Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Those who are saved are saved by trusting in God’s offer of salvation. They are saved by His grace. It is not because we deserve salvation, because we do not. Abraham did not deserve salvation. God was gracious to him and provided the truth to him and Abraham chose to believe the truth. God provides the same opportunity to all people.
Since salvation is by grace through faith, it is sure to all those who are of the faith of Abraham. Abraham is the father of all those who believe.
The Muslims are trying to claim legitimacy for their false religion through Ishmael. They claim to be descendants of Abraham. They are correct in that. They are wrong in the fact that Ishmael was not the son of promise, but of the flesh. Those who claim the Muslim religion must turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation. When and if they do that, they will reject Islam as their religion and they will be born again, just like anyone else who is truly saved.
In verse 17 Paul reminds us that the truth is written. In Genesis 17:4 God reminded Abraham of this very fact. He would be the father of many nations. God directed Paul to remind us of the promise He made to Abraham. God “quickeneth the dead.” Abraham and Sarah were both well beyond the age of having children when God gave them Isaac. They were not capable of having children. However God, Who made man, changed the physical make up of both Abraham and Sarah so that they would have a son when Sarah was 90 and Abraham was 99.
God can and does do the impossible. He promised Abraham a seed and He repeated that promise several times. He called things which are not as though they were. God knew what He was doing. He did not need Abraham’s help. Abraham and Sarah needed to learn that lesson. Isaac had that constant reminder in his life, knowing that he was born after his parents were old and well beyond the age of child bearing.
In verse 18 we are reminded that Abraham hoped against hope. Abraham came to accept God’s promise, knowing full well that this was not naturally possible. He did not visit a doctor for fertility drugs. He did not need some human manipulation for his own body. He needed to trust God to do what only God can do. God chose to wait until both Abraham and Sarah were “well stricken in years” before He gave them a son to prove His ability to do what is impossible for man. When we look at the nation of Israel, it is a nation today while other nations of that time, are long gone.
The greater truth is that God is able to take a wicked, lost individual and give that person His gift of salvation and eternal life. God can do that for anyone who will turn to Him in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. He proves that over and over again.
Abraham was made the father of many nations according to the Word of God. His seed is indeed innumerable.
In verse 19 we see that Abraham became a man whose faith was not weak. He learned that his scheming and sin did not help. He learned that God’s way is the only way. He knew his body was beyond the stage of being able to produce the necessary seed and he also knew that Sarah was beyond the time of bearing a child. Abraham understood that. God gives man the necessary knowledge to live and function. We do not need ungodly people trying to tell us lies about biology. We need godly people who know and love God to help us to follow God’s way.
In verse 20 we see that Abraham did not stagger at the promise of God. The Greek word translated as “staggered” means “to separate thoroughly, that is, (literally and reflexively) to withdraw from”. Abraham did not reject God’s promise, even though he did not understand how God was going to make it work. Abraham did not refuse to do what he needed to do to produce the promised child. He was faithful to God as was Sarah his wife and God honoured His Word to them. God could have done for Sarah as He did with Mary, but God does things His way for His purposes.
Abraham did not walk away from the promise and refuse to do his part. He did not live in unbelief. He was strong in faith and thus he gave God the glory. Everybody knew that this child that Sarah bore was not according to the normal pattern of reproduction for that time.
In verse 21 we see that Abraham was fully persuaded and thus he did what God told him to do. He knew that God was able to bring about what He promised to do. The timing was in God’s hands, not man’s.
In verse 22 Abraham’s faith was imputed unto him for righteousness. God cannot declare a person righteous if the person does not want to trust in Him. There are multitudes of people who reject God and His promise of salvation, and yet they want to go to heaven when they die. They live in unrighteousness and yet they want to be declared righteous when they die. They choose a religious leader who will lie and tell those at the funeral that their loved one is in heaven because they were a fun loving, kind person. They have no testimony of salvation and the religious leader does not even know of the need of salvation because he or she has rejected the truth and has chosen a path of deception.
In verse 23 we see that these things were not just written for Abraham’s sake. Verse 24 tells us that these things were written for the sake of all those who will be saved. Notice again that this does not suggest that some cannot be saved. It is simply declaring that those who reject God’s way of salvation cannot be declared righteous. That is a choice they make.
In verse 24 we see that little word “if”. A person must believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead. A person cannot believe in their own imaginary god and expect to be saved. We must believe in the true God. We must believe that Jesus Christ is alive. The Jews of Jesus’ day invented a lie that the disciples stole Jesus’ body from the tomb. They rejected His resurrection. Thus they believed in a false god. Saul (Paul) was going around as a Pharisee, arresting and imprisoning born again Christians. He thought he was serving the true God. He learned that he did not know the true God until He repented and was saved. Then he was further taught the truth in preparation for his ministry as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 25 tells us that Jesus Christ was delivered for our offences. He had no sin. He was betrayed by Judas. However, He was delivered to this earth in accordance with God the Father’s plan of salvation. God the Father delivered Jesus Christ to be crucified for our offences. Jesus Christ was willing to be delivered up. However, Jesus Christ also rose again for our justification. If Jesus Christ were still in a tomb somewhere, He could not justify anyone. He could not stand before His Father and provide the necessary payment for our sins. However, Jesus Christ is alive and seated on His Father’s right hand, interceding for us today. Every person could be saved if they would choose the truth. Those who reject the truth have chosen to die in their sins. This is not a wise choice, but it is a choice that far too many people are still making today.
If you are reading this, but not saved, why not turn to God right now and ask Him to forgive you and save you through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. You will never be sorry. You will be eternally sorry if you neglect to do this.