Useful Bible Studies > Galatians Commentary > chapter 3

Paul explains about Abraham

Galatians 3:6-9

The importance of Abraham

Paul writes about Abraham. There are important reasons why Paul has to explain about Abraham.

(1) The Christians in Galatia wanted to obey the *Jewish rules. So they must ask someone to *circumcise them. Abraham was the first person in the Bible who received this mark. But he did not do it because of any rules. He did it because of Godís promises.

(2) The Christians in Galatia wanted to be like *Jews. So Abraham was very important to them. The *Jews came from Abrahamís family. The families of Abrahamís grandson, Jacob, were the first *Jews. The *Jews were special because of Godís promises to Abraham.

(3) The Bible says that God made Abraham *righteous (Genesis 15:6). God did not do this because Abraham obeyed any rules. God did not give his rules until 430 years later. God made Abraham *righteous because Abraham believed God. That is, Abraham believed Godís promises to him.

Godís promises to Abraham

So Paul has to write about Godís promises. Genesis 12:2-3 is the first promise to Abraham. There is a surprise in that promise. The Christians in Galatia wanted to become like *Jews. But God promised to be kind to people everywhere. So God promised to help the people in Galatia too! That was part of Godís promise to Abraham. And they did not have to become *Jews first!

Abraham believed God

The most important fact about Abraham is that he believed God. So people who believe God become like Abraham. It is those people who really belong to Abrahamís family. Other people may belong to Abrahamís human family. But if they do not believe God, they are not like Abraham.

Next part: Blessings and curses

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© 2015, Keith Simons.