SDA Sabbath School Lessons
Thursday October 10, 1996

The Descendants of Abraham
(Gal. 3:7-9)

Students of Scripture know that while the Israelites prided themselves on their descent from Abraham, descent is never the guarantee of salvation. Yet the Lord frequently reminded the Jews that they were the literal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exod. 3:15; 6:2-4; Num. 32:11; Mark 12:26). This was not to encourage pride in their national origins, but to help them remember His perpetual covenant that would make them a distinctive people, called to reveal His righteousness to the world (I Chron. 16:13-15,24).

Who are the true children of Abraham? Gal. 3:7-9, 29 (compare Rom. 2:28,29; Phil. 3:3).

These verses reveal the significance of God's promise to make Abraham a blessing to all the families of earth. God points out the spiritual influence of Abraham's example, an influence whose vast- ness and depth have been immortalized by the Spirit, not only through the record of Scripture, but through the moral influence of Abraham's godly life. Thus, the light of one incorruptible life illuminates the ages.

True descendants. "Christ recognized no virtue in lineage. He taught that spiritual connection supersedes all natural connection. The Jews claimed to have descended from Abraham; but by failing to do the works of Abraham, they proved that they were not his true children. Only those who prove themselves to be spiritually in hannony with Abraham by obeying the voice of God, are reckoned as of true descent."-Christ's Object Lessons, p. 268.

God wanted Abraham and his descendants to spread His truth around the world. As we can see from Galatians 3, this work is now transferred to all believers. How does Ephesians 3:6,14,15 refer to these believers?

"Today, as never before, the dissemination of Bible truth by means of a consecrated church is bringing to the sons of men the benefits foreshadowed centuries ago in the promise to Abraham and to all Israel-to God's church on earth in every age-'I will bless thee ... and thou shalt be a blessing.' Gen. 12:2."-Prophets and Kings, p. 703.

How can you help spread Bible truth so that you will be a blessing to those with whom you come in contact?