Advent: The Seed of Abraham.

“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.” (Genesis 12:1-7).

Not only was the Messiah to be from the seed of a woman, (i.e. virgin born), but also the Messiah was to be from the Seed of Abraham. God made eight promises to Abraham, which are located in today’s text.

First, God would make Abraham into a great nation. Second, God would bless Abraham. Third, He would make Abraham’s name great. Fourth, Abraham and his seed would be a blessing to others. Fifth, God would bless those who blessed Abraham. Sixth, God would also curse those who cursed Abraham. Seventh, through Abraham and his “seed” (or “offspring”) Abraham would be the channel of blessing to all the peoples on earth. Finally, God would give to Abraham’s “seed” the land he had entered after leaving Ur of the Chaldeans. The first seven promises from God to Abraham appeared in his “call” in Genesis 12:2-3, while the eighth was added when he arrived at Shechem in Palestine (v. 7).

Was Jesus Christ the seed, or offspring, of Abraham by which the Patriarch would be a channel of blessing to all the peoples on earth? Does the New Testament teach that Jesus Christ was related to Abraham? Does Jesus meet this qualification? There are three New Testament text which demand our attention regarding Jesus Christ’s relationship to the Patriarch Abraham?

The first NT text is found in Matthew 1:1. The verse is contained within the context of the genealogy of Jesus Christ through the lineage of His adopted, human father Joseph. The text, which serves as an introductory statement for the Gospel of Matthew, says, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Matthew takes Jesus’ lineage all the way back to Israel’s conception contained in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:1-3).

The second text is found in Luke 3:23-38, which contains Jesus Christ’s genealogy through the lineage of His human mother Mary. The extended paragraph beings in 3:23 which says, 23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,” Of particular interest is vs. 34 which says, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor…”

The third NT text in question is Galatians 3:16 which says, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He (God) does not say, and to seeds, as of many but as of one, and to your Seed, who is Christ.” The context concentrates on the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone.

Dr. William Hendrickson comments that, “God promised salvation, not to Abraham’s physical descendants but to true believers, to them all, whether Jews or Gentiles and to them alone, he is saying that this great blessing is concentrated in one person, Jesus Christ. It is in Him, in Him alone, that all these multitudes of believing Jews and Gentiles are blessed. It is in this sense that the “Seed” is singular, definitely not plural.”

Dr. John MacArthur, in commenting on Galatians 3:16, adds that, “The quote is from Gen. 12:7. The singular form of the Hebrew word, like its English and Greek counterparts, can be used in a collective sense. Paul’s point is that in some OT passages (e.g., Gen. 3:15; 22:18), “offspring” refers to the greatest of Abraham’s descendants, Jesus Christ.”

We can conclude that not only does the New Testament teach that Jesus Christ is virgin born, but also that he belongs to and was a physical descendant of Abraham fulfilling Old Testament prophecy concerning the identity of Israel’s Messiah.

Is Jesus Christ your Messiah? He is the only One.

May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

 

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