Romans 4:12 meaning

Paul is emphasizing that Abraham is the father of all who believe, whether circumcised or uncircumcised.

To make perfectly clear that Paul is by no means setting aside the importance of the Jews, Paul now states that Abraham is also the father of those who are circumcised who walk in faith. This again hearkens back to the theme verse of Romans 1:16-17, that the righteous or just man is one who walks by faith. Paul overtly made this point previously in Romans 3:1-3, stating that Jews had a great advantage with God, chiefly because God gave them the Scriptures. It is these Scriptures that give us God’s word upon which we can believe, and walk in that belief.

It is the Scriptures Paul has appealed to so far as authority for his defense against the slander of his gospel to the Gentiles (Romans 3:8). It is the Scriptures, which his detractors (the competing Jewish “authorities”) claim to be teachers of—but are actually slandering by their actions. It is the Word of God, the promise of God to Abraham that Abraham followed in faith. Abraham left his home to go to a new country because God asked him to. Abraham believed God would make him the father of many people, and Abraham did as God requested and did not withhold his only son. These are the steps Paul wants each person to walk in, the steps of believing God’s words and promises, just as Abraham walked even before he was circumcised.

Biblical Text

12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

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