What is the Blessing of Abraham?

That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed (Galatians 3:8 KJV) 

Growing up in the faith, I was often taught that the blessing of Abraham is divine financial prosperity. However, as I began studying what the New Testament says about the blessing of Abraham, it became apparent this is not the case. Just as our salvation is not about financial prosperity, but does include it as part of the package, so the blessing of Abraham is NOT about financial prosperity but, of course, also includes it. How strange to think that God promised Abraham that He would make the nations financially prosperous through His seed!

This blessing is called the blessing of Abraham because God gave it to Abraham as a promise in Genesis 12:3: “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed” ( Gen. 12:3). So God told Abraham that through him, through His Seed, all the nations of the earth will be blessed. In this passage ( Gen. 12:2-3), God spoke about two types of blessings for Abraham. First, He was going to bless Abraham personally, and we see that confirmed in Abraham’s life—he was abundantly rich and lived a long life. Second, a blessing was promised to every family on earth( Jews and Gentiles) through Abraham’s Seed. Neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob enjoyed this second blessing because no one could receive it before Christ’s coming.

What then is this blessing that came through Jesus to the world, especially the gentiles? Paul explicitly declares in Gal. 3:8 above that God’s promise of blessing the nations through Abraham is fulfilled by God justifying sinners who believe in Jesus. In verse 14, Paul says this blessing is the gift of the Holy Spirit that comes to us when we believe in Jesus. Therefore the blessing that God promised to give to the entire world through Jesus was not making them financially prosperous but making sinners righteous by believing in Jesus, giving them the precious gift of His own Holy Spirit. 

But  David was more dramatic in explaining what makes the blessing of Abraham such a blessing. After David was punished severely for his adultery, the Spirit later revealed to him that there would be a time when God would not impute sins to people. You would understand David’s astonishment as Paul quoted him: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:6–7 KJV). David spoke about the blessing of Abraham in Christ!

Finally, Peter showed the Jews the fulfillment of the blessing promised to them: “Unto you first God, having raised his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26 KJV). Yes, God sent Jesus to bless them. How? Liberating them from sin!

So the New Testament clearly defines the blessing of Christ as the precious gifts we have by believing in Jesus—forgiveness of our sins, righteousness, and the Holy Spirit. And yes, it also includes the natural blessings such as healing, financial prosperity, or long life as natural fringe benefits. But to reverse that order and teach that the blessing is financial prosperity is distorting the truth of this crucial biblical concept. 

What is the blessing of Abraham from the perspective of the New Testament? 

Apply the Word

The blessing of Abraham has come upon you in Christ. Receive that blessing by faith, enjoy it—David and the prophets begged God to taste it, but He told them it was not for them. It is for you and men in Christ, so rejoice and enjoy your Savior. 

Bless the LORD for the blessing of Abraham that has already been given to you in Christ. 

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