Who Are the Descendants of Abraham?

Who are the descendants of Abraham through whom “all of the peoples of the earth will be blessed”?

Abraham’s physical descendants include both Jewish and Arab peoples. Through his son Ishmael, Abraham gave the world a rich heritage of Arab culture and achievement. Through his son Isaac, Abraham gave the world a Jewish family line that was chosen by God to be a special servant nation. Through Israel God also gave the world a spiritual revelation of Himself that includes the Old and New Testament Scriptures. However the greatest fulfillment of God’s promise to bless the whole world through Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) was seen in Israel’s long awaited Messiah and Savior who died for the sins of all people and rose again to offer new life to all who would believe in Him.

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people. He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as He said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us — to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham (Luke 1:68-73 NIV).

And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, “Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed” When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways (Acts 3:25-26 NIV).

Through this Messiah Abraham also has descendants who aren’t part of his physical line. The apostle Paul declares that Abraham’s seed can also be spiritual:

Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham (Galatians 3:7 NIV).

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29 NIV).

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:1-6 NIV).

As these Scriptures show, today’s church represents the spiritual “seed” of Abraham more truly than one who is simply Abraham’s physical descendant without sharing his faith.

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