Summary: Paul turns to the objective evidence of the Word of God. We never judge the Scriptures by our experience but test our experience by the Word of God. This section quotes 6 OT Scriptures. Salvation is by faith in Christ, not by works of law.
AN OLD TESTAMENT ARGUMENT FOR FAITH
Having dealt with the Galations’ subjective experience of receiving the Holy Spirit, Paul now turns to the objective evidence of the Word of God. We never judge the Scriptures by our experience; we test our experience by the Word of God. In verses 1-5 Paul asked six questions. In this next section he will quote six Old Testament Scriptures. His idea is again to prove that salvation is by faith in Christ and not by works of the Law (CIT).
The Judaizers wanted to return the church to the Law, so Paul quotes from some pivotal passage concerning the law. The point is that a relationship based on faith and not on law is the way to right standing with God. Believers are justified by faith in Christ, not by works of law.
The four points of our message are:
I. ABRAHAM WAS SAVED BY FAITH, 6.
II. THE BLESSED CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM, 7-9.
III. NO JUSTIFICATION BY LAW, 10-12.
IV. JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH IN CHRIST, 13-14.
Abraham was the all important father figure in Judaism so first Paul quotes Abraham as his authority. He states that Abraham was justified by faith not law. Even so Abraham "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."
Paul begins by quoting Moses to show that God’s righteousness was placed in Abraham’s account only because he believed God’s promise (Gen. 15:6). Despite his and Sarah’s advanced ages, Abraham believed God’s promise to give him an heir in Isaac (Rom. 4:16-25). Abraham believed God’s promise in spite of it being biologically impossible. Abraham placed his faith in God and His promise and God gave him His righteousness even before the law came into existence, even though the living out of his faith was far from perfect.
If we look at our own sins, it is impossible for us to be saved but God has promised to save all who believe in His Son. If we will believe God like Abraham, God will do the impossible. Just like in Abraham’s case when a sinner trusts Christ, God’s righteousness is accredited to his account.
God takes the righteousness of Christ and places it in your account when you by faith receive Christ. When you trust Jesus it is like God writes righteousness over your sins. This means that the record of sin is always clean before God (by His blood) and a right standing is given in its place. The believer therefore can never be brought into judgment for his sins for God has called him righteous in Christ.
II. THE BLESSED CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM, 7-9.
Just as Abraham was saved by faith so too must we be saved by faith. Verse 7 defines who are the true children of Abraham. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.
The Jew and Judaizers were very proud of their relationship with Abraham. They thought that this relationship guaranteed them salvation. John the Baptist warned them that their physical descent did not guarantee spiritual life (Mt. 3:9). Jesus made a clear distinction between "Abraham’s seed" physically and "Abraham’s children" spiritually (John 8:33-47). Yes, Abraham’s physical descendants through Isaac and Jacob are the Jewish people but Abraham’s spiritual descendants are those who believe God for salvation. Abraham’s children are the sons of faith as contrasted with those of works or of circumcision or of heritage.
Some people today still imagine that salvation is inherited, or earned. Because mother and father were godly people, or because they were raised in church, the children think that they are saved automatically. But it is not true. It has well been said, "God has no grandchildren." Each person individually must determine to live by faith in God and His word.
Verse 8 includes the prophecy that it is by faith that the Gentiles also are justified. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations will be blessed in You. "
God’s foundational promise or covenant to Abraham was that salvation by faith was for all nations. The prophecy, "In you shall all the Nations be Blessed" is a foreshadowing of the Gospel (Gen 12:3; 18:18). Scripture proposes that from the very beginning of Abraham’s relationship with God that the blessing of the promised salvation would be for a people of faith. From other Scriptures we understand that "in you" was in Abraham’s seed (Gen. 22:18; 26:4; 28:14), meaning the Lord Jesus Christ, for there is no other name given among where by you must be saved (Acts 4:12). The gospel was first proclaimed to Abraham apart from and before the law.
Verse 9 indicates that the blessings of God come as they always have, by means of faith in God and His promises. So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.