To get part in the blessings of Abraham.

(All scriptures quoted are from the Good News Bible translation, exept John
3,16 quoted from the New American Standard Bible)

This is one of the major and central topics in the Bible. And as you will
understand, not easy to fully illuminate in a short biblestudy. Still, I
will try to point at some clue in order to help us “understand” this secret.

Thr Apostle Paul writes to the Ephesians:
“I ask the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, to give you
the Spirit, who will make you wise and reveal God to you, so that you will
know him.
I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light, so that you will know
what is the hope to which he has called you, how rich are the wonderful
blessings he promised his people.” Eph. 1,17-18.
As Paul prayed for the Ephesians, so is my prayer for you.

In the book of Genesis chapter 15,16,17 and 18 we can read how the
childless Abram experienced how God spoke to him in his old age, made a
covenant with him and promist him to become the ancestor of many nations.
But even though Abram was a man of faith, he did not understand how this
could happen. How could his wife, -in the age of 90, give birth? Both
Abram and his wife Sarai looked at this as impossible.
So they found a way to “help God” so the promise could become a reality.
Sarai had an Egyptian slave-girl named Hagar, and she let Abram have
intercourse with her. Nine months later she gave birth to a son thy called
Ishmael. But Gods plan was of a different dimention.
Again God spoke to Abram, -that now, by God, was given the name Abraham,
(meaning ancestor of many nations);
“No. Your wife Sarah will bear you a son and you will name him Isaac.
I will keep my covenant with him and with his descendants for ever.”
Gen. 17,19.
Concerning Ismael, that became one of the ancestors to the Arabs, God spoke
to Abraham and said:
“I have heared your request about Ishmael, so I will bless him and give him
many children and many descendants.” Gen. 17,20.
This prophetic promise given to Abraham has for sure become a reality for
the Arabic people. God is for sure faithful! But even though Ishmael was
the son of Abraham, and God in his greatness blessed him, it was not what
God had in mind when he made his covenant with Abraham saying: “I will be
your God and the God of your descendants that they will become nations.”
Gen. 17,7. (You can read the whole covenant in Gen. 17.)
In this chapter we can read how God made it cristal clear to Abraham:
“I will keep my covenant with your son ISAAC, who will be born to Sarah
about this time next year.”
Gen. 17,21.
The Apostle Paul takes hold of the same topic in his letter to the Romans:
“Nor are all Abraham´s descendants the children of God. God said to
Abraham: It is through Isaac that you will have the descendants I promised
This means that the children born in the usual way are not the children of
God; instead, the children born as a result of Gods promise are regarded as
the true descendants.”
Rom. 9, 7-8.

While Ishmael became an ancestor to the Arabs, Isaac became the ancestor to
the Jews. But it does not stop there, -there is more. Gods blessings to
Abraham passes on through the promised son, Isaac, and in its great
perspective, even reaches to you and me. That means: We can be part of Gods
blessings to Abraham.
The Apostle Paul writes to the church in Galatia:
“Now, you, my brothers, are God´s children as a result of his promise, just
as Isaac was.” Gal. 4,28.
Notice that the Galatians that Paul wrote to, were not Jews. Galatia was a
part of todays Turkey. By other words, a people that by the Jews were
counted as gentiles, unholy and unclean.
But here Paul, the Apostle, underlines that even the gentiles are part of
that great starry sky Abraham was not able to count.
In order for this to become a reality, something must have happened.
Let´s look into it together.

One late night, Jesus, the Son of God, got a visit from one of the rulers
of the Jews, The Pharisee Nicodemus. He was a Jew, -and in that sense on of
Abraham and Isaacs descendants. But Jesus told him straight forward that
that was not enough. It was not enough to have his genetic cords all the
way back to Abraham and even Isaac.
“I am telling you the truth”, Jesus said to him; “No one can see the
kingdom of God unless he is born again.” John 3,3.
By this Jesus actually opens up the door for all of us, regardless etnic-
or genetic belonging. And in the scripture we often call “The little Bible”
he summens the promises of God like this:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John
3,16.(New American Standard translation).

Gods promise to Abraham was: “I will give you many descendants.” Gen.12,2.
Through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the way has been opened up for all of
us, -for they who count themselves as descendants of Abraham by Ishmael as
well as Isaac. But it does no stop there. It reaches even to you and me.
The Apostle Paul write to the christians in Minor Asia:
“But you are a chosen rasce, the King´s priests, the holy nation, God´s own
people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of
darkness into his own marvellous light.
At one time you were not Gods people, but now you are his people; at one
time you did not know God´s mercy, but now you have received his mercy.”
1.Peter 2,9-10.

The “key” into the Kingdom of God, and to get part in the blessings of
Abraham, is Jesus Christ.
Paul writes to the Galatians:
“By becoming a curse for us, Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the
law brings.” Gal. 3,13a, -and he adds in the next verse:
“Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham
might be given to the Gentiles by the means of Jesus Christ, so that
through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God.” Gal. 3,14.
Again Jesus underlines it strongly by saying:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father exept by
me.” John 14,6.
In the opening of his Gospel, the Apostle John tells us the “secret”:
“He came to his own country, but his own people did not receive him.
Some, however, did receive him and believed in him; so he gave them right
to become God´s children.” John.1.11-12.

In my next biblestudy I like us to look at the word “faith”, or “to
believe”. Until then, God bless you and keep you.

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