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Thursday, October 24, 2019

2019.10.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Galatians 3:15-22

Questions from the Scripture text: In what manner does the apostle speak (Galatians 3:15)? What cannot be done to a covenant once it is confirmed? Even to what kind of covenant? To Whom were the promises made (Galatians 3:16)? What point does this verse make about the word “Seed” in Genesis 22:18 as an explanation of Genesis 12:3 (along with several other promises)? Since the word ‘Seed’ is singular, Whom does Galatians 3:16 say that the word must mean? What came 430 years later (Galatians 3:17)? What couldn’t this later thing do to the covenant? What couldn’t it do to the promise? What is not of the law in Galatians 3:18? What question does Galatians 3:19 ask? Because of what was the law added? Until when did the law promise forgiveness of transgressions? In what way did the law come (as opposed to the way in which the promise came)? How many parties are involved with a mediator (Galatians 3:20)? So, what has to have been already in place for the law to come through a mediator? What does the law not change or undo, even at the time of Moses (Galatians 3:21)? What could it not do? What could it do (Galatians 3:22a)? To whom, alone, would the promise come both before and after Jesus Christ came (verse 22b-c)?
By attaching a date (430 years later) to “the law” in this section, the Holy Spirit shows that by “the law,” He is speaking of the Mosaic covenant. The argument in Galatians 3:15-18 is that the Mosaic covenant could not have been given as a way of inheriting, because this would have been to alter the terms of the Abrahamic covenant—an impossibility. So, inheritance was by the promise before, and inheritance is by the promise during the Mosaic administration, and inheritance is by the promise now.

Why, then, was there even a Mosaic covenant? That’s the question of Galatians 3:19. The answer is that it was a gift for restraining sin until Christ (verse 19). It came with the great display of God’s holiness at Sinai (angels, the ten thousand holy ones of Deuteronomy 33:2), through a mediator as great as Moses. Why the Mediator? Not for God, but for the people (Galatians 3:20). This covenant was never meant to give righteousness (Galatians 3:21), but rather to make sure that for righteousness, the people of God would only always believe in Jesus Christ, who was to come.

What the Lord did for His people in the long-term, historical sense, He also does in individuals’ lives. Romans 3:19-26 teaches that the law stops up every mouth so that righteousness that is witnessed by the Law and the Prophets comes apart from the law—only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, whom God set forth as a propitiation.

Dear believer, your inheritance is not from how well you are doing as a Christian, but from the unchangeable, completely earned by Jesus, promise of God in Christ!
What good work have you been working on lately? What can’t it do for you? Who alone can do it?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH130A “Lord, from the Depths”

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