Abraham, the Father of all that Believe

by Duane Gallentine

"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 ( Romans 4:16)

When studying the often misused and abused passage concerning Abraham as recorded in Romans 11:15-28, wherein Paul the apostle used metaphorical words to describe the issue of God having set aside National Israel for this present Dispensation of Grace and providing for the uncircumcised (Gentiles) salvation apar from Israel, it is necessary to also study the other two major passages where Paul deals with Abraham.

Those passages being Romans 4:1-25 and Galatians 3:6-18 in which God reveals His present purchase for the uncircumcision under the ministry of Paul the apostle with the Gospel of the Uncircumcision (Galatians 2:7-9)in the Dispensation of the Grace of God. (Ephesians 3:2).

This present administration of God has nothing to do with Abraham, but with Abram, although we are speaking of the same person. If the diligent Bible student is to possess a clear understanding of this pivotal man called Abraham by most of us when we speak of him, we must rightly divide his life as God dealt with him to gain the profit; and, to properly place the emphasis where God places it during this present economy of Grace.

Since this paper is not designed to be an exhaustive detailed study of this important man Abraham we will give some highlights that must be kept in mind when studying Abram/Abraham.

The first point of information we must keep in mind is that as Paul considers Abraham in this Romans passage, as well as the Galatians passage, he is speaking of Abraham before his name was changed by God from Abram to Abraham. Let there be no doubt concerning the time in Abraham's life when Paul speaks of him. Paul teaches the uncircumcised/Gentiles under his ministry about Abram.

Romans 4:10 identifies for us that Paul speaks of Abraham before circumcision. Abram was an uncircumcised Gentile. This particular time was before God committed unto him the covenant of circumcision as recorded in Genesis 17. Circumcision was a token or sign of the faith which Abram already possessed.

Starting with Genesis 17 and proceeding into the Bible, God develops Abraham's physical offspring (National Israel) and enhances His promises to the Fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) with additional covenants, laws, statutes, ordinances, and judgments. These precious promises belong to ISRAEL, the circumcised. These detailed promises are the basis for the "Gospel of the Circumcision" which was committed unto Peter and the eleven apostles. This Gospel of the Circumcision was what Peter, the eleven and the Little Flock preached during the Acts period. The invitation of that Gospel is Acts 2:28.

Even Christ Himself, in His first Advent, "was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers" (Romans 15:8). Matthew through John records a continuation of God's ministry to Israel based upon the promises He gave the Fathers.

One must understand that from Genesis 17 all the way through Acts 7 that God exclusively dealt with National Israel as His severed and holy people, a Nation above all other nations (Exodus 19:1-6; Leviticus 20:24; Deuteronomy 7:6-11) but, from Genesis 12 through 16, God deals wilth Abram, an uncircumcised Gentile and justifies (a declaration of right standing before God) him on the basis of faith in the good news as recorded in Genesis 15:1-6. This is where the apostle Paul draws upon Abram to explain and validate God's present working upon the uncircumcised apart from Israel and the covenant of circumcision.

This present ministry of God through Paul to the uncircumcised without Israel was unprophecied or unsearchable in any other of the Scriptures. It was a sacred secret kept hid in God but now revealed through preaching which was committed to Paul's trust, being manifested in due time (1 Timothy 1:11; 2:5-7; 2 Timothy 1:9-11; Titus 1:1-3). In this Dispensation of Grace, the uncircumcised in flesh are being saved by Grace apart from God blessing Israel. This particular body of Truth, called the Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24) or the Gospel of the UNcircumcision (Galatians 2:7) was not made known in time past. Only Paul the apostle received this revelation of the Mystery, then he faithfully and successfully committed unto others such as Timothy, Titus, the churches of Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, etc.

Briefly, the written argument that the Holy Spirit has Paul write is that since God declared Abram righteous before the Law, before circumcision, before Israel was a Nation, God can do it again in a Mystery dispensation to the Gentiles if it suits His purpose.

Presently in this Dispensation of the Grace of God, God the Father is declaring the Gentiles righteous without the works of the Law for it pleases His eternal purposes in Christ to create and use a new entity, called the Body of Christ or the One New Man composed of Gentiles who only believe the Gospel of the Grace of God.

Since God says in Romans 4 that Abraham is the father of both the circumcised and the uncircumcised, and we understand that we must rightly divide the life of Abram/Abraham, Let's look at the phraseology of Romans 11:16-24:

Abraham,
the Father of the Circumcision (Israel)
Abraham,
the Father of the Uncircumcision (Gentiles)

THE ROOT...

is Abraham himself. God's call upon this futuristic Nation, called Israel, was first registered with Abraham and based upon a covenant of circumcision (Genesis 17). God was going to be their God; they were going to be His People above other nations; and God would give His people the land as an everlasting possession. The Root, Abraham, is the place of comfort for every Israeli. John 10 identifies the Sheepfold as the place of safety for God's sheep, National Israel. The Sheepfold is the provisions of God Given to Abraham and His offspring by the covenants.
THE ROOT...
is Abram himself while his flesh was in uncircumcision (adam man). When God gave His unconditional promise to Abram that He (God) would bring a blessing upon all nations, that blessing upon all nations, that blessing came through the seed (singular) of Abram, which was Christ (Galatians 3:14). We now know this because we possess the completed Word of the Living God of which Abram did not possess. This future blessing would come upon the uncircumcised based upon undeserved and unmerited favor...a Dispensing of GRACE. It was not based upon any covenant given to man. Not only was God going to be the God of the Circumcision, but also the God of the Uncircumcision without Israel. These blessed Uncircumcised who would be His people in the Dispensation of the Grace of God, would be placed in a NEW CREATION, called the Body of Christ, the One New Man. They likewise would possess an inheritance not on earth however, but in the heavenly places. The place of comfort for every believing sinner in this present Dispensation of Grace is in the last adam, Jesus Christ. All the spiritual blessing of God are found IN CHRIST in the heavenly places. Grace, Mercy and Peace are the three words of God's hallmark in this Dispensation of the Grace of God.
THE LUMP...
is Jacob's flesh (Genesis 32:28) which is National Israel. Jacob's name was changed to Israel and out of him came the Branches.

THE LUMP...

is adam man's flesh from which Abram came, for out of Adam came the Gentile nations which is the Wild Olive Tree.
THE BRANCHES...
The 12 Tribes of Israel stemming from the 12 sons of Jacob. These are the natural branches on which God's judgment fell in Acts 7 that brought about the diminishing of Israel fro a season (Romans 11:12, 25)
 
  THE WILD OLIVE TREE...
is composed of gentiles from every nation (tribe). These do not have "a birth right" from which to claim God's blessing, but have a Grace/Faith System according to the revelation of the Mystery.
THE FIRST FRUITS...
The Remnant in Israel. these are the ones within National Israel who are of faith. These have believed the Gospel of the Circumcision which Peter, the eleven and the 'church' preached during Acts 2-7. They are identified as the "Little Flock".
THE FIRST FRUIT...
are those who have believed in the Gospel of the Grace of God, trusting that Jesus Christ died for their sins. These are the ones within every nation (tribe) who are of faith. These have believed the Gospel of the Uncircumcision which Paul preached on his apostolic journeys and has been written down in Holy Writ. They are identified as "The Church, which is His Body".
THE FATNESS...
This emcompasses all those covenants and promises that God gave to this severed Nation. These center upon a physical, material, and spiritual in an earthly Kingdom with the King of kings. This 'fatness' culminates in the Kingdom of God on Earth and/or the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
THE FATNESS...
This encompasses all the riches of His Grace found in Christ that God has freely given to us with His Son (Romans 8:32). This "fatness is composed of all the spiritual blessings and promises ministered to us through the Head of the Body of Christ (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:19).

Thus, Abraham was and will be in the future, the father of National Israel. And today in this present Dispensation of God's Grace, Abram is the father of every member of the Body of Christ for "it is of faith, that it might be by grace" for Abraham "is the father of us all" ----Romans 4:17.

Final Note: The great lesson that Abraham learned about his flesh is that it cannot please God.

(Romans 4:1-3 KJV) What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? {2} For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. {3} For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

At this present time, God asks no man to perform any religious works or humanitarian works to be declared righteous (perfect justification) with Him. In our Dispensation of Grace works are excluded (Romans 4:5), though in time past God had commanded Israel to do the works of the Old Testament Law for a blessing. And after the catching away of the Body of Christ, God will once again command Israel under the New Testament Law to do works for blessing (the Law/Works/Flesh System of "If you (Israel) do, then I wil bless").

But until the Body of Christ is taken out of the earth sinners are to exercise faith in the completed cross work of Jesus Christ; Christ Died For My Sins!! This is the good news of the gospel of the uncircumcision. The obedience of Faith is acceptance from the heart that form of sound doctrine which Paul the apostle delivered unto the UNCIRCUMCISED, nothing more and nothing less.

   

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