Slides: One God, One Plan, One People
One God, One Plan, One
1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Chosen to bless all nations
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3)
Faith credited as righteousness
He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:5-6)
Father of many nations
This is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations… I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (Genesis 17:4-7)
Abraham trusted in Jesus
Unbelieving Jews: “We are Abraham’s descendants.”
Jesus: “If you were Abraham’s children, then you would do what Abraham did… You belong to your father, the devil… Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad… Before Abraham was, I AM!” (John 8)
4 Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 5 However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
Abraham was once an idol worshiper. Later, he was fearful and lied about Sarah being his sister.
6 David says the same thing when
he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart
from works: 7 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are
forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose
sin the Lord will never count against him.”
David committed adultery with Bathsheba and arranged the murder of her husband Uriah.
One God, one plan all along
- All along God justified the wicked by counting faith as righteousness.
- All along God chose Abraham to be father of many nations, not just one nation.
- All along God’s chosen nation was meant to bring blessing to all nations.
- All along forgiveness and justification would come through the Son of David.
9 Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness. 10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised.
So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. 12 And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15 because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
Not law but faith
We know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ… I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose… Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” (Galatians 2:16, 21; 3:11)
What counts is faith
You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:4-6)
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 17 As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
Who is a Jew?
28 For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. 29 But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God. (Romans 2:28-29)
Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The 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 have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:7-9)
Children of God and Abraham
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… You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus… There is neither Jew nor Greek… for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal. 3:14-29)
- Faith before works (4:1-8)
- Faith before circumcision (4:9-12)
- Faith before law (4:13-16)
18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
One God, One Plan, One People
- The God who chose Abraham is not a tribal god. He is Lord of all peoples.
- God does not have different plans to save different peoples. Faith in Jesus the Messiah is the only way for all.
- The church is not a parenthesis or Plan B. Believers are Abraham’s children.
Justified through faith
To the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness… God credits righteousness apart from works… God will credit righteousness to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Romans 4:5-6, 23-25)