How far has the apple fallen from the tree?


Paul teaches believers have been given grace by God and we receive this grace through faith.  This grace is not only available to those of the Law (Jews) who have faith, it is also available to us who do not have the Law (Gentiles) yet live the same faith of Abraham.

This grace that is given by faith is sufficient to the end of the promise.  We have been given a promise from God and when we believe God and His promises for us we have faith.  In this faith God’s grace will cover us to the end of the promise, when it is no longer a promise but a fulfillment.

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,[1]

Paul takes liberty to describe our promise in context to our father Abraham of which faith we are.  Abraham was given a promise and this promise came to him as if it had already been done.  God spoke unto Abraham and said, “I have made thee a father of many nations.”  At this time Abraham and his wife still had no children and she was barren.  God gave the promise, yet His promise did not come as we would promise.  We promise by saying I will, but God promises by saying I have.  By saying, “I have,” God does not negate the fact He has made a promise that He intends to carry out.  Even though He speaks as if He has already carried it out.  It has yet to be carried out.

(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.[2]

Just as Abraham believed God’s promise and scripture testifies this was credited to him as righteousness, so we to believe God and His promise of grace by faith and this is credited to us as righteousness. 

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;[3]

Paul is using our father Abraham as our example of faith and why not?  We gentiles who hope in God are of the faith of Abraham.  And of this faith Paul says, it was being fully persuaded that God would do as He promised, that Abraham was credited righteousness.  Abraham was not credited righteousness because he saw the day he was the father of many nations, but He believed God who made the promise and knew God would perform.  Abraham never received this promise or the land.

Stephen testifies to this when he said that Abraham didn’t even get enough ground to put his foot on.  This is how much of the promise that Abraham received.  Our father Abraham was given not even one place to rest his foot on, he had not received his inheritance, yet he was credited righteousness for believing God in the face of such odds.

And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child.[4]

In Romans 4:17 as quoted above, Paul teaches through this example in Abraham that God is a God who promises things, not by saying, “I will do,” but by saying, “I have.”  This declares the greatness of our God who calls things that are not as if they were, when He makes promises.  Declaring He has, does not negate for those of the faith of Abraham that we have yet to receive what was promised, just like our father Abraham.

Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.[5]

Paul teaching that God said, “I have,” to our father Abraham still says Abraham, “against hope believed in hope.”  And this of the man of whom it was said, “I have.”  Abraham was not chastised for this, instead scripture teaches it was credited to him as righteousness.

So how far has the apple fallen from the tree?  We are those who say we are of the faith of Abraham.  Paul teaches we have a grace through faith to the end of the promise.  Paul uses Abraham as our example of ones belief in a promise of God who had not received his promise, even though God spoke as if He already did it, when He declared this promise.

So how far has the apple fallen from the tree?  We look at our promises and say we now posses our promise, while saying we wait for our promise.  Of Abraham it is said, “against hope he believed in hope.”  Steven testified Abraham did not share in his promise that was spoken as if it were by God.

So how far has the apple fallen from the tree?  We have many scriptures that talk of our hope, our promises, our inheritance, our coming grace, our coming righteousness, our coming salvation, and we say we being guaranteed our inheritance we have received it.  Yet of Abraham Stephen says, “he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on.”

So how far has the apple fallen from the tree?  I have been trying to present The Gospel According to the Gospel on this blog, showing over and over again our gospel of hope.  This gospel of hope does away with the contentions between once saved always saved and the need to walk with God so one does not believe in vain.  What is more like the seed of Abraham and the faith of Abraham?  To say as believer do today, “We posses what was promised,” unlike our father Abraham or to say like Paul?

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.[6]

How far has the apple fallen from the tree?  We say we are credited righteousness because we believe God.  What is there to believe God about if you have not to hope for anything?  What are you waiting for that you have not received?  Why are we so stubborn to say to our God who promises things that are not as if they were, “Not in our gospel you don’t.”  And we want God to consider our faith?  How far has the apple fallen from the tree?


[1] Romans 4:16

[2] Romans 4:17

[3] Romans 4:20-24

[4] Acts 7:5

[5] Romans 4:18

[6] Romans 8:24-25

7 thoughts on “How far has the apple fallen from the tree?

  1. In Romans St. Paul is teaching Justification by Faith, chapters 3 thru 5. And the Covenant of Abraham is the biblical Covenant of Grace & Faith. But note Rom. 4: 24-25. And finally in Rom. 8, St. Paul gives us our full deliverance from sin and bondage, and our full victory “In Christ”. Even now nothing can take that away Rom. 8:38-39, and indeed..”Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8: 35, etc.) Never a Gospel of ease or really even without suffering, but always the “Gopsel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20: 24)…fully! Here is the assurance of both our “election” and salvation In Christ! (Rom. 8:33-34)

  2. In Romans St. Paul is teaching Justification b Faith, chapters 3 thru 5.
    I agree with you.
    And the Covenant of Abraham is the biblical Covenant of Grace & Faith.
    I agree with you again, but it also speaks of a covenant of righteousness that Abraham and his descendants had by faith.
    But note Rom. 4: 24-25.
    Exactly! We have been imputed the same righteousness that Abraham had. I righteousness he had credited to him because he believed God would do as he says He would. Just like us as I said in my post.
    And finally in Rom. 8, St. Paul gives us our full deliverance from sin and bondage, and our full victory “In Christ”. Even now nothing can take that away Rom. 8:38-39, and indeed.”Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” (Rom. 8: 35, etc.)
    Romans 8:1 and 4 speak of the kind of people who get this assurance. Those who… If we fail to be those people what can we expect from God?
    Never a Gospel of ease or really even without suffering, but always the “Gopsel of the Grace of God” (Acts 20: 24)…fully!
    I wished more of the church understood this. I detest what American Christianity has become.
    Here is the assurance of both our “election” and salvation In Christ! (Rom. 8:33-34)
    Remember Romans 8:33-39 needs to be in the context of what Paul says elsewhere in Romans. That we enjoy this security and goodness in God and we (free will) need to stay in obedience and faith. Paul says God’s continuing goodness is ousr if we continue, otherwise we too shall be cut off. But this is the part we want to ignore.
    (Rom 11:20-22 KJV) Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

    • There are some “covenantal” aspects in some of your Roman’s quotes, Gentile verses Israel. Meaning, it is not talking strictly about individuals, but the covenantal promise and people. I am myself, close to a kind of post-millennial position. There are covenant promises still for the nation and people of Israel, (Rom. 11: 28-29).

      • It could be even a “historical pre-mill” position? But I doubt that, but certainly not dispensational. Some of the very early Fathers were historic pre-mill…Papias of Hierapolis, Irenaeus, Justin, Tertullian, etc.

  3. Please define:
    1 post-millennial
    2 historical pre-millennial
    3 dispensational

    I think I used to know what these meant, but it has been so long. I am need of a refresher course. 

    I would never take what I quoted in Romans as Gentile verses Jew, but showing how we are grafted into the Abraham’s faith and become his seed. This promise is for all seed, both or the Law and of the faith of Abraham. Even though one can see the work of covenantal aspects it is to the individual seed.

    (Rom 4:16 KJV) 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,

    Again all this goes back to the promise, back to a hope, back to hoping for what we do not yet have, back to God calling things that are not as if they were, even in our own gospel. This is The Gospel According to the Gospel.

    • Dave,
      You can quick hit these on-line, to get an overview. Again, my main point is, as I have written, “theological” and covenantal. One cannot just read a KJV, or any bible translation alone and understand this depth. Remember as I wrote, I am a “churchman”, in the likes of Calvin, Luther, Zwingli, etc. Both catholic & reformed. I am not a “fundamentalist” at all. And the Church of God is an divine revelation and instrument of God, itself the Mystical Body of Christ on earth & in heaven. Always an historical reality!

  4. Pingback: The Gospel According to the Gospel « The Gospel According to the Gospel

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