The Works of Abraham

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Understand, then, that those who have faith [in Messiah] are children of Abraham. [1]  Gal 3:7 NIV

Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.” (John 8:39)

What were the ‘works of Abraham’?

“Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws (Gen. 26:5)

Are you a child of Abraham?


FOOTNOTES

[1]  This full passage reads:  Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.  Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.  For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”  Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”  The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”  He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Scholars agree that this letter was written at a very early stage of Christianity, even before there was any organized expression of the body.  At this time, almost all believers were Torah-observant Jews.

Paul is not telling these believers that they should abandon Torah because it is a curse.  He IS telling them that if they rely on their observance of Torah to ‘justify’ them in the sight of God, then they must obey it perfectly or they will suffer the consequences.  Sin is the transgression of Torah. (1John 3:4)  The wages of sin is death.  (Rom 6:23)  He is urging them to place their hope of salvation not in their Torah-observance, but rather in their faith in Messiah, who has already paid the penalty of death on their behalf.

Nevertheless, YHVH expects His people to follow His house rules.  Think of it like this: You expect your child to obey your house rules BECAUSE he is your child and because you want to teach him your values.  Following your house rules does not make the child a member of your family – he is ALREADY part of the family.  Now he must demonstrate his willingness to participate in family life by following the house rules.

In the same way, Torah-observance does not earn us a place in the household of God, but it does teach us God’s values, and it does demonstrate our willingness to participate in His family life.


© Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, 2015.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Lamb’s Servant Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sue Wyatt and The Lamb’s Servant Blog, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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3 thoughts on “The Works of Abraham”

  1. You pointed out an often overlooked piece of scripture, at least for its meaning in particular. As believers in Yeshua, we are Jews as he was. This idea of a new covenant that made Torah null and void is manmade, ignorant and dangerous! Thank you for this!! I plan to share it with relatives!

    Liked by 1 person

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