Summary: God made a promise to Abraham. It was a promise of His grace and blessing. Each one of us are given the opportunity to turn from the ways of the world to a life of grace and blessing.
When I was a young boy growing up I used to play games. I would join my cousins in the evening and we would play for what seemed like hours, pretending to be someone or something that we were not. It is said that the Hypocrite professes to be what he does not practice, while the Christian practices what he professes to be. Statistics reveal that in a normal congregation almost 50% of those who profess to be Christians have never really experienced a true relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. In other words they are pretending (or assuming for whatever reason) to be something that they are not. To evaluate this scenario further, they are not practicing what they profess.
At age 13 my wife walked the aisle of the church she was attending. She was under conviction by the Holy Spirit to accept the Lord as her personal Savior. Something went wrong though. When she got to the front of the auditorium, she was greeted by someone that sat her down on the front pew had her fill out all the pertinent information and advised her to become a candidate for baptism. After fulfilling these obligations, she became a member of that church. What’s the problem? No one ever opened a Bible and explained to her what she needed to do to become a Christian. No one ever led her in a prayer to ask forgiveness of her sins. Three years would pass before someone at a youth camp would open their Bible to explain salvation and lead her in a prayer of faith.
I’m afraid that some people have went much farther and have never really known Christ in a heartfelt relationship. All they have ever had is an outward relationship with Him.
The Galatians were a people of Celtic descent. It is said that they were relics of a Gaulish invasion that swept across south-eastern Europe in the early part of the third century before Christ and then eventually poured into Asia Minor. Through all of this the Celtic tribes maintained their independence under their native princes until 100 years later they were subdued by the Romans. Their country was now nothing more than a province of the mighty Roman Empire
They were a people of strange character though. They were very intelligent people and accepted a lot of the Greek language and culture but at the same time retained much of their own native language and culture. They displayed the well-known traits of the Celtic nature. They were generous, impulsive, vehement in feeling and language; but vain, fickle, and quarrelsome. Caesar wrote of them, “The infirmity of the Gauls is that they are fickle in their resolves, fond of change, and not to be trusted”; and by Thierry they are characterized as thus: “Frank, impetuous, impressible, eminently intelligent, but at the same time extremely changeable, inconstant, fond of show, perpetually quarreling, the fruit of excessive vanity.”1 They were examples of the works of the flesh as they are described in Galatians 5:20.
The scary thing about reading this is that they were extremely close to what society is today.
The Galatians had been influenced by the great number of Jews that were settling in that area and had taken a lively interest in the affairs of the Jewish churches as far away as Jerusalem and Antioch.
Why were they turning away from the gospel of grace that Paul had taught them when he established the church? Simply put, they were like literally thousands of people today. Today we are trying to juggle living in the world with living for Christ and we have trouble deciding which one to put our trust in. For the Galatians, they were listening to the Judaizers concept of making it on your own. They were told that grace alone wasn’t enough. For people today, we are told that same lie. We are told that there are many doors to heaven. Jesus said in John 10:9, “I Am the door”, we are told that we can work our way to heaven, Jesus said in Eph. 2:9, “Not of works, lest any man should boast”, We are told that we just have to do good, God said in Isaiah 64:6, “…all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.
The Galatians knew what the promise of blessing was but they had so quickly come to a point in their life where they had rejected it. When Paul got wind of this he wrote to them and quickly revealed the concepts of the promise. It was time for the Galatians and it is time for us to renew the promise of blessing in our lives. We are each given the opportunity to either receive or renew the promise in our lives.
Notice the benefits of claiming the promise.