Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness, Paul tells us in Romans 4, without his works and even before he had been circumcised as a sign of his separation as the first of God’s chosen people. Yesterday, we discussed the first great aspect of Abraham’s faith; he believed in the God Who raises the dead.The second part of Abraham’s faith, to which Paul calls our attention, is that God “creates new things out of nothing.” (Romans 4:17 NLT) Other translations describe the God “Who calls into being that which does not exist” or “Who calleth those things which be not as though they were.”(KJV) However this passage is translated, it is a declaration that God creates by speaking.
God told a childless, seventy-five year old man “I have made you the father of many nations.” And for years, nothing appeared to have changed. Abraham remained childless; and even after Ishmael was born and God had made clear that he was not the promised child, Sarah remained childless. But God had declared Abraham the father of a great multitude, and Abraham knew that nothing could possibly stop God from carrying out His promise.
However confident man may be in his own predictions, we can never be completely sure. There are things outside our control. But there is nothing outside of God’s control; anything He says is completely trustworthy, and you can stake your entire life on it. Indeed, you must.
The other aspect brought out in this verse about God is that He creates from nothing. However creative a person may be, he is always working with materials that have been given to him. Whether with wood, or stone, or paints, or plants, man always starts with raw materials he did not make. Even his intelligence, his vision, his imagination, is a gift from God, Who creates by speaking. All of the creative talent of every man is a gift from God, an echo from the Only One Who “creates new things out of nothing.”