The Seed of Abraham
In his epistle to the church of Galatia, the apostle Paul wrote, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made” (Galatians 3:16). In this verse, Paul was quoting God’s promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:7). The purpose of God’s covenant with Abraham was the coming of the Messiah and the salvation of men. Great blessings were in store for Abraham’s physical descendants if they would cooperate with God (Genesis 22:18).
In the fullness of time, God sent His Son as the seed of Abraham (Galatians 4:4). But the Jewish religious leaders believed that they were Abraham’s seed and that they were guaranteed God’s blessings without the need of repentance of the heart. For this reason John rebuked them saying, “Do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham” (Matthew 3:9). They rested in their superficial keeping of the law for salvation without its deep inner transforming power (Matthew 23:25).
God’s Covenant Transferred to Spiritual Israel
Unfortunately, the Israelite religious leaders rejected the Son of God. Before His death, Jesus declared to them, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it” (Matthew 21:43). In fact, the leaders of Israel condemned and crucified the Savior (Matthew 20:18-19). Accordingly, they could not become the tool of Heaven for the salvation of the world.
While the leaders of Israel failed, the promises of God did not fail. Instead they were transferred from literal Israel after the flesh to spiritual Israel or all those that accept Christ by faith and follow Him. Now, both Jews and Gentiles by faith have become the children of God or the New Testament church and heirs of Gods promises.
The New Testament Church
Paul says in Galatians 3:27-29: “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” In the New Testament, Salvation is open for anyone that believes in Christ as a personal savior. No one will be accepted merely because of his physical ancestors but rather for his faith in the blood of Christ.
Just as Abraham believed God and his faith was counted as righteousness (Genesis 15:6), and his true faith brought the fruits of obedience to God, likewise believers in the New Testament can be justified by faith. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29). And by the ceremony of baptism, they can have a relationship with Christ and through Him have the right to acquire the promises made to Abraham (verses 7–9).
Then, God will live in their hearts through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and will bring the fruits of obedience to His law. “That the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). The Scriptures teach of full transformation and perfect obedience (Matthew 5:48; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:12, 13; Colossians 1:28). The perfect life of Jesus in His humanity is God’s guarantee to us that by His strength, we too may gain perfection of character.
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In His service,
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