Galatians 3:6-9 – …just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
In the history of the world, there are a few towering personalities who rise above the rest and remain topics of conversation long into the future. Chief among these people is Abraham who Jews, Muslims, and Christians (among others) look to as an example.
The Jewish people, particularly in the early days of the church, were quite proud that they were the physical descendants of Abraham. After all, throughout the middle chapters of Genesis, God repeatedly promised Abraham that a blessing of land and lineage was for he and his family. The debate has since ensued, who are the true children of Abraham and recipients of the inherited blessing?
The “false brothers” who had infiltrated the church in Galatia told the new Christians that Abraham was a Jewish guy who circumcised himself and the males in his family in keeping with the law of Moses. Therefore, if you want to be part of God’s family, to do heaven, and receive your eternal inheritance, you need to do the exact same things.
New Christians can get confused by older, serious, religious types who grew up in devout homes with lots of traditions and rules. This is exactly what was happening to the Galatians. Paul, however, corrects this counterfeit version of Abraham. Abraham started as just another pagan Gentile. Everything changed when God simply showed up to bless Abraham and enter a relationship with him. Abraham responded in faith simply trusting God by taking God at His Word. Admittedly, Abraham did circumcise himself along with the males in his household – but this was some thirteen or fourteen years after he was saved by faith! The “work” of circumcision could not have saved Abraham since he was saved long before he was circumcised. Furthermore, the Law of Moses did command circumcision for God’s men. But, the Law of Moses came some 400-500 years after Abraham was saved by faith. Therefore, no works of human obedience to the laws of Moses can save anyone and we don’t need them to be saved in the same way that Abraham was saved when there was no law.
So, who are the real children of Abraham? This is the debate that raged in Paul’s day and continues into our own. Here is the answer:
Abraham Has 3 Kinds of Kids Today
- Culturally Jewish with faith in Christ who are Christians
- Culturally Jewish without faith in Christ who are non-Christians
- Culturally Gentile with faith in Christ who are Christians
So, the issue is simply and solely faith in Christ. The true children of Abraham have faith in his God, Jesus Christ, and whatever culture or race they are does not matter to God.
Have you placed your faith in Jesus Christ to be saved?