Jim Humphrey Consulting


Vol 5, No 9

Faith in Romans - Abraham, Part 3 - The Father of all who Believe, whether Jew or Gentile:

Volume 5, Number 10
Created Date: March 14, 2020
Posted Date: March 14, 2020

God blessed Abraham greatly and he is referred to by name 74 times in the New Testament. (Jesus is named the most frequently, Paul 2nd, Peter 3rd, Moses 4th and Abraham 5th; five in Scripture being the number for grace.) This doesn’t mean Abraham was any better than any other human being because the Bible teaches that everyone has sinned and come short of God’s Glory, Romans 3:2323 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

; there is absolutely none righteous, no not one, Romans 3:1010 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

. He was a pagan idol worshiper named Abram, Joshua 24:22 And Joshua said unto all the people, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.

; Genesis 12:11 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:

; Acts 7:22 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran,

when God called him and changed his name to Abraham, Genesis 17:55 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.

. We don’t know why God chose him out of the morass of sinful humanity and anointed him as the Father of the Jews in the flesh and of all believers in the Spirit, but by Grace He did.

A review of what Hebrews 11 says about Abraham is in order. That chapter names those who bore witness to the efficacy of faith. The first 3 persons mentioned point to the Godhead or Holy Trinity, either directly or by type, three being the number for Divine perfection in Scripture. First mentioned is The Word of God who arranged or put in place the ages by His Word so that things that are seen were not made of things that appear, Hebrews 11:33 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

. The second witness to faith is Abel who offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain and by it he obtained righteousness, Hebrews 11:44 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

. Abel was a type, pointing to the 2nd person of the Trinity, the Son of God in incarnation and salvation, offering Himself in Obedience to God’s Will, thus obtaining righteousness for all who believe on Him, Matthew 26:3939 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

; Luke 22:4242 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

; Romans 3:25 - 2625 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

. Third mentioned is Enoch who walked with and pleased God and was translated to heaven without dying, Hebrews 11:55 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

; Genesis 5:2424 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.

. He was a type of the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person of the Trinity, realizing in us and to us Divine things. Noah is fourth, four being the number for God’s creative works, the earth on which we live. Noah was used to save mankind in God’s creation, Hebrews 11:77 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

. *

Abraham is mentioned twice, the 5th and 7th. Five in Scripture is the number for grace, for God called Abram out of the pagan world by His Grace. Abram obeyed, not knowing where he was going and lived in temporary quarters (movable tents) while waiting for the permanent city God promised him, Hebrews 11:8 - 108 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

; Hebrews 11:11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

5 - 1615 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

. He still has not realized the fulfillment of God’s promise, but he will someday because he believed God, i.e., he had faith. Abraham’s wife Sarah is the sixth mentioned, six the number for man. Abraham’s promised seed Isaac came by means of Sarah and it was through Isaac that the promised man Jesus Christ ultimately came. Abraham is named again as the seventh in Hebrews 11; seven being the number for Spiritual perfection. God told Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice and Abraham proceeded to obey (and almost did), believing God would raise Isaac up from the dead, Hebrews 11:17 - 1917 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

; Genesis 22:1 - 101 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.

. He didn’t have to kill Isaac because an Angel appeared when he was about to do so and told him to stop, pointing to a ram caught in a thicket nearby to be sacrificed in Isaac’s place, Geneses 22:11 - 13, just as Jesus Christ took our place.

God imputed righteousness to Abraham because he was strong in faith and gave glory to God being fully persuaded that God would perform what He promised, Romans 4:11 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

8 - 2218 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 Sarah'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.

. And the Scripture imputing righteousness to Abraham was not written for his sake alone, but for us also who believe God Who raised up the Lord Jesus from the dead, Who was delivered to die for our sins and raised from the dead for our justification, Romans 4:22 - 2522 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.

. Abraham is the father of the Jews in the flesh, i.e., by genealogy, Romans 4:1; the father of many nations, Romans 4:1818 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.

; Genesis 17:5 and of all who believe, both Jews and Gentiles, Romans 4:11 - 1211 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

; Romans 4:1616 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,

. He fathered Ishmael with Hagar and from Ishmael came the Arabs/ Muslims. Then, he fathered sons with Keturah, Genesis 25:1 - 41 Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah.

2 And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah.

3 And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim.

4 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abidah, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah.

from whom many other nations issued. He was the father of the Jews through Isaac in a physical sense as well as believing Jews and Gentiles today in a Spiritual sense, Genesis 17:1919 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

; for in Isaac Abraham’s seed would be called, Genesis 21:1212 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

& Hebrews 11:1818 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:

. Unlike Abraham’s sons of the flesh, Isaac was born of the Spirit for it was only after Abraham cut off the works of his flesh, indicated by the sign of outward circumcision and when both his and Sarah’s reproductive organs were as good as dead, Genesis 17:1717 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear?

; Genesis 21:1 - 51 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken.

2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.

4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him.

5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

, Hebrews 11:1111 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

, that God miraculously empowered them to procreate Isaac. “(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” Romans 4:1717 (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.

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.

.

Abraham is the father of believers today because we are in the Lord Jesus Christ: “For verily he (Jesus Christ) took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:1616 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

. When Adam and Eve sinned, God looked down the corridor of time when He told Satan that Eve’s seed would bruise his (Satan’s) head while he (Satan) would bruise the heal of her seed, Genesis 3:14 - 1514 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

. God knew then who would begat who all the way until Abram and He knew who would begat who from Abraham on down to Jesus, born of Mary. So it was the Second Person of the Trinity, Jehovah God Who spoke to Satan in Genesis 3:14 - 15; who subsequently spoke to Abram, Genesis 12:1 and the rest of the prophets, and it was He Who came as the Man Jesus Christ, John 1:11 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

-2 & John 1:1414 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

. This explains how Jesus is the Author and Finisher of Faith, Hebrews 12:22 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

. Thousands of years before they happened He “… calleth those things which be not as though they were,” Romans 4:17b, thus “ … faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their progeny had righteousness imputed to them because of their faith. However, they were unaware at the time that Jehovah God Who promised to bless them would someday Himself fulfill His promises by being virgin born, free from the sin that Adam had passed on; that God in the flesh, would come and live a sinless life and then die for their sins to make them righteous. They looked forward to their salvation whereas we look back to Christ’s finished work of salvation.

As Abraham was an idol worshiper lost in sin before he was called and expressed faith, so we were lost in sin before we came to believe: “Wherein in time past ye (that’s us) walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:2 - 32 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

.

As God chose Abraham out of the sea of sinful humanity, “ … he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” Ephesians 1:44 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

.

As Abraham lived in a strange land in temporary tents awaiting God’s promise, we live in these sinful bodies of flesh: “Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:21 - 2321 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

.

As Abraham looked for the promised land, we look to heaven, our eternal hope: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” Philippians 3:20 - 2120 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” 2 Corinthians 5:1 - 21 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:

. “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Ephesians 1:1010 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

.

“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” Colossians 1:10 - 1410 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

.

*The references to the significance of numbers are taken from Bullinger’s book “Number in Scripture.”


Jim Humphrey
Vol 5, No 9