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, (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. 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. ~Romans 4:16-18
Who is it who calls “those things which be not as though they were”? Is it God or Abraham? Verse 18 is clearly referring to Abraham. It is he who believed and to whom the promise was given. But what about verse 17? Standard Word of Faith (WoF) teaching says this is Abraham, and therefore we can also exercise our faith by calling “those things which be not as though they were,” essentially speaking things into existence. However, paying attention to the context and comparing Scripture with Scripture leads to a different conclusion. Notice what verse 17 says, “…even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” It’s easy to see God is the One Who speaks things into existence because He is the only One who can give life to the dead.
But is this consistent with the rest of Scripture? Where else can we see God speaking things into existence? One only need to open their Bible to its first page to find the answer. That’s how He created the world. “And God said, ‘Let there be…,’ and there was…” (Gen. 1). This WoF teaching turns Abraham, and therefore us, into little gods, giving us the power of creation, a power only belonging to God. But the “little gods” heresy is a topic for a whole other post.
So what was Abraham’s part? Where does his faith come into play? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3, also see Gen. 15:6). It was the object of Abraham’s faith, i.e. God, that made the difference, not his words or positive confession.