“What about those blessings, Abram?” Hopefully, as he and Sarai are stuffing their travel bags to accommodate their Pharaoh-purchased one way ticket out of Egypt (Genesis 12:20), these blessings were exactly what consumed his heart and mind. In any event, God will remind him again… and again.
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.” Galatians 3:8
Look at the promise that Paul reiterates in his letter to the believers in Galatia. He declares to his readers that the gospel was presented to Abraham with the words, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
By the time these words were written by Paul, it seems Israel had much forgotten them. How do you forget a promise like that? The Apostle doesn’t leave us wondering. He insists they misread the meaning of the Law… and became arrogant servants to it. So much so, that they are now trying to pervert the young church’s pure and provisional understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are establishing a gospel that is no gospel!
These, known as Judaizers, were wrongly teaching the believers in Galatia that their faith in Jesus wasn’t enough. Basically, they were demanding that the Gentiles must first become Jews before they could become Christians. Here’s where things get interesting! Paul, without apology, will question their authenticity as true children of Abraham (3:6-7).
What!?! Doesn’t Paul know that each of these he’s bringing admonition against are card-carrying Israelites with their records safely stored in downtown Jerusalem? Yes… he does, but he also knows of God’s promise to Abraham. He gets it that ‘Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.’ He understands that the Law was given to drive us to the gospel that was preached to Abraham.
The Law is supposed to be much like that stick a child whacks a hornet’s nest with. From a distance the nest is a beautiful and wonderful work. However, once it’s disturbed, you’ll not want to be near enough to gaze upon the masterpiece. The Law makes known what is hidden in the nest. It reveals our sin.
But the promise to Abraham was given before the Law. It was given before circumcision was ordained. As a matter of fact, it was the first thing given. God promised that through Abraham would come a Seed who would bless all the nations of the world. Abraham believed just that and it was counted unto him as righteousness. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ… without the works of the Law.
A long time later, the Seed made us aware of just how true these words are. Jesus, confronted once again by the Pharisees, assured them, “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.” John 8:56