Abraham’s Seed of Promise

Justin Johnson

The Galatians were being convinced that they needed to become circumcised law keeping proselytes to receive God’s blessings.

Their teachers said that Paul taught the same thing as them having learned it from the same people in Jerusalem.

In reality, Paul received his gospel directly from the Lord Jesus Christ, and spends the first two chapters to the churches in Galatia saying as much.

In chapter 3, he begins his argument that blessing does not require the works of the law, circumcision, or becoming Abraham’s seed in the flesh.

The Promise By Faith

“Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” – Gal 3:2

Of course, we receive the Spirit by faith.

Abraham, too, received his blessing by faith, and is the classic example of faith in Israel. He did not receive his promises with conditions, or his blessing by his works, but by the hearing of faith (Gen 15:6).

“So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” – Gal 3:9

The law that the Galatians were being persuaded to keep was a curse and could not justify anyone. Christ became a curse for us and removed the curse of the law, so that the blessing by faith could come to everyone not through the law.

Any uncircumcised Gentile could now receive the promise of the Spirit, justification by faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ through faith.

“…that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” – Gal 3:14

The Single Seed

Abraham and his seed received promises, but not every seed of Abraham received them.

“For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.” – Rom 9:6-7

Abraham’s promises were not inherited by every child he had, as if the promises were for Abraham to have many children. The promise was that he would have a single child, a single seed, the child of promise.

It is true that God promised Abraham a multiplied seed (Gen 13:6), but God did not promise that every son of Abraham would receive the promises.

Isaac was the one God chose to inherit Abraham’s promises, and Jacob after him. Abraham’s promised blessings, received by faith, foreshadowed the coming of Christ, the promised one.

There is only one Christ, not many.
There is only one way to receive the blessings through Christ: by faith (Gal 3:22).

Children of God, Abraham’s Seed

The law was added to teach the need for justification by faith (Gal 3:24).

Once the object of faith came, there was no more need for the schoolmaster. God chose Abraham. God chose Issac. God chose Jacob. God chose to save by faith through Jesus Christ and his finished work.

We are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, not by works, nor circumcision, nor by being part of Israel.

We are children of God by being one in Christ Jesus.

Abraham’s singular seed, Isaac, was the child of the promise. Abraham’s seed of promise is Christ. Abraham’s seed was of promise by faith, not by the works of the law.

If we be Christ’s by faith, then we are blessed with faithful Abraham in his seed and we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal 3:9; Gal 3:14).

“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” – Gal 3:29

We are not heirs because we are Israel or because we are now children of the covenants and the prophets. We receive inheritance not according to the law, circumcision, or Israel, but according to the promise which is by faith.


Many fail to realize that Paul is not denying the promises God will fulfill with the nation Israel (Rom 11:26-29). Neither is he saying that the church is Israel by putting them into Abraham’s earthly promises.

He is simply explaining how God’s blessings can be received by Gentiles apart from the law, circumcision, and Israel.

The only way God can bless Gentiles apart from these three things was the same way he blessed Abram without the law, circumcision, and Israel… by faith.

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Published: September 13, 2014
Last Modified: July 16, 2018
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