Galatians 3:6

Sunday, 27 August 2017

6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. 15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

-I want to begin by asking a question; “do you believe we have to do our part as Christians to earn God’s blessing on our life?” -What if I told you that there’s nothing that you or I can do to merit God’s love, nor can we do anything for Him to love us more. -The truth of the matter is, we are justified and righteous on the basis of what Jesus did, and not because of anything that we do.

-Enter the text before us today where the Apostle Paul demonstrates and illustrates this truth by way of Abraham believing God. -In order to better understand why Paul goes all the way back to the beginning with Abraham we need to know what happened. -The account is recorded for us in Genesis 15 where God makes a covenant with Abraham 430 years before the Law was given.

-This is why Paul uses Abraham as the perfect example of being righteous before God on the basis of our faith and not the law. -This because, Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Nothing else was needed, nor added. -In other words, God in His grace saves us on the basis of our faith in Him, not on the basis of our achieving it in any other way.

-This truth dismantles any belief that we’re saved by our works. We’re saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus alone. -I don’t know if it’s possible to overstate the importance of this truth, such that, it should have the affect of changing everything. -By that I mean there’s absolutely nothing that you or I can do to add to what’s already been done by Jesus Christ on the cross.

-Let me take it a step further and say that not only do we believe in Christ by faith, we continue to live our life in Christ by faith. -It’s for this reason that Paul says in verse 11, that “the righteous will live by faith’ because the law was never based on faith. -Were that true, then we would all be under a curse for breaking the law, and as such, we would be hung on a tree for our death.

-So the question becomes, if our righteousness came vis-à-vis the promise, which was pre-law, then what happens to the law? -To answer this question we need to know that the purpose of the law enables us to better understand our freedom from the law. -The law fulfilled its purpose as a guardian or tutor in its custody, which is the term Paul uses until the promised fulfillment came.

Matthew 5:17 -“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

-Suffice it to say once our death penalty for breaking God’s law was carried out on Jesus instead we are released from custody. -However, in order for the guardian to release us, there needs to be the key of faith, which is the only thing that fits into that lock. -In other words, it’s our faith in what Jesus did for us, instead of us, that frees us from being locked up in custody under the law.

-It’s important to understand a tutor in that day was a custodian or guardian in the sense that they both directed and protected. -This is in effect what the law does in that it protects us in it’s custody then directs us to the Savior the only one to set us free. -As such, when the child is grown, they don’t do away with what they learned from the tutor, they just don’t live under the tutor.

-I’ll close with an illustration that I think best describes how the law brings us to the Savior and it has to do with being on a plane. -The bad news is the world is aboard a doomed flight that’s going down, the good news is that we can be saved by a parachute. -It’s only when the pilot and flight attendant tell us the bad news that we’re open to receive the good news of salvation in Christ.