Galatians 3:15-29 (ESV)
The Law and the Promise
The law shows us a need that only grace can fill.
15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
19Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions,
The law has two functions. On the positive side, it reveals the nature and will of God and shows people how to live. On the negative side, it points out people’s sins and shows them that it is impossible to please God by trying to obey all his laws completely. God’s promise to Abraham dealt with faith; the law focuses on actions.
–Life Application Bible notes
until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels
“Through angels”? As Stephen said in his speech to the Sanhedrin:
Acts 7:38 (NLT)
Moses was with our ancestors, the assembly of God’s people in the wilderness, when the angel spoke to him at Mount Sinai. And there Moses received life-giving words to pass on to us.
by an intermediary. 20Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
“It enables me to answer the most basic of all human questions — ‘Who am I?’ and to say, ‘In Christ I am a child of God. In Christ I am united to all the redeemed people of God, past, present, and future. In Christ I discover my identity. In Christ I find my feet. In Christ I come home.'”
Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. grew up under the shadow of a large man. His father was the hero of San Juan Hill and the President of the United States. The pressure to excel often caused him problems, but Teddy, Jr. went on to be a highly decorated Brigadier General during World War II, receiving the Medal of Honor for heroism. He was also the Governor General of the Philippines, Governor of Puerto Rico, and Assistant Secretary of the Navy.
During World War II, while waiting for a flight at an airport, Teddy, Jr. saw a sailor step to a ticket window and ask for a ticket. “I want to see my mother,” the sailor explained. “I don’t have much time.”
The indifferent woman at the ticket window was not impressed by the sailor’s sense of urgency, “There’s a war on, you know,” she rudely replied.
At this point, Roosevelt, who had overheard the conversation, stepped to the ticket window and told her to give the sailor his seat. A friend of the general spoke in surprise, “Teddy, aren’t you in a hurry too?”
“It’s a matter of rank,” he replied. “I’m only a general; he’s a son!”
Sons of God. What a marvelous name! This is what the Bible calls everyone who trusts in Christ. Do you sometimes forget you have the rank of a son? Today give thanks that you have been bestowed with this high rank.
27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
At that time, the Rabbis quoted a morning prayer that was popular among many Jews of that day. In that prayer, a Jewish man would thank God that he was not born a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. Paul takes each of these categories and shows them to be equal in Jesus.
29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Lord Jesus, we love you!
HERE is “Hallelujah! What a Savior!”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.