The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”
If Abraham could look back from our perspective, he would probably be astonished at what God accomplished through him. He could have never conceived what God was going to do through a singular promise. It would have been amazing enough to see God’s unending faithfulness to His own covenant people, Israel. But to see how the ends of the earth—Gentiles included—would experience the faithfulness of God would have been unfathomable.
The Christians in Galatia to whom Paul ministered in the first century were still having a hard time grasping that reality. There was a group of Jewish believers at that time called Judaizers. They wanted Gentile (non-Jewish) converts to adhere to specific aspects of the law (circumcision, food laws, etc.). However, Paul wanted to make clear that God’s promises were never based on keeping those laws. It was faith that credited Abraham with righteousness, and it is faith in Christ alone that credits us with righteousness. Even though Gentiles were once on the outside, the blood of Jesus gave them access to the same blessing that God’s covenant people knew (Eph. 2:11-13).
The good news of the gospel of Jesus is that all people have access through Christ. Because of God’s promise to Abraham, and His making good on that promise through the person of Jesus, we can all experience His blessing. It is our nature to put up barriers and create demarcations of access, even as believers. That’s what the Judaizers were doing in the early church. We can do the same thing in the church today, creating standards for people to measure up to in order to qualify for God’s full blessing. We create our own law of sorts. Paul reminded us that the promise of God through Abraham means that because we are all equally unworthy, we all have equal access through the person of Jesus. God’s good news is hope for all, not just a few.
● Are there any ways that you try to add on standards for certain people having access to God? What needs to change?
● Why is faith the necessary foundation for access to God’s blessing? How does this offer everyone hope and purpose?
● Thank God for breaking down the dividing wall of hostility and giving us access to Him through Christ. Ask Him to help you not build those walls back up with other people.