Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Galatians 3:7 (NIV).
Understand that Paul is extrapolating a conclusion here. Abraham was the first of the Jewish people. Through him, God promised to bless all of mankind. Abraham’s descendants became the Israelites, the Jews. One of Abraham’s direct descendants was Jesus the Christ. Through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice, all of mankind was saved from its sins, if only we would believe in Him (as Abraham did).
Paul’s conclusion? Those who believe in Jesus are the children, the inheritors, of Abraham and the promise God made to him. After all, it was faith, not racial heritage or even Jewish traditions, that made the Jews the ‘children of Abraham.’
Imperfect as he was, Abraham was the spiritual example for everyone up to the life of Jesus. After Jesus, perhaps the best we could say about Father Abraham was that he was the best human example of a man of faith that we could model. Jesus once said that, if God wanted, He could make children of Abraham out of stones. The point is that it’s Abraham’s faith that we should admire and emulate, not things he did, what he owned, or status.
That’s amazingly good news for us, you know. Our three-in-one God promised to make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars. Their genealogies wouldn’t matter: what would matter would be that God would be their God and they would be His people. Centuries ago, the human lineage of Abraham was lost. In the Bible, the last we hear of it is in the genealogy of Christ. Nobody today could prove a direct, blood, or even religious link back to Abraham.
Yet we who put our faith in the God Abraham knew are his children, grafted into God’s family tree through the blood of Jesus. God – Father, Son, and Spirit known only as “LORD” – never forced Abraham to believe. Abraham did that from the heart. Today, God – the same triune God who is LORD – still never forces us to believe. He offers us the choice to put our faith in Him, to receive His favor, blessings, love. He doesn’t compel us or even cudgel us. He lets our hearts decide for ourselves.
Mind you, most people on the planet choose to ignore God’s invitation. Most think it’s preposterous, or antiquated, or just a myth; that this life is all there is. They ignore the glimpses of God’s character in the beauty of nature or the everyday miracles of life. They ignore the unmistakable logic of Scripture and how it was all made complete in Christ. They ignore the longing in their hearts for meaning and peace: a longing that only Jesus truly fills.
They ignore the proof of Abraham’s faith.
How about you? Are you a child of Abraham?
For further reading: Luke 3:8, Galatians 3:8
Lord, You have made me a child of Abraham.
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