The Inheritance

Scott Hoezee

Read: Galatians 3:15-20

For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise. (v. 18)

Paul knew that his talk about God’s law could be confusing. So he tried to concoct some analogies to make things plainer. Think of any ordinary human contract, Paul says. Once it’s signed and sealed, it’s done. It’s ratified and legal. Nothing can ever make it more legal. Legal is legal.

Well, when God called Abraham way back in early Genesis, the covenant agreement God made with him was signed, sealed, delivered right then, right there. It was legal. Ratified. Done. It was all grace. Of course, four or so centuries later after Moses led Abraham’s descendants out of Egypt, God gave the Law at Mount Sinai. But that Law was not meant to become the way to ratify the agreement. How could it? The agreement had become legal 430 years before. Keeping the law, therefore, had nothing to do with getting in good with God because the long-ago ratified covenant told Israel they were already God’s people.

In other words, the law had a different purpose all along. Salvation was never going to be about rules and regulations. It was always going to be fulfilled only in Christ alone. Among the reasons the Galatians must not cave in to those who claimed that keeping the law would add to their assurance of salvation was a simple lesson from history: God brought complete salvation long before he brought the law! —Scott Hoezee

Prayer: For the grace that found us when we were so lost, we give you praise, Father.