Genesis 17:7, How Gentiles Become Jews, Part II of II

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

//Yesterday, I introduced Paul as the Apostle to the gentiles, and hinted that he may have found a loophole which lets the gentiles slip into the covenant of Abraham. This covenant, as it reads in today’s verse, looks like it specifically excludes gentiles: it is between God, Abraham, and Abraham’s descendants (the Jews).

Paul, however, reads this verse differently. Note that the original Hebrew more precisely refers not to the descendants of Abraham, but to his seed. Same thing, right? Not to Paul. The seed (singular, not plural) of Abraham is one man: Jesus.

The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.–Galatians 3:16

Thus we find that the covenant is actually between three people: God, Abraham, and Jesus. What does this mean? It leads into Paul’s theology, his understanding of God’s cosmic plan for the world:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.–Galatians 3:29

As Paul explains to the Corinthians (1 Cor. 12:2), believers are no longer gentiles. They are full-blooded descendants of Abraham, through their birth in Christ!

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