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Author Topic: Abraham the Gentile  (Read 1990 times)

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Abraham the Gentile
« on: May 17, 2008, 11:25:42 PM »

From my blog:

Abraham the Gentile

How many times have you heard someone call Abraham a Jew? And yet, it almost goes without saying that one of the most fascinating, indeed awe inspiring, glimpses into Bible prophecy can be found in the story of Abraham - the gentile. The story of Abraham is a story for anyone and everyone that places their trust in Jesus. When you examine this story of Abraham it is, in all reality, the story of the gentiles and how the gentiles are saved.

First the basics. Abraham was a direct descendant of Noah's son Shem. We know that the whole world was populated from the offspring of Noah. Shem we are told in Genesis 10:21 was father of all the children of Eber, who was the father of the Hebrew nation which simply means that Abraham was a Hebrew and not a Jew. Jews didn't come along until Abraham's great-grandson Judah began to have children of his own.

According to the Strong's Hebrew means: "a region across" which fits perfectly when we are told that Abraham was from Ur of the Chaldees in Genesis 11:31. The area of the Chaldees was located between the Tigris and Euphrates in what is commonly known as Mesopotamia. Obviously, I'm offering all this information to simply point out that Abraham was a gentile, no matter how we look at it, but that's not the fascinating part. This is. That very same promises that God gave to Abraham are available to us! In fact, those promises, which were accepted by Abraham by his faith in God are the same promises we receive from God and accept by faith.

In Romans 4 Paul asks us to consider father Abraham and that his justification, if it was through works, would have given him something to boast about - but not before God. Abraham was not saved by works. Paul tells us plainly that Abraham believed God and his belief was reckoned to him as righteousness. Paul goes on to explain to us that if we work then the wages we earn are not a gift but what is due to us (Romans 4:4) whereas if we trust the one who "justifies the ungodly" then our faith is reckoned for righteousness, just like Abraham (Romans 4:5). To confirm this point Paul quotes David in the Psalms (Psalms 32:1-2).

This is getting good!

Now, Paul asks rather pointedly, "How then was it (faith) reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised?" Another way we could look at this question is this, was Abraham reckoned unto God before he was "set aside" by God or after? And the answer Paul? "It was not after, but before he was circumcised." (Romans 4:10).

What a tremendous blessing this is giving us! That God accepts our faith, even before our hearts are fully circumcised (See Romans 2:28-29) just as He did for Abraham is a wonderful way to picture God building trust with us!

Paul tells us that Abraham "received circumcision as a sign or seal of the righteousness which he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them" (Romans 4:11). What Paul is illustrating for us is that "the promise to Abraham and his descendants, that they should inherit the world, did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith." (Romans 4:13). No covenant, or special dispensation, but by faith. And this is exactly how we receive the promises that God makes to us! Not through the law, but by the "righteousness of faith." No covenant, or special dispensation, but by faith! Paul goes on to tells us that if those that adhere to the law are heirs, then "faith is null and the promise of God is void."

Paul tells us plainly in verse 16, "That is why it (the promise) depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants--not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, for he is the father of us all,"

So the promises that God made to Abraham, that were counted to him as faith due to his righteousness are ours to claim as well! Paul tells us that, "It will be reckoned to us who believe in him that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification." (Romans 4:24-25).


The very same promises God made to Abraham belong to us as well. We will be reckoned by our faith in Him that raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead! What an awesome promise and an awesome glimpse as to how this prophetic vision expressed first in the gentile Abraham is now available to those gentiles that accept the God that raised Jesus from the dead. As our faith is counted for righteousness in God so too is our faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26).

Something that illustrates this point for us and solidifies the truth of this promise made to the gentiles is the story of the tremendous faith displayed by the centurion that led to the healing of his servant in Matthew 8:5-13.

He didn't question, he just believed. He just had faith. As a result, Jesus makes an absolutely staggering comment that regards the faith of the gentiles, "I tell you, many will come from east and west and sit at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth." Matthew 8:11-12.

The promise here is obvious. The gentiles, those from the east and from the west, will sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven based on their faith and trust in Jesus, the Messiah while those that do not display faith in the Messiah by placing their trust in Him will be on the outside looking in.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 - 1860)
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