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Thursday, September 26, 2019

2019.09.26 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 3:6-9

Questions from the Scripture text: What had Abraham done (Galatians 3:6a)? For what was it accounted to him (verse 6b)? Who are sons of Abraham (Galatians 3:7)? What had the Scripture foreseen (Galatians 3:8)? How would God justify the nations (Gentiles)? What did the Scripture preach to Abraham? What was the gospel that it had preached? Who are blessed with believing Abraham (Galatians 3:9)
We’ve seen it before with the Lord Jesus. As He directed the Jews to Himself for righteousness and life, they insisted that they had their own access to blessing: they were the children of Abraham.

Of course, it didn’t work then either. The Lord Jesus told them that if they were the children of Abraham, they would’ve borne the family resemblance and rejoiced over His day as Abraham had done. The Lord Jesus even went so far as to identify their true father: the devil who would like nothing more than to destroy Christ in his hatred. That’s the family resemblance that they displayed.

In today’s passage, the apostle is cutting off the “children of Abraham” argument of his Judaizing opponents. It’s as if they say, “You can be children of Abraham if…” and before they complete the idea with “circumcision” or some other keeping of the law by our flesh, the apostle instead interjects, “… if you believe like Abraham.” That’s the true family resemblance, according to (Galatians 3:6-7).

But perhaps the opponents were saying that faith may be the way to be declared right before God, but that there is a blessing that can be obtained by the works of the law over and above what comes by grace through the hearing of faith.

The apostle is cutting this argument off as well. For it is *in* Abraham that the nations are blessed. It is a blessing that comes not by imitation of a person but by participation in a person. Not by works as earned, but by inheritance as a gift.

So, (Galatians 3:1-5) had pointed out that spiritual life and power had to come by the hearing of faith, because this was the means by which God gave the Spirit and worked miraculously—there’s nothing that man can do to “supplement” such power!

And, there’s nothing that the flesh can add to our being Abraham’s children either. The family resemblance is seen in resembling his faith. The family inheritance is received as a gift for those who are in Abraham because they are joined to the same Christ by the same faith. The real question then is this: has God given you faith through hearing His Word about Jesus?
What efforts of yours are you in danger of seeing as what enables you to grow?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH435 “Not What My Hands Have Done”

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