“Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” (Gal. 3:7)
To the Jewish people, being children of Abraham was very important. It was a matter of connecting with God as well as a means of national pride. Being a Jew himself, Paul understood this and used it as a means for proving his point about faith that produces works of righteousness versus works of the law which don’t.
Because Abraham’s faith brought righteousness from God it stood to reason that faith was the true marker of Abraham’s and God’s relationship; at least to Paul, it did. Paul is reminding the Jews that the only way to claim relationship with Abraham is by the same way Abraham obtained it with God. That was by faith.
The law had nothing to do with Abraham. It came on the scene many centuries later when faith was missing from the descendants of Abraham. In order to renew that relationship, in order to reclaim it, faith would have to be revived. If the Jews desired to claim Abraham as Father, Paul tells them, then they would have to do so by faith. It was the only way that connection could be made.
It’s great to know that everyone, Jew or not, can call Abraham their father. All who live by faith are Abraham’s children. And, their faith is counted to them as righteousness. This is the very reason Paul said he lived his new life by faith in Jesus. The just shall live by faith is the message Paul has from God. Justification, for the Jew or for the Gentile came through faith in Jesus and not by any works of the law.
Task for Today: Emulate Abraham. “By faith, Abraham obeyed,” (Heb. 11:8). “By faith, Abraham went,” (vs. 9). “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, (vs. 17). Emulate all the men and women of faith. By faith, they all demonstrated they were believers by acting on their belief. Emulating faith is acting on faith.