Sunday, May 01, 2011

“Who are the SONS OF ABRAHAM?”

Galatians 3:6-9
6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

In our last teaching covering Galatians 3:1-5 we saw that Paul made it very, very clear to the Galatian believers that they were saved not by the “works of the law, or by the hearing of faith.” Now, he takes it a step further and shows that the way of faith has always been God’s way, EVEN in the Old Testament. To prove this is so, he uses the most respected Jew in the Old Testament – Abraham.

Abraham believed in the Christ who was to come, just as we trust in the One who has already come.

Note: Paul references Abraham 8 times in chapter 3 and once in chapter 4. Understanding of Abraham is key to understanding righteousness by FAITH alone (not of works). The spiritually blind Jews of that day had never expected “Father Abraham” would be used as an example of salvation by Faith alone (not of works). Surprise, Surprise!!!

Verse 6 just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted (credited, or declared) to him for righteousness."

Believing in God resulted in Abraham being credited righteous.

Paul uses the truth that Abraham was declared righteous by “faith alone” in contrast to the Jewish (Rabbinic) belief that God blessed Abraham because of his meritorious deeds (a tradition of man).

In verse 6 Paul is quoting from
Gen. 15:6 – “ And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.” *before being circumcised*

Abraham “believed GOD” and it (his believing) was counted righteous, JUST LIKE the Galatians (gentiles), who through faith, not by doing deeds/works, were also made righteous.

Isn’t it amazing how clear things are in the Bible when our eyes are opened!

Note: There may be some repetition here, but I believe this is a truth we can’t spiritually afford to miss. I hope you’re getting it! Sadly, most “Christians” today have a works based relationship with God.

Verse 7 Therefore (consequently) know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

Only by FAITH is it possible to be “sons of Abraham.” The Jews didn’t like that!!! Paul’s words were a stinging rebuke to the false teaching of these Judaizers. Decent by bloodline does NOT create sons of Abraham in the sight of God. The thought that you could be of the flesh, from the lineage of Abraham (Jewish) and NOT be true “sons of Abraham,” and thus, have salvation from the Lord, was not what they wanted to hear or had been taught.

Even Jesus told the Jewish leaders who were against Him,
“…You are of your father the devil…” (John 8:44)

What a shocker! You have to understand the Jewish people were very proud of their relationship with Abraham. The trouble is they thought their blood relationship to Abraham guaranteed them salvation.

NOTE: Do we not see this same problem today? People think if they are brought up in a Christian home that they are automatically Christian. In the Northeastern United States where I grew up, if you asked someone if they are a Christian, they usually say “I’m Catholic” and that comes to most by being born into it; or here in the south where I live now, the most common thing you will hear is “I’m Baptist” or some other denomination. *This is not a bash against Catholics, Baptist, etc. – My closest friends come from a variety of churches. But that wasn’t the question!!! I asked if they are Christian!!! Christians are not born that way and you aren’t Christian just because you go to a church. ALL Christians at some point yielded their lives to Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. It has well been said, “God has NO grandchildren.”

Then verse 8:
Verse 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."

God did and continues to justify all who come to Him by FAITH ALONE.
You could be a “Gentile” (non-Jewish) and by FAITH be “sons of Abraham.” Thus, the Lord said to Abraham,
"In you all the nations shall be blessed."
(See Genesis 12:3)

Verse 9 So then, those who are of faith [including Gentiles]are blessed with believing Abraham.

The believing (of faith) Gentile is as equally blessed as the (of faith) believing Jew.

By “Belief in God” – Meaning those who have entered into a real relationship with God as master of their lives, not just head knowledge (mental-assent) that we see so common today.

For more on this topic (Abraham and faith) in the holy scriptures, please read all of Romans 4. As some have put it, Romans 4 is the best commentary on Galatians 3.

Question: Are you among the true “Sons of Abraham”?

You are if you have believed (complete trust and abandonment) on the Lord Jesus Christ.

I also pray that if you have lived a legalistic, works kind of contact with God,
that the Lord will set you free to live a faith-filled, loving relationship with God through our living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!!!


I look forward to questions, comments, and testimonies from you.