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Tuesday November 6 – Israel’s mission (3): The Gospel beforehand

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” – Galatians 3:8

Scripture reading: Galatians 3:1-9

God promised Abraham in Genesis 12, that through him all the families of the earth would be blessed. This promise drives the whole rest of the story of the Bible. Perhaps you are wondering if that is a bit too strong a claim. That is why we turn to Galatians 3 today. In Galatians 3, Paul is arguing against those who are suggesting that faith in Jesus isn’t enough for salvation, that something else needs to be added.

In response to such a claim, Paul uses Abraham as an example of what God has been doing all along: justifying His people, not by their works, but by their faith: “Just as Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Gal. 3:6).

Despite that clear example, Jewish Christians were tempted to think that all this salvation and righteousness was just for the Jewish people and that Gentile Christians needed to become Jewish in order to be saved. To answer that question, Paul then quotes from Genesis 12:

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed.’”

Paul says that it was always God’s intention to include the Gentile nations as Gentiles and when God gave that promise to Abraham in Genesis 12, He was proclaiming the gospel! This is the gospel that drives our mission today: that through Abraham’s family, in Jesus, all the families of the earth would be blessed.

Suggestions for prayer

That we would believe and love this good news and that we would live lives shaped by it, seeking that same blessing for those who have not yet known it.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.


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