"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" The Heirs Of Abraham (3:16-14,26-29) INTRODUCTION 1. Abraham is a key figure in three of the world's great religions... a. He is the ancestor of the Jews (Hebrews) through his son Isaac b. Muslims regard him (Ibrahim) as the ancestor of the Arabs through Ishmael c. Christians regard him as their spiritual father through Christ - cf. Ga 3:29 -- Such is truly consistent with the meaning of his name, "father of many" - Gen 17:5 2. Central to the importance of Abraham are the promises God made to him... a. The land promise - Gen 12:1,7; 13:15-17 b. The nation promise - Gen 12:2; 13:16; 17:6; 18:18 c. The seed promise - Gen 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14 -- The fulfillment of these promises to Abraham is the theme of the Bible 3. The Bible reveals that God fulfilled these promises... a. The nation promise - via the descendants of Israel
- Gen 46:3; Exo 1:7; Deut 26:5 b. The land promise - in the days of Joshua, and in the days of Solomon - Josh 21:43-45; 23:14-15; 1Ki 8:56; 2Ch 9:26 c. The seed promise - with the coming of Christ - Ac 3:25-26 4. In the early church, there were evidently some who sought to limit the seed promise... a. To those who were physical descendants of Abraham b. Or Gentile Christians who were circumcised and kept the Law - cf. Ac 15:1,5 [In his epistle to the Galatians, Paul dealt with this issue. As we now turn to our text (Ga 3:6-14,26-29), we note that the true heirs of Abraham are...] I. THOSE WHO ARE OF FAITH A. THEY ARE THE SONS OF ABRAHAM... 1. Just as Abraham believed God - Ga 3:6 a. Without faith, it is impossible to please God - He 11:6 b. Abraham's faith was accounted to him for righteousness
- Gen 15:6 2. Indeed, only those of faith are sons of Abraham - Ga 3:7 a. This is what the seed promise had reference to - Ga 3:8 b. It is those of faith who are blessed with believing Abraham - Ga 3:9 3. Those who have the same kind of faith as Abraham a. To do the works of Abraham - cf. Jn 8:39 b. Willing to "walk in the steps of the faith" which Abraham had - cf. Ro 4:11-12 c. I.e., to have an obedient faith like he did - cf. He 11:8-10 B. NOT THOSE WHO ARE OF THE WORKS OF THE LAW... 1. That is, those who seek to be justified by the Law of Moses a. As many in Israel were seeking to do - cf. Ro 9:31-32 b. They sought to establish their own righteousness
- cf. Ro 10:1-13 2. For they are under the curse of the Law - Ga 3:10 a. The Law cursed those who did not confirm (keep) it - cf. Deu 27:26 b. The Law also proclaimed all men to be sinners - cf. Ro 3: 10-20 3. They are not justified by the works of the Law - Ga 3:11-12 a. As the Law itself foretold - Hab 2:4 b. The Law required perfect obedience, which none could offer - cf. Lev 18:5 [It is through faith like Abraham's that one becomes an heir of Abraham. Those who seek salvation through the works of the Law are not his true descendants. But it is more than simply faith, it is faith in the right Person. Thus the true heirs of Abraham are...] II. THOSE WHOM CHRIST HAS REDEEMED A. THEY ARE REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW... 1. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law a. He became a curse for us by dying on the tree - Ga 3:13 b. He bore our sins in His own body on the tree - 1Pe 2:24 2. Thus He offers redemption a. From every lawless deed - Tit 2:14 b. Through His blood, providing the forgiveness of sins
- Ep 1:7 B. THEY ARE RECIPIENTS OF THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM... 1. Even Gentiles, in Christ Jesus - Ga 3:14 a. As indicated in the promise to Abraham ("all the families of the earth") - Gen 12:3 b. As indicated in the promise to Abraham ("in your seed") - Gen 22:16; cf. Ga 3:16 2. They have received the promise of the Spirit - Ga 3:14 a. The Spirit Jesus promised to those who believe- cf. Jn 7: 37-39 b. Which Paul reminded the Galatians they had received through faith - cf. Ga 3:2 c. "... that promise which agreed to give the Spirit to all who rendered the obedience of faith - Ac 2:38-39." - McGarvey (commenting on Ga 3:14) [The heirs of Abraham are those who have been redeemed by Christ and made recipients of the blessing promised to Abraham (which included receiving the Spirit). Closely connected to this is Paul's point at the end of the chapter (Ga 3:26-29), that the true heirs of Abraham are...] III. THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME SONS OF GOD A. THROUGH FAITH IN CHRIST JESUS... 1. We become sons of God through faith in Christ - Ga 3:26 a. Faith in Jesus as the Messiah - Jn 8:24; 6:69 b. Believing that He died for our sins - 1Co 15:1-2 c. Faith in His resurrection from the dead - Ro 10:9 2. A privilege offered to those who believe in Jesus - cf. Jn 1:12 a. Those who believe are given the right to become children of God b. How their faith leads them to become children of God is explained in Ga 3:27 B. THROUGH BAPTISM INTO CHRIST... 1. We become sons of God through faith, through our baptism into Christ - Ga 3:27 a. Note carefully the conjunction "for" b. Paul explains how they became children of God by faith in Christ c. It was when they put Christ on in baptism 2. For in baptism one is buried with Christ, crucified with Christ, and raised to live with Him - cf. Ro 6:3-8 a. In baptism we are united with Christ b. In baptism we are thus "clothed" with Christ (put Him on) CONCLUSION 1. Who, then, are the heirs of Abraham, heirs of the promise made regarding his seed...? a. Those who are of faith, walking in the steps of faith like Abraham did b. Those whom Christ has redeemed, recipients of the promise of the Spirit c. Those who have become sons of God through faith in Christ, having clothed themselves with Christ in baptism 2. The heirs of Abraham regarding the seed promise are not those... a. Who claim to be so because of their lineage through Isaac or Ishmael b. Who seek salvation through keeping the Law of Moses Rather, as aptly summarized in the words of Paul himself: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." - Ga 3:28-29 Are you in Christ, having been baptized into Christ and in so doing "put on Christ"? If so, then you are blessed to be a true heir of Abraham according to the promise...!