AN UNBREAKABLE COVENANT
You are enough for me, Jesus.
Read Galatians 3:15–22
The Law and the Promise
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,”[a] 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.
a Galatians 3:16 Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 24:7
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhy is relying on our own performance to please God so ironic?
The false teachers said: You need “Jesus plus…”; you need to do what Moses told you to do. But Paul pulls the rug out from underneath them by going back to Abraham. God gave promises to Abraham 430 years before he gave laws to Moses (17). His promise was a covenant—a loving contract (15). God promised that he would bless all of Abraham’s true children. And that was fulfilled in a son, Isaac, though ultimately through the Son, Jesus (16). How else could salvation be offered to all?
So what’s the point of the law (19)? The law shows us what sin looks like. “Through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Rom. 3:20). The law shows us that we can’t keep the law (10,11a). It’s meant to take us to the end of ourselves and our own self-reliance. It’s meant to make us cry out for help.
So does the law contradict the promise (21)? No, the law comes later, but it never overrides the promise. Instead, it makes the promise more beautiful, more desirable. The more the law shows us the ugliness of sin and the curse we deserve and our utter helplessness, the more we yearn for grace. The law is meant to turn us inside out every day and make us run faster towards God’s promised grace.
Knowing this, confession becomes the route to joy. Don’t just promise to try harder and do better next time. As you confess, rest your heart on God’s grace in Christ with praise and thankfulness.
My God, I need You every day, every moment. Please don’t leave my side, and help me not to leave Yours.
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