Wednesday Bible Study 110211

GRACE: NOT BY MAN

Abraham, Faith, and the Law – Galations 3:6-14

Verse 6 –  Five times in verses 6-14 the name of Abraham is mentioned.  This in inself tells us that Abraham is an important character in the matter of faith and salvation.  It is mentioned in the New Testament several times, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Galations 3:6; Romans 4:3; James 2:23) twice by Paul the apostle and then by James.

We must remember that our faith is not in faith itself; rather it is in the person of Christ.  Without Christ faith is not much more than wishful thinking.

Verses 7-9 –  The children of Abraham are they which are of his faith.  That is why verse 11 says, “The just shall live by faith”.  It is not being born of Abraham’s flesh and blood that makes us “children of Abraham”; it is by his faith.

The word “scripture” is really inanimate, having no mind, will, or direction; so to what exactly or to whom is the apostle referring?  It is quite clearly to God; and particularly the Son of God as the Living Word; would be “foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith”

The phrase Jesus spoke, “Before Abraham was, I Am” should have some to have more sense concerning Christ, His grace and these verses.

In Romans 2 Paul has written, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (vv. 28-29).
Verse 10 –  In Paul’s epistles he seems to stress many times that the law shows we are under the curse of sin.  It does not place us under sin, but rather, shows that we are totally depraved; and cannot keep/obey the letter of the law.
If anyone can be saved by the law then, they must live by the law.  Keeping it totally, without any error.
Verses 11 – 12  –  “Justification” is by its meaning an act of God.  It is a declaration that the believer has been made righteous.  The law is completely unable to justify what is not justifiable.
There is a contrast between the end of verse 11 and the beginning of verse 12.  “The just shall live by faith”, and “The law is not of faith”.  Living by faith is the believing that God’s grace is sufficient to deliver us from our sin.  Still, though, Paul is not saying that the Christian can continue in sin (Romans 6:1-16).
If a man or woman is going to live by the law, then, they must do the law as Christ Himself (James 2:10).
Verses 13 – 14  –  The law condemns, does not deliver us into the grace of God but unto the curse and condemnation of sin.  Christ Jesus, His sacrifice for sin redeems us from the curse of the law.  By believing in Him the Father pronounces us “Righteous”
Because of the gift of Jesus Christ Jews and Gentiles are free from the law and condemnation of sin.  By faith, like Abraham’s we are the children of Abraham.  We are children by the new birth, and the blood of Christ.
The “Promise of the Spirit through faith” is the indwelling Spirit of Jesus Christ within every believer.  It is this Spirit who gives us fruit for the glory of God.  We will look at these fruits when we study  chapter five.

-Tim A. Blankenship

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