And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, heirs according to the promise.Galatians 3:29(HCSB)
Religious legalists who could not reconcile the liberty we have through faith in Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, started to infiltrate the early Christian Church. They opposed Paul's teachings and successfully convinced many Galatian Christians to revert to Judaism and incorporate many Jewish rites, rituals, and religious practices, into their Christian worship.
They did not understand that in so doing, they were placing men and women, who had been saved by grace, back under the curse of the Law and enslaved to a 'works-based' salvation from which they had been freed - by faith in Christ.
Paul wrote a very important letter, not only emphasising his God-ordained, apostolic authority but also reiterating the vital truth of the gospel of grace and the doctrine of justification, which he had received directly from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul presented an excellent defence of justification by faith in his epistle and also gave a detailed exposition of the purpose of the Law... before presenting three important contrasts between Israel in the pre-Cross dispensation of LAW, and the Church in this post-Cross dispensation of GRACE.
First, he pointed out that Christians have been born into the family of God and are exalted into being sons of God by faith. In John 1:12 we read: "But as many as received HIM, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." As Christians we are no longer under the legalistic constraints of an underage minor - or bond-servant - like believers under the Law. We have been placed in union with Christ and clothed in His righteousness - which gives us the status of a fully fledged son.
Secondly, Paul reminded them that in Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, but one Body of believers where Christ is the Head. He pointed out that in Christ there was now no distinction between Jewish believers in Christ and Gentile believers in Christ. Since the Cross of Calvary, all believers have become one in Him, through faith, and all have been promised that we will be like Him when we see Him as He is - spirit, soul, and body.
Thirdly, Paul explained that because we are members of the Body of Christ and belong to Him, we are in Christ... we are positioned in Him and enjoy spiritual union with Him - and as such we are all considered to be the spiritual descendants of Abraham and heirs of the promise: "And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise." But what is the promise to which is Paul referring... and Who is the Seed that He mentions in this verse?
Well, Paul previously explained that Christ is the one, single SEED of Abraham through Whom the promises of God are to be fulfilled: "Now the promises," Paul writes, "were spoken to Abraham and to his SEED. He does not say, 'To seeds,' as of many (the children of Israel) but as of one, 'To your Seed,' which is Christ."
As members of Christ's spiritual Body, we are also the spiritual seed of Abraham. We are Abrahams's seed or heirs because we are in Christ - to Whom the promise was made. Because we are identified with Christ, we are also identified with the promises made to HIM. Abraham had a physical seed through Isaac, Jacob, and his sons, as well as a spiritual seed through the Lord Jesus Christ. And just as Abraham was credited with righteousness by faith, both his physical and spiritual descendants must also be declared righteous by faith. No one is declared righteous by works of the Law and no one is declared righteous through their physical parentage!
Within Abraham's natural, physical seed, there is a remnant of Jews who believe God and their faith is credited to them as righteousness. In Hebrews 11, we see a list of men and women of faith who believed God and their faith was credited to them as righteousness. They are the ones who will one day inherit the promises that were made directly to believing Israel, regarding their future physical inheritance of the Promised Land.
Abraham also has spiritual descendants in this Church Age (some from a Jewish background and many from a Gentile background) but all are justified by grace through faith in Christ. We are all in union with Christ and we are all members of His Mystical Body who have been born into the family of God by faith. There is now neither Jew nor Gentile in the Christian Church, because we are all ONE in Christ and are privileged to be His spiritual heirs: "For if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham's descendants - Abraham's seed and heirs, according to the promise," by faith in Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You that I belong to Christ by faith and that I am a spiritual descendent of Abraham. Thank You that by faith in Christ I have been made an heir, according to the promise. Thank You that I have been saved by grace and am justified in the sight of God by faith, and thank You that I have an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance that will not fade away which is reserved for me in Heaven. Thank You, in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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