Lord Who creates things out of nothing. He is the God Who raised Christ from the dead. He is the Lord Who gives those who are dead in trespasses and sins a new life in Christ. He gives them eternal life in Him and life more abundantly by grace, through faith.
Abraham was justified by God's grace because He simply believed God's Word. He was not justified by keeping the works of the Law, for the Law of Moses was not yet given to his descendents. The Law was not given to save men, but to point them to the Saviour of men and, like Abraham, we are not saved by keeping the works of the Law, but by grace through faith in Christ.
And the righteousness of God is extended by grace to all who believe in God - both Jew and Gentile - for Abraham became the spiritual father of many nations as well as the physical forefather of God's chosen nation, Israel.
That is what Scriptures means when God told Abraham, "I have made you the father of many nations." He did this because Abraham believed in God and trusted His Word. Abraham believed in the one and only God Who brings the dead back to life and Who creates new things out of nothing.
Praise His holy name.
Heavenly Father, how I praise Your name that You have made me a new creation in Christ and have credited me with Your righteousness, by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You that although I was dead in trespasses and sins, You have breathed Your new life in Christ into my body and made me Your child forever and ever. Thank You, in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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