Friday, June 13, 2008

The Salvation of Abraham

Let’s pick up our study this week in Galatians 3:6, “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now Paul compares our faith and salvation to that of Abraham. Romans 4:1-12 tells us that Abraham’s salvation came as a result of grace and not works. It’s interesting to note that Abraham’s circumcision took place many years after he was actually accounted righteous by God; thus works were not involved in his righteousness but faith. What we see here is that salvation by grace is not new to the New Testament. Prior to the Law, Abraham was saved by his faith. Bottom line is that Abraham’s righteousness did not come by circumcision but by faith. The same can be said of you and me. We are not made righteous before God, maybe men, but not God, by our works. It’s only through our faith that we have obtained righteousness.

Notice v.7, “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” Have you ever heard the children’s song, “Father Abraham”? It says, “Father Abraham had many sons and I am one them and so are you. So let’s just praise the Lord.” Just as Abraham was saved by faith, so are we; thus we are children of Abraham.

Notice v.8, “And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” God had the Gentiles (if you are not a Jew, you are a Gentile) in view even then.

Notice v.9, “So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” Just as God blessed Abraham because of his faith, so he will bless us.

Notice vv.10-12, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.” You either live under the Law or you don’t. I’m humored by Seventh Day Adventism in their desire to keep one aspect of the Law for salvation while ignoring the rest. Paul is saying here that it is all or nothing.

Notice vv.13-14, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The blessing of Abraham was “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” We see this in Genesis 12:1-3 when God said to Abraham, “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” And surely the nations of the earth have been blessed because of the Jew.

First and foremost, the Messiah, our Savior, Jesus Christ was a Jew. Second, the world has been blessed even more by the Jews in that most of the breakthroughs in modern science and medicine have been because of the Jew. If you don’t believe that, go and search the web for how many Jews have won the Nobel Prize! It’s a whooping 176 recipients! They represent 23% of the total recipients since 1902 and yet they represent less than 1% of the Earth’s total population. That’s phenomenal by any count. The only way that you can explain that is the blessings of God.

I believe that one of the reasons God has blessed the United States of America is because of the way we have treated the Jew. While Europe, for the most part, turned their backs on the Jews when they needed them most, America did not. God blesses those who bless His people. It’s as simple as that!

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