Early in the book of Galatians, Paul, the Apostle, pointed to a problem for the Galatian believers. What Paul identified was that some of the Galatian Christians wanted to impose Judaic customs on other believers. Some Galatians believed that Mosaic (Jewish) customs were essential to salvation while others claimed they were essential for spiritual growth. In Galatians, we see Paul strongly arguing against these ideas and teachings.
Paul starts his letter to the Galatians by defending the Gospel and his Apostleship. Paul reminds them that his salvation and growth as a Christian was independent of men and even separate from the Apostles in Jerusalem. Paul comes out against the teaching that Diaspora believers must become like Judaics to be right with God.
Paul makes it clear to the Galatians that the only true children of Abraham were believers in Jesus Christ whether they be Judeans or Diaspora believers. In fact, Paul states that believers in Jesus Christ are the true inheritors and heirs of the Abrahamic Covenant which includes all its blessings and promises.
If you’ve ever attended a Christian Sunday school class perhaps you sang about “Father Abraham”. The song goes like this:
Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had Father Abraham
I am one of them and so are you
So let’s all praise the Lord……..
Abraham is called the father of the faithful (Gal. 3:16-29; Rom. 4:11) and “the friend of God” (Jas. 2:23). He is an example to us in many ways, therefore, it is always good to study him and learn from that which the Bible reveals to us about him. The Biblical account of Abraham starts with God making the following promises to him:
- I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you;
- I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
- I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
- And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:2-3)
Genesis 12:2-3(KJV) – “And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curesth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
Genesis chapter 12 is often referred to as the Abrahamic Covenant.
For many years, I believed that the scriptures taught that God had never completely fulfilled the land promise that He made to Abraham. This is what I was taught to believe and what, I in turn taught others. Now we all know that God will not go back on His promises. So assuming this teaching is true, then at some point in the future, God will have to keep His promise that He made to Abraham. This “promised land” will have to be given to Abraham’s descendants. Did God fulfill His promise to Abraham? Or should we look to the future for this fulfillment? What do the scriptures reveal? Get your Bibles out! Let’s start in the book of Genesis.
Land Promise Given to Abram/Abraham
The first mention of a land promise is in the twelfth chapter of Genesis.
Genesis 12:5-7 (KJV) – And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.