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9/7/16 - The gospel of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament

Written by Carlton L. Arnold

“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 12:3

In every class that I have taught, I always introduce Genesis, Chapter 12, as the most important chapter in the Bible.  I believe this because of the verse above from that chapter.  All peoples on the earth will be blessed through Abraham.  This is an early prophecy of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of sins through His blood.  This statement is repeated many times in the Bible.  For example,

Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.  Galatians 3:8-9

I am overwhelmed every time I read verses like Galatians 3:8-9.  It is almost verbatim from Genesis 12:3.  All peoples (nations) will be blessed through Abraham.  The full impact of this statement is that a descendant of Abraham (Jesus Christ) will do something that will bless everyone in the world.  That something is the forgiveness of sins.  I hope you get chill bumps up and down your spine when you put these two Bible passages together.   Also, note that the gospel (the good news of Jesus Christ) was announced in advance to Abraham.  Abraham could speak fluently about Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  God revealed to him what it meant for all nations on the earth would be blessed through Abraham.

Do not miss that in Genesis 12:3, most of us think only of the Jews as descendants of Abraham.  The passage in Galatians clearly says that the Gentiles will be justified by faith.  Genesis 12:3 is a long way from Matthew 1:1.  Consider the following verse:

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.  Galatians 3:7

Abraham was justified by his faith.  His descendants are those who are justified by faith.  This includes Jews and Gentiles.  Anyone justified by faith is a child of Abraham.   God knew what He was doing in Genesis and carried the gospel story through the Old Testament and into the New Testament.

All believers today can look at the Genesis 12 passage and say, “I am included in that verse.”  As a matter of fact, I think all believers should make that revelation a major part of their life since God set in motion the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I hope you can truly and deeply appreciate the prophecy contained in Genesis 12.  God is an amazing God.  His Word is an amazing book.  Our salvation is an amazing story of God’s love for humanity.

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I continue to be amazed at His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

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