“Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”
When I was little, we would sing a song in Sunday school called “Father Abraham.” It was repetitive in a way that is fun for kids, but annoying for adults – basically the church version of “100 bottles of beer on the wall.” It went, “Father Abraham, had many sons, and many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you. So, let’s just praise the Lord.” This chorus was repeated over and over and was accompanied by arm and leg swings, head bobs, and spins. And if you grew up in church, you probably hummed the tune as you read these words. At some point along the way, I remember questioning this song. Was I a child of Father Abraham? Head bobs and arm swings aside, I was pretty sure I fit squarely in the Gentile camp.
To the Jew, being a child of Abraham was a real source of pride. They would trace back their lineage generation after generation showing that they were a part of the family. This family background separated them from the rest of the world. In fact, they saw the main breakdown of people types as 1-Jews, and 2-everybody else – aka Gentiles. Jesus took a shot at this arrogance when he said, (paraphrase of Matthew 3:9) “So, you’re children of Abraham. Big deal, God could make children of Abraham out of these rocks.”
And then Paul called into question with the words above, what it even meant to be a part of his family? And what made Abraham so special? See, the Judaizers had been trying to get the Gentile believers to be good Jews before they could be Christians, but Paul showed them from their own scriptures (the Old Testament) that they didn’t realize what actually made Abraham special. Abraham was considered right with God because of his FAITH, not his works! And we become children of Abraham (without all the initial membership fees like circumcision) through our faith, just as he did.
Use the HEAR method to dig or drill a little deeper into this passage.
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
Today’s post is by Jon Price, Associate Pastor