Abraham: Saved by Grace
INTRODUCTION: In Gal. 3:1-5, Paul shows the Galatian believers, from their own experience, that they were justified by faith and not by works of the law. Paul now defends that doctrine from Scripture. Paul turns from subjective experience 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 Gal. 3:1-5, Paul asked six questions; in verses 6-14 he will quote six O.T. statements to prove that salvation is by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law. Remember, the Judaizers wanted to take the believers back into the law, so Paul quotes the law. And since they magnified the place of Abraham in their religion, Paul uses Abraham as one of his witnesses.
Here is the main thrust of this text: if salvation depends - even in the least bit - upon our works, then the sacrifice of Christ becomes the most colossal mistake of eternity.
I. THE PRINCIPLE. v.6
A. ABRAHAM'S BELIEF. 6a
''believed God'' - there is an infinity of difference between believing in God and believing God. To believe God is to accept His Word and trust His promises. Just believing in the existence of God is not enough; we must believe what He says. 1. The Object of His Belief.
''God'' - not himself, circumcision, or keeping the law.
FACTS: Abraham was saved (declared righteous) 430 years before the giving of the law. Abraham was saved (declared righteous) at least 14 years before the command for his circumcision was given. Circumcision was only a mark, not the means, of salvation. (It was a sign of God's covenant.)
2. The Content of His Belief.
The helplessness of self and the ability of God to perform what He promised.
ILLUSTRATE: God told Abraham that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea and as the stars of the sky. (Gen. 15:5). At that time Abraham and Sarah were elderly, and Sarah had a history of barrenness. The sit ...
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