St. Paul brings up a human example of a last will and testament to distinguish between God’s law and promise. The promise that God made to Abraham and his offspring, who is Christ, is not annulled by the law given at Sinai. This does not mean that the law is unimportant or bad; rather, the law was given to show transgressions and make people ready for the coming of Christ. Now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the law as our guardian, but we have the full inheritance of sons because we are in Christ. In Him, we are Abraham’s offpsring.
Rev. Zelwyn Heide, pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Hanover, ND and Zion Lutheran Church in New Salem, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Galatians 3:15-29.
“No Other Gospel” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the epistle of Galatians. St. Paul writes an urgent letter to the Galatians lest they forsake the one true Gospel. The apostle calls the Galatians away from the teaching of the Judaizers, because salvation does not come when we add any sort of works to what Jesus has done for us. We are only saved by God’s grace in Christ Jesus.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Law and the Promise
15 To give a human example, brothers:[a] even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[b] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org