In Paul the apostle's explanation to the church members in Galatia about the relationship between the promise of God and the law of God, he has declared those who have recognized their own disobedience to the law to be children of God once they believe in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Once we receive the grace and unmerited favor of God, we become His children and not just His creation. Paul continues his thought in chapter three and verse twenty-nine as he shows the believer's status and benefit when Jesus Christ is received as Savior. He wrote:
And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Paul told his readers, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ”,and now there are no barriers of partition between people, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Today he declares, “If you are Christ's”, and this allows for the possibility that a person is not “Christ's”. “If” a person receives the gift of promise through Jesus Christ. “If” we believe that He fulfilled the law perfectly and took our place of death on the cross, and “If” we rely upon, trust in, and cling to Him, we are “Christ's” and according to Paul there are two benefits to us.
First, “then are you Abraham's seed.” The promise to Abraham was “And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice.” It was Abraham who “believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness”, and now those who believe in Jesus Christ have become as Abraham's seed. Everyone, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, race, station or gender may come to Jesus Christ freely and become as the seed of Abraham. Jesus Christ made the way for this to occur, and those who believe in and are baptized into Him have become Abraham's seed.
Secondly, Paul adds, “and heirs according to the promise.” Those who believe in Jesus are now “heirs”, and not just any heir, but an heir of God. Paul spoke of being heirs of God in Romans chapter eight and verse seventeen where he wrote, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become God's kids and not simply His creation. We become His heirs, and royalty is placed upon us, not because of what we have done, but because of His great promise of grace. We become a family of princes and princesses under the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We are His heirs when we are Christ's.
When we think about the benefits to believing in Jesus Christ we may wonder why anyone would refuse to become His child and heir. Jesus gave us a hint as to why some people do not come to Christ when He said in Luke in chapter eighteen and verse seventeen, “Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.” Humility as a child is required, and those who forsake their pride and simply receive the grace of God know not only what it means to be Abraham's seed, but also a child of the living God.
Next time we will begin a new chapter and discover the benefits of being an heir, so read ahead, and let us join together then.
Until tomorrow...there is more...
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