5078 Abraham, significance of
Dictionary of Bible Themes

Dictionary of Bible Themes  »  5000 Humanity  »  5070 Individuals in OT and NT  »  5075 Abraham  »  5078 Abraham, significance of

Whereas Jews see Abraham as the father of their nation on account of God's covenant with him, Christians see Abraham as the father of all who believe in Jesus Christ.

The significance of Abraham for nations other than Israel

Abraham was the father of many nations

Genesis 17:3-6 See also Genesis 17:20; Genesis 25:1-4,12-18 Muslim Arabs trace their ancestry through Ishmael to Abraham.

Abraham was to be a means of blessing to many nations

Genesis 12:3 See also Genesis 18:18; Genesis 22:17-18; Acts 3:25

The significance of Abraham for the people of Israel

Israel traces its origins back to God's call of Abraham

Genesis 12:1-2 See also Joshua 24:2-3; Acts 7:2-3; Hebrews 11:8-10

God promises the land of Canaan to Abraham's descendants

Nehemiah 9:7-8 See also Genesis 15:1-21; Genesis 17:1-8; Exodus 6:8; Deuteronomy 9:5; Acts 7:4-5

God is subsequently known in Israel as the God of Abraham

1 Kings 18:36 See also Genesis 24:26-27; Genesis 26:24; Genesis 31:53; Psalm 47:9; Acts 7:32; Exodus 3:6

Abraham is seen as the father of the Jewish nation

John 8:39 See also Psalm 105:5-6; Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 51:1-2; Luke 1:54-55; John 8:33; Acts 13:26; Romans 11:1

God deals with Israel on the basis of his covenant with Abraham

1 Chronicles 16:14-18 pp Psalm 105:7-11 See also Exodus 2:23-25; 2 Kings 13:22-23; Psalm 105:42-45; Luke 1:68-75

Circumcision was the sign of participation in God's covenant with Abraham

Genesis 17:9-14 See also Leviticus 12:3; John 7:22; Acts 15:1

The significance of Abraham for Christians

Abraham was an ancestor of Jesus Christ

Matthew 1:1 pp Luke 3:34

Jesus Christ attacks Jewish confidence in mere physical descent from Abraham

Matthew 3:9-10 pp Luke 3:8-9 See also John 8:33-41

Jesus Christ makes a point of identifying outcasts as children of Abraham

Luke 19:7-9 See also Luke 13:10-16

God's promise to Abraham is not inherited by those who obey the law

Galatians 3:15-18 See also Romans 4:13-16; Galatians 4:21-31

God's promise to Abraham is fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is Abraham's seed

Galatians 3:16 See also Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:15; Genesis 24:7; Galatians 3:19,29

Abraham is the father of those who are justified by faith

Galatians 3:6-9 See also Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:1-25

Abraham's obedience to God shows that faith must lead to good works

James 2:20-24

Fellowship with Abraham is a symbol of salvation

Matthew 8:11-12 See also Luke 13:28-29; Luke 16:19-26

See also

1035  God, faithfulness
1245  God of the fathers
5375  law
6676  justification
7135  Israel, people of God
7140  people of God
7248  patriarchs
7258  promised land, early history
7334  circumcision
7505  Jews, the
7510  Gentiles
8020  faith

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