The aim of this passage is to cause us to understand that Abraham was found to be righteous by faith and the covenant he had with God would be extended to those who walk in faith.
Abraham was justified by faith (Rom 4:1-8)
Salvation is a gift and not something we come to deserve.
Abraham did not gain anything through the flesh. If he did good works, he would have something to boast about but not before God. This is because we read in Genesis 15:6, “And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness.”
When a person works, his reward is his due and not a gift. But if a person pursues righteousness not by works but by believing in God, who justifies the ungodly, this person’s faith is counted as righteousness.
David spoke of this. He said in Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.”
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
How does knowing that salvation is a gift change your attitude towards witnessing?
The covenant of circumcision was a sign of Abrahams faith and his offspring are the people who walk by faith (Rom 4:9-15)
The promises God made to Abraham are extended to believers today.
Faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness before he was circumcised. Circumcision was a sign of the righteousness that he had by faith. This made him the father of all the people who believe without being circumcised as so they can enjoy the same blessing has he did. It also made Abraham the father of those who were circumcised and walked in faith just as he did before he was circumcised.
He was the father of these two groups of people because the promise that He and his offspring would inherit the world did not come from righteousness achieved by works but by righteousness through faith. If the promise was through works then it would be null because depending on works only bring wrath.
John 8:33-40 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did.
How does knowing that you as a believer are an offspring of Abraham change the way you view the old testament?