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The Importance of Abraham

April 9, 2017
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These words in chapter 3 captivated me as I prepared to teach through the book of Galatians:

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Paul is telling this mixed group of believers in the churches located in Galatia that they all are sons of Abraham. Now imagine if you will a famous Anglo preacher telling a group of Syrian refugees that proclaim to be a follower of Jesus that they are sons of Abraham right along with a group of Congolese Africans. Picture the strange looks that preacher would get. Paul here is writing a letter not speaking to them in person, and yet while it’s being read the body language of the hearers is telling a thousand stories as they shift, abruptly move, completely change, or harden.

There’s something rather unique here in Paul’s words. Abraham is given a level of importance that he’s rarely allowed to have in Western churches. God the Father made a covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12. God told him that in you, Abraham, all the nations (people groups) shall be blessed. God told Abraham that because he was giving him a glimpse into the gospel message. This glimpse was small but good enough for Abraham because God knew what he was doing – he was saving gentiles by faith just like he was saving jews by faith!

This is key because of what we read Paul saying in Ephesians 1:4- even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

So God chose Jews and Gentiles in him by faith before the foundation of the world. Then he gave Abraham a glimpse of this gospel reality by telling him that the nations would be blessed in him. The Holy Spirit helped Paul make sense of this as he wrote scripture. What a blessing! To cap this off, Paul says that those who are followers of Jesus are sons of Abraham. Paul definitely seems to be raising the importance of Abraham in the New Testament and it’s nigh time we do the same.

The desire of God to take Jews and Gentiles and form one new man in Christ by faith is something that was planned before the foundation of the world. Then God makes this announcement to the world to and through the covenant he made with Abraham. This is the beauty of transculturalism.

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My Starting Transcultural Point

July 27, 2016
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Most times I feel like even mentioning the term “transcultural” I’ll spend so much time trying to explain the term, I’ve used up the mental capacity to be curious beyond that point. Over time I’ve had to learn this. So I’ve developed a new starting point to arouse the intellect of questioners as well as those on the outside listening in.

Anybody remember the Jewish temple setup? Now I admit this sounds awfully odd to start with one main dominant group in order to explain transculturalism, but indulge me a bit here. So, this temple was a massive structure divided off by walls. On these walls, there were signs of warning to the group able to read them. The outer section contained all the Gentiles, male and female. The next section contained Jewish women and children. The closest section to the insides contained Jewish men who were respected, educated, and religious. But the main section that mattered was the holy of Holies where the Jewish priests got to enter into.

From these divisions we find racism, classism, economic elitism, and the like. These were well-known to all in the society. Folks knew their place and didn’t seek to step outside their bounds.

Let me describe it a bit differently. Whenever discussing Whites in America, it’s automatic to speak of the rich class, middle class, lower class, redneck class, and trailer park class. From these labeled division, we find the same issues from the Jewish temple breakdown. Inheritant in both examples are what transculturalism seeks to eradicate in order to wholly erect in a more powerful, beautiful manner.

On the cross, Jesus by dying tore that temple down destroying all of its societally enforced demarcations. And ever since then, his actions have been ignored, questioned, or played down as not important. But this is where I choose to begin because it shows how in this 21st century we deal with variations of the same 1st century societal ills. However, one life-changing part gets left out the equation far too often. The Son of Man died to destroy the demarcations of man while saving the same men affected by it and the men effecting it.

Reread that last sentence until it begins to make sense.

Just maybe you’ll get insight into why I start here, and why I think you should too if you care to fight and risk for the very thing that Jesus died for.