Romans 4:16-17 :
For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace, to the end that the promise may 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. As it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations.” This is in the presence of him whom he believed: God, who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not, as though they were
Abraham received an important promise from God that was to affect the whole world. First of all, God gave him righteousness by faith and he was promised by God to have many children in the future. Not only was Abraham to become the father of the Jews and Ishmaelite physically, but he was to become the father of all who receive God’s grace by faith. It is important to notice that God was making Abraham the father of many nations, not just two.
Abraham and his family are a physical representation of a spiritual reality as well. Paul talks a great deal about this in The Revelation of Jesus Christ recorded in the Bible. It is important for us to not avoid God’s promises to Abraham’s physical family. Much damage has been cause by teachers who have avoided or denied the promises that God made to Abraham’s physical children; both Ishmael and Isaac. The families of these two children are still holders of special promises from God today.
This part of the Bible is focusing on the spiritual element which is interpreted through eyes that see Abraham’s faith and how God was starting with Abraham to show the world what grace was. From that point on, all of us who gain access to God by grace can now look back to the first man of grace; our father of grace, Abraham.
We, as believers, know what it is like for God to raise us up from the death of our sin that held us far from God. We also know that we could never have been good people without God. He called us good and made something out of the nothing that we were, just like Father Abraham.