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Father Abraham Had Many Sons

October 3, 2016

Was Abraham saved? How was Abraham saved? How did Abraham become righteous before God?

Abraham lived hundreds of years before Moses and before the giving of the law. Abraham did not live under any requirements to observe feasts, avoid pork or make offerings in the temple. Central to the entire discussion of Galatians is this fact: God required Abraham to be circumcised. God gave Abraham this command when he was 99 years old. Abraham and all the males in his household were circumcised mere months before the birht of Isaac.

The false teachers could point to this event to show the great importance of circumcision. The Judaizers could point to Genesis 17:14 and show that those men who were not circumcised had broken God’s covenant and were not not part of the people of God. The argument would have been overwhelming. The false teachers could show from Scriptures that circumcision was essential to being part of the people of God. Any Galatian man who refused to be circumcised could be shown to not be one of God’s. This had to be devastating to any who argued otherwise. Except for one little thing: Genesis 15:6

The events of Genesis 15 take place at least fifteen years before Abraham was circumcised in Genesis 17. Genesis 15 records events that happened as much as ten years after God promised to make Abraham great and to give him innumerable descendants. Abraham was getting a little bit nervous about the completion of God’s promises. In Genesis 15 God assured Abraham that he would have a son and would be the father of great nation. Genesis 15:6 tells Abraham’s response to God’s promise, “And he believed in the Lord.” Abraham believed God would keep all His promises. As Paul says in Romans 4, Abraham “against hope believed in hope.” When there was no hope, Abraham still anticipated the fulfillment of God’s promises. Abraham believed God.

The rest of Genesis 15:6 destroys the argument of the Judaizers and all those who would insist the person has to do something to be saved. “He believed in the Lord, and (God) counted it to him for righteousness.” Abraham was saved. Abraham was made righteous by God.

What was the means by which Abraham received righteousness? It wasn’t circumcision. Genesis 15:6 was fifteen years before Abraham would even hear that particular command. It wasn’t the keeping of the law Genesis 15 was almost 450 years before Moses would descend from Mt. Sinai with the tables of stone. It wasn’t even Abraham’s obedience in traveling to a distant land that is not the subject of Genesis 15. The only means through which Abraham was made righteous was believing God. Abraham believed God would give him an heir and that through that heir would come One who would bring the blessing of salvation to the whole world.

Abraham was made righteous through believing. All those who believe God are made righteous.


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