< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Galatians 3:15-18

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Galatians 3:15-18

Galations 3:15-18 “Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man's covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ. What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.”

Here we learn the way of grace is actually older then the law by 430 years.
Rabbis back then loved to take one word out of a text and write a whole theology on just that single word. Here we are reminded that Paul is a trained Rabbi and he took a single word from the Abraham story and made an argument upon it.

In Genesis 17:7-8 God told Abraham, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee.” God says of Abraham’s inheritance, “I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee.” To make it clear, let’s change seed to descendent, which some Bible translations already did. Seed or descendent is singular.

God’s promise points to one individual, Paul argues. And that is Jesus Christ. Therefore, the way for a right relationship with God comes through Jesus.

One commentator wrote, “We can never be good enough, but if we simply abandon this hopeless struggle and bring ourselves and our sin to God, then the grace of God opens its arms to us and we are at peace with a God who is no longer a judge, but a father.”

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