You can still use the old site through Easter 2017. Click Here to use the Old SermonCentral.com.
Sermons

Summary: This is part six in a series on Galatians (my assoc. preached part five, so sorry it’s missing!)

The Triumph of Grace

¡§Your Own Personal Alcatraz¡¨

July 2, 2000

This Morning¡¦s Text ¡V Galatians 3:15-25

¡§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.

¡§Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. Now a mediator is not for one party only: whereas God is only one. Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

¡§But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.¡¨

The old saying used to be, ¡§A man¡¦s word is his bond.¡¨ Sadly, times have changed, as people make and break commitments today with seemingly little hesitation. For God to do that, however, is unthinkable, and Paul uses the analogy of human contracts as he continues to answer here a question he posed in Galatians 3:2: ¡§Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?¡¨ Let¡¦s read about it in verses 15-25:

PRAYER

¡§Brothers¡¨, Paul addresses the Galatians, in a more conciliatory tone than he has previously employed. ¡§Think about this: when a covenant is enacted between 2 parties, it cannot be changed except by the consent of both parties!¡¨ Recent offer on a house was accepted, after negotiation, by the owner of the house; we signed a contract with certain stipulations. It would be ridiculous for me to think that I could come back to him at the time of the closing and say, ¡§you know, I know we agreed on such and such a price, but Karen and I have decided that we cannot really afford that, so we¡¦re going to pay $40, 000 for the house. Sign here.¡¨

Here¡¦s where this matters: God had made a unilateral covenant with Abraham some 430 years before the coming of the Law through Moses. You can read about those promises God made under the sidebar in your notes. The Judaizers were arguing that the Law superceded the promise of God to Abraham, in that this supplemental thing (law keeping) had to be added to faith for an individual to be saved. But Paul says, ¡§no!¡¨ Abraham received the promise of God by faith, and that was all there was to it. God had promised to bless Abraham and his descendants in certain ways, and for God then to turn around 430 years later and say, ¡§oh, didn¡¦t I tell you? You¡¦ve got to do all of these things in order to be saved. I¡¦ve added some things to the list of requirements. If you don¡¦t want to keep the rules, well, sorry, but I¡¦ve decided to change the rules of the game.¡¨ For God to try to pull something like this would be for God to go back on His Word, an unthinkable thing!

Browse All Media

Related Media


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion