And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.Galatians 3:29(NASB)
Religious legalists, who could not reconcile the liberty we have through the 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 adopt 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 through faith in Christ, back under the curse of the Law and enslaved to a work-based salvation, from which they had been freed - by faith in Christ.
Paul wrote a very important letter, not only emphasizing his God-ordained apostolic authority, but he also reiterated the vital truth of the gospel of grace, and the doctrine of justification, which he had received, directly, from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul gave an excellent defence of justification by faith in his epistle, and gave a detailed exposition of the purpose of the Law.. before presenting three important contrasts between the pre-cross dispensation of law and the 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. They were no longer under the legalistic constraints of an underage minor.. or bond-servant. but were placed in union with Christ - and clothed in His righteousness.
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 in this particular verse, Paul explained.. that because we are the body of Christ and belong to Him, we are in spiritual union with Him - and as such we are all considered to be the spiritual descendants of Abraham, and heirs of the promises. But what promise is Paul referring to, and Who is the Seed to which he is referring?
Well, Paul previously explained that Christ is the one, single SEED of Abraham, through Whom the promises were 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, but as of one, 'To your Seed,' which is Christ.
As members of Christ spiritual Body.. we are also the spiritual seed of Abraham because we are in Christ - to Whom the promise was made. Abraham had a physical seed through Isaac, Jacob and Israel, 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 declare righteous by faith.. and NOT by works of the Law and NOT because of physical parentage!
Within Abraham's natural, physical seed, there is a remnant of Jews who believed 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, (both Jew and Gentile) who are justified by grace through faith in Christ. We are all in union with Christ and members of His Mystical Body - who have been born into the family of God by faith. There is now no Jew nor Gentile, because we are all one in Christ.. and His spiritual heirs - for if we belong to Christ, then we are Abraham's descendants and heirs, according to 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.. and 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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