Galatians Part 22 - Galatians 3:15-18

D. This grafting of Gentiles into the commonwealth of Israel (EPH 2:12) on the basis of faith without regard to fleshly circumcision was, like the convicting miracles that had been worked among the uncircumcised believers (JOH 15:24-25; GAL 3:5), part of the overall package God had designed to provoke natural Israel to jealousy. ROM 10:17-21. (1) Jews saw a momentum of Divine favor shifting before their eyes. (2) They would be jealously angered (ROM 10:19), either towards the blindness of themselves and their leaders or angered by a hardened heart that would drive them to their own miserable destruction. 1TH 2:15-16. (3) The proper response was ACT 11:18. (4) The wrong response was ACT 22:21-22. (5) NOTE: It is not uncommon for someone who has been quenching the Spirit to be disturbed by God clearly blessing someone else and so find fault with God out of jealousy. God cannot be directly attacked but God’s new friend is not so far off or invulnerable. c/w 1SAM 18:28-29.

vs. 15-18. 1. Paul here speaks “...after the manner of men...” (v. 15). He draws an analogy from common-sense concerns of life in this world to show that the Abrahamic inheritance from God does not come by the Law of Moses. A. “...Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.” (1) The same Greek word underlying “covenant” is elsewhere translated “testament” thirteen times. It is this kind of covenant that is under consideration, one that establishes beneficiaries and reception of an inheritance. (2) inheritance (lit. Property, or an estate, which passes by law to the heir on the decease of the possessor. b. fig. Any property, quality, or immaterial possession inherited from ancestors or previous generations). (3) testament: A formal declaration, usually in writing, of a person's wishes as to the disposal of his property after his death; a will. (4) testator: One who makes a will; esp. one who has died leaving a will. (5) confirmed: Made firm, strengthened, settled, firmly established, etc. (6) disannul: trans. To cancel and do away with; to make null and void, bring to nothing, abolish, annul. B. A will/testament which promises an inheritance to someone, once it is validly struck, cannot be altered or cancelled by anything or anyone except the testator. C. Such a will/testament is not conditioned upon the agreement or even the knowledge of the heir. The heir may not even know he is a named beneficiary. (1) This testament is not a contractual agreement conditioned upon compliance, such as was the Law Covenant of Moses which God could break if Israel did not comply with their part of the agreement. NUM 14:12, 34. a. The Law Covenant/Testament was clearly conditioned upon compliance. EXO 24:7-8 c/w HEB 9:19-20. b. The Law Covenant/Testament could never actually take away sin, could not justify sinners, nor procure for the sinner the righteousness which God would accept. ROM 8:3; 3:20-22. c. The Law Covenant/Testament could be altered or terminated by its Author as long as He lived. This He did by a New Testament. MAT 26:28. (2) It is the promise of one (the testator) to give something to another who has no claim on the inheritance other than the promise in the will/testament. D. The will/testament is only a standing promise until the death of the testator, the only thing that causes the distribution of inheritance to the named heir(s). c/w HEB 9:15-17.

2. The inheritance which God promised was to Abraham and Jesus Christ. v. 16. A. All the promises, which included great blessing for all nations (GAL 3:8), were made to Abraham and Christ. (1) The greatest blessing of promise was/is power over death through Jesus Christ which included justification for sinners. ACT 13:32-39. (2) Resurrection unto life is the true hope of God’s Israel. ACT 22:6; 26:6-8. (3) Abraham and those of faith understood the true inheritance to be heavenly, not earthly. ACT 7:4-5 c/w HEB 11:8-16. B. It was the errant assumption that all descendants of Abraham were the children of promise but the promises were ever made only to two people: Abraham and a descendant of his son Isaac. ROM 9:6-8. (1) Believers are as Isaac was, the children of promise. GAL 4:28. (2) Believers in Jesus Christ show they belong to Him and are therefore the seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise, regardless of earthly distinctions. GAL 3:9, 28-29.

3. The promise to Abraham and his seed (Jesus Christ and all those in Him) could not be disannulled by the “do and live” Law of Moses which came 430 years later. v. 17 c/w ROM 4:13-15. A. The promise was not based upon sinners’ obedience: it was the declared gift of God. B. The Law was a late-comer which was of a different nature: obedience secures a good temporal inheritance; disobedience imperils and loses it. C. The promise included righteousness and eternal life which only Jesus Christ could secure. He only is the Just One. ACT 7:52; 22:14. D. The promise does not depend upon Moses nor fleshly circumcision, but only upon the obedience of One: Jesus Christ. ROM 5:19. E. The promise cannot be activated or enhanced by the sinner’s compliance with Moses’s Law, nor can its hope-filled, joyful benefits be realized by confidence in the “do and live” righteousness of Moses’s Law. The joy comes through recognition that Jesus Christ’s work and grace is the salvation of sinners. Abraham rejoiced not to see Moses’s day but Christ’s day. JOH 8:56. F. How much better is it to have confidence in Christ than in circumcision or Moses’s Law! ROM 4:16; GAL 5:3.

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