God Calling Things Which Be Not
“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” ~ Romans 4:17
How many times have you heard this verse quoted, spoken or preached this way:
“And we can call things which be not as though they were.”
But what does the verse actually say?
The Story Behind The Verse
Paul is preaching to the church at Rome. He begins his lesson by mentioning the fact that it was the faith of Abraham that God counted to him for righteousness. Why is this? Because the New Testament Church has the righteousness of Christ to her account. We are justified by faith. In the Old Testament, they were justified by works. They did not have the atoning blood of Christ or His priesthood to mediate for them.
Abraham trusted and believed God. When he was in his native land, God told him to leave and travel to a strange land. He promised him that his seed would inherit it. Abraham believed God and left his home for a new country (Genesis 12:1-7). God told him that his wife Sarah would have a son.
The Main Point
This is where we come to the verse in Romans. Paul reminded the church that God promised Abraham a son through Sarah. Through Issac, the many nations promised will come. But Abraham was old. So was Sarah. She was barren also.
“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb:” ~ Romans 4:19
But with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). So in time, Sarah gave birth to Isaac (Genesis 21:1-7). So Paul tells them that God did not regard their age or Sarah’s dead womb and called forth a nation. God called Abraham a Father of nations even before Ishmael was born. This is the thing God called that was not as though it was.
So What Are We Talking About?
We see the verse states that it is God who calls things which be not as though they were, not us. This is a power that He alone possesses. We are not God! While we can say we are well when we are sick, do WE make ourselves well by speaking it? This is the “name it and claim it” doctrine which is not scriptural. We are to have faith in God and believe Him to do what He said. The only power of creation we have is procreation (which God gave us) and what we make with our hands.
So be careful when quoting scripture. We never want to assume power or authority that God reserves for Himself. To do so is presumptuous and unscriptural.
“Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.” ~ Psalm 19:13