“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.”
— Galatians 3:7-9 —
The Bible, from beginning to end, unfolds with more grandeur and wonder than one could possibly exhaust in 10,000 lifetimes. The reason is because it is a story about an infinitely valuable God displaying the greatness of his glory through the redemption of his people by the death and resurrection of his perfect and most worthy Son (Ephesians 1:7-10). The totality of the Bible is focused on glorifying God in Christ (John 5:39). It is not the case that the Old Testament is about Israel, while the New Testament is about Jesus. Rather, both Testaments are centered on the person and work of Christ, one (Old Testament) in anticipation and one (New Testament) in reflection.
The story of God’s covenant people, Israel, began with God’s calling of a pagan man named Abram, who was to go to a land that he did not know. There he was promised a prosperous lineage for the purpose of seeing the nations of the world blessed through his line/seed (Genesis 12:1-3). Israel’s history can rightly be understood as God’s unfolding plan to fulfill the promises he made to Abram concerning this nation through whom the nations of the world would be blessed. Abram would become Abraham and serve God’s purposes by trusting in God’s ability to do the miraculous and make good on his promises (Romans 4:16-24).
Make note of this: it was not Abraham’s performance that furthered/sustained the promise, but rather it was his faith in God’s ability to do it! The promise involved the salvation of a people! How did God go about fulfilling his promise to Abraham? Through Abraham’s line a Messiah, Jesus Christ, was given to the world (Jews and Gentiles) in order to “bless” (save) the world through his living, dying, and rising. Due to the magnitude of Christ’s accomplishments in these things, one can enter into the covenant promises/benefits that were originally given to Abraham through faith. Paul declares in Galatians 3:7, “…it is those of faith who are sons of Abraham.” Faith gives way to family. Through faith one becomes a son/daughter of Abraham, and to be a son/daughter of Abraham is to be the heir of the promise/benefit delivered through Christ, which involves eternal life in the family of God.
You are of faith and by way of faith a member of Abraham’s family if you have relinquished all confidence in your ability to “earn” the blessing (saving grace) of God and rely on the promise of God alone. Abraham received favor from God by grace through faith. His children must follow his example and participate in God’s economy in the same manner. God does not need your works nor is he impressed by your “goodness”. Instead, it is necessary that you rest in His works and become ultimately impressed with His goodness in Christ. To be “of faith” requires that you rest in the covenant provision found in Jesus. He is righteousness, grace, hope, and ultimate salvation for those who rest in Him. To be of faith is to be ultimately “blessed”, which signifies being adopted into the family of God and inheriting eternal life.
Praise be to God for including us in his Covenant through faith by grace! May he be glorified as we become sweetly satisfied in Christ, who has brought us to such a state as this! We, sons and daughters of Abraham and more importantly of God, can shout for joy due to the fact that we know what it is to rest in Jesus!
Questions to Ponder
- How have you understood the roles of faith and grace thus far in your spiritual journey?
- What does it mean to you to be offered the opportunity to be a member of God’s covenant member through faith and grace?
- How do you personally go about enjoying the rest offered to you in Jesus?
Prayer to Pray
“Father of my beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I bless you with adoration and praise as I consider the works you have accomplished for your glory and my joy. You have done the unthinkable in Christ through whom I have received the blessings of adoption and eternal life. I desire that you may romance my heart again with these truths and that you might make me delight in Jesus in a manner that is appropriate considering his infinite worth and glory!”