The Apostle Paul always used Abraham’s relationship with God as an example for us even in the New Testament. Way back in Genesis God promised Abraham “in you all families of the earth will be blessed.” Of course the nation of Israel is Abraham’s descendants, but the promise is for more than his natural family line.
Jesus showed us the truth about “the seed” in John 8, as he discussed with the religious leaders who Abraham’s children really were. The religious Jews continually found fault with Jesus and thought they were special simply because of being able to trace their natural bloodline to Abraham. Jesus, on the other hand, told them “If Abraham were your father you would do the works of Abraham.” They were looking only on the surface of things and their hating Jesus was the proof. You see the promise God gave to Abraham wasn’t meant for his natural children rather for those that had faith as Abraham.
In the letter to the Galatians Paul spelled it out for us saying, “Now to Abraham and his “seed” were the promises made. He didn’t say, and to “seeds”, as of many; but as of one, and to your “seed”, which is Christ.” In other words the promise is given to them that have placed their faith in the seed of Abraham who just so happens to be Christ.
The timing of the promise to Abraham is extremely important also. You see Abraham lived 400 plus years before the Law was given. Abraham lived before the giving of the Law, Temple, priesthood and sacrificial system. God promised Abraham something, he believed it and was considered righteous. Paul masterfully defines this for us in Galatians telling us the Law came all those years later but it doesn’t nullify the promise. The Law was added because of transgressions until the promised Seed came. Now that Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham, has come the law has served it’s purpose.
Paul understood Abraham to be an example to all that walk by faith. He pulled Abraham’s story out each time he wanted to make his point about living by faith. God had a covenant with Abraham and that’s what he wants with us. It was never his intention to give us a series of hoops to jump through in order to make ourselves worthy. He’s known our powerlessness all along but we were deceived. We thought we were able to do something to make ourselves righteous so God gave us the Law. God’s hope is after we have tried and tried to make ourselves holy we will finally be willing to simply receive the seed of Abraham. It truly is only in him that all families on the earth will be blessed.