August 20, 2022

Children of Abraham

Galatians 3:1-14

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.

—  Galatians 3:7

Now and then I will spend time studying my ancestry. It is easy to get caught up in finding information on one person, and then another. So far, I have been able to trace my family line back to an ancestor born in 1760.

The Jewish people claim their lineage back to Abraham, from around 2000 B.C. God had given Abraham the sign of circumcision as a symbol of his covenant with him (Genesis 17), so circumcision became part of the Jewish law.

In Galatia, some zealous Jews had been teaching that if people wanted to be Christ-followers, they had to have all of their males circumcised. Then the people would be obedient to God’s law and they could live in righteousness, they said.

But Paul had rightly taught that circumcision was not needed because God had credited Abraham with righteousness long before giving him the sign of circumcision. As Genesis 15:6 says, Abraham “believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” So Abraham was not righteous by obeying the law but by believing God. Righteousness is by faith, said Paul. That was what he had preached to the Galatians, and that was all they needed. So, he added, all who have faith are “children of Abraham.”

If you have faith in Jesus, you are a child of Abraham. And your genealogy goes back 4,000 years to a person of faith, not works. Praise God!

Faithful God, thank you for making your children secure in Jesus and not on the basis of keeping the law. Amen.

About the author — Evan Heerema

Evan Heerema is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington state and in Michigan. He was also on the teaching staff at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ten years. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandsons.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!