Abraham through Moses to Jesus
15To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16Now 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. 17This 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. 18For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. 19Why 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. 20Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. 21Is 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. 22But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Paul now goes on to shine a light on why becoming a Christian does not include a walk through the Jewish faith. It’s rather a long story, that begins with God’s promise to Abraham. That promise said that Abraham’s “seed” (descendant) would sit upon the throne forever. Then God used Moses to free His people from Egyptian slavery and to hand down the 10 Commandments. Those 10 Commandments show us all that we are sinners in need of a Savior. That need has been met by God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ who stands alone as the fulfillment of that promise to Abraham. Finally, this message of grace and salvation is for everyone – without distinction as to race, status as slave or free, or gender. The promise has been made to all equally.
I read an article yesterday about a popular pastor of a mega church who had begun to teach that “Christians need to distance themselves from the Old Testament”. He believes and is teaching that it has no bearing on modern day Christianity and that God is no longer the same as He was in the Old Testament. This passage from Galatians would belie those ideas. God is the same through all of the Scriptures. Yes, different parts of His character are displayed in different situations, but He remains the same, as He promised He would. If God is going to capriciously change, we’re all in trouble.
Paul’s words to the Galatians hold up the idea that God’s plan flows in a straightforward direction from Abraham (even Adam) all the way through history to Jesus, who is fulfillment of everything God has promised to us. If that is not the case, we’re all in trouble.