Did the word “seed” refer to Christ or the New Testament church?  

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The Seed

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Galatians wrote, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16).  

The goal of God’s covenant with Abraham was the coming of the Messiah and the salvation of men. All the other promises were an addition to this. These promises included that Abraham would have a son to be his heir (Genesis 15:4), possession of the literal land of Canaan (Genesis 15:18), the hope of becoming a great nation (Genesis 12:2; 15:5), becoming the forefather of the Messiah (Galatians 3:16), and the honor of being God’s chosen tool to preach redemption to the world (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8, 14).    

Great blessings were in store for Abraham’s seed or descendants, who became God’s chosen nation, if they would cooperate with Him. But unfortunately, Abraham’s seed failed to do so. Accordingly, they lost their role as Heaven’s tool for the salvation of the world. In spite of that, God overruled their unfaithfulness to the extent that the Savior came to earth in the right time, as a Son of Abraham.  

Christ the Messiah

At the beginning, the promise of future generations pointed forward in a literal sense to Isaac (Galatians 4:22, 23). But in Galatians 3:16, by inspiration, the apostle Paul referred to a symbolic greater truth than that which the promise appeared to have (Deuteronomy 18:15). The promise was first and partly fulfilled in Isaac, but was to have a final and greater fulfillment in the Messiah.

In Galatians 3:16, Paul declared that Christ was, in a unique sense, the “seed” promised to Abraham. Paul does not keep out either Abraham’s lineal offspring through Isaac (Galatians 4:23) or his spiritual offspring through Christ (Galatians 3:29). Correctly, the promise met its foremost fulfillment in Christ.  

The seed of woman

After the fall, the Lord gave Adam and Eve the following promise of redemption through the Messiah: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The phrase “between thy seed and her seed” is a reference to the age long war between Satan’s “seed” or followers (John 8:44; Acts 13:10; 1 John 3:10) and the woman’s seed. The Lord Jesus Christ is by pre-eminence “the seed” (Revelation 12:1–5). For Christ came “to destroy the works of the devil” (Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team 

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