Aug 4, 2019. Galatians 3:15-18, A Divine Contract

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A DIVINE CONTRACT. Galatians 3:15-18. 08/04/2019. #11. AM.

Galatians 3:15-18 [New King James Version (NKJV)]

15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

  1. God’s covenant with Abraham was permanent
    1. Paul invites the Galatians to reason along with him
      1. Considering what is read or heard is important
      1. God wants us to weigh the evidence (Acts 17:11)
      1. Superficial reading of God’s Word leads to misunderstanding [consider other pertinent possibilities)
    1. Paul compares God’s covenants with manmade contracts
    1. Contracts usually have three provisions specified:
      1. The parties covered by the contract
      1. Terms and length of the contract
      1. Penalties for noncompliance in the contract
    1. God’s contract with Abraham dispensed with both Abraham’s compliance and the penalty clause
      1. God would fulfill the covenant (contract) with Abraham unconditionally
      1. Abraham had not been called upon to agree to any condition and did not contribute to the deal
      1. There is no penalty clause since God never fails
    1. Contracts have 3 kinds of time frames:
      1. Specific limited time — Mosaic Covenant would be in effect “until Shiloh (Christ) comes (Genesis 49:10)
      1. Until a specific provision is fulfilled — the church age will end at the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:11-18)
      1. Unlimited — I Thessalonians 4:17 ever be with the Lord
    1. The limit on Abraham’s Covenant was “until all the families of the world will be blessed” (Genesis 26:1-5)
      1. The Mosaic Covenant did not supersede Abraham’s
      1. Covenant Theology: each new covenant replaces and absorbs previous covenants
      1. The Mosaic Covenant was an interlude (place holder) on the way to fulfilling the Abraham Covenant (served as a teacher, guide, and standard)
  2. God’s blessing to all people came via 1 descendent of Abraham
    1. Paul’s use of “seed” rather than “seeds” highlights a limitation of language
      1. “Seed” is a collective noun (can mean many)
      1. Paul uses “seed” because there is no other word to use (so Moses uses it in Genesis 26:4)
      1. NW tries to solve the problem in Genesis 26:4 by using “offspring” in the place of seed
        1. “Offspring” is another collective noun
        1. Messes up Paul’s reference to Genesis 26
        1. The Hebrew word is “seed”
    1. English was a singular word “descendent”, but neither Greek nor Hebrew has this word
    1. Paul solves the problem by informing us that the Spirit indicates that seed in Genesis 26:4 is singular (just as Matthew tells as the almah in Isaiah 7:14 means virgin and not young woman) — THE INSPIRED WRITERS DEFINE INTENT
    1. To argue with a biblical author is to argue with God
  3. The giving of the Law was independent of Abraham’s Covenant
    1. The Law had no impact on Abraham’s Covenant
    1. The Law was a tool to prepare Israel and the world for the coming of the Promised One descended from Abraham
  4. Eternal life came through the promise given to Abraham
    1. Paul concludes that the Galatians needed to look to the fulfilled promise given to Abraham and not the Law given to Moses
    1. If we look to the Law for salvation, the promise given to Abraham is voided and we are still lost
    1. Our inheritance comes through Christ, the Promised One