My family wasn’t religious until my aunt invited my mother to attend a spirit worship center. Mother was trying to find her way to God, so she went with my aunt. Mother didn’t really understand what she was getting into at the spirit center. She didn’t know that these spirits were not from God, though she was uncomfortable when people called upon the spirits.
My father didn’t like the spirit worship either and showed his disapproval by attending a traditional [...]
“ ‘He was in the assembly in the desert, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us’ ” (Acts 7:38, NIV). 1
In Galatians 3:19, 20, Paul continues his train of thought about the law not nullifying the covenant of grace; this is important because, if the theology of his opponents were correct, the law would do just that. Think, then, what our position as sinners would [...]
Does Paul’s statement about the law being added at Mount Sinai mean that it did not exist previously? If not, what was the difference before and after Mount Sinai? Read Gen. 9:5, 6; 18:19; 26:5; 39:7–10; Exod. 16:22–26. 1
God did not need to reveal His law to Abraham with thunder, lightning, and a penalty of death (Exod. 19:10–23). Why, then, did God give the law to the Israelites in that manner? It was because, during their bondage in Egypt, the Israelites had lost sight of God’s greatness and His [...]
In Galatians 3:19–29 Paul makes multiple references to “the law.” What law is Paul primarily referring to in this section of Galatians? 1
Some, believing that the word until in verse 19 (ESV) indicates that this law was only temporary, have thought the passage must refer to the ceremonial law, because the purpose of that law was fulfilled at the cross and thus came to an end. Though this makes sense by itself, it does not appear to be Paul’s point in Galatians. While both the [...]
Paul has argued strongly for the supremacy of faith in a person’s relationship with God. He has repeatedly stated that neither circumcision nor any other “works of law” are a prerequisite to salvation, “because by works of the law no one will be justified” (Gal. 2:16, ESV). Moreover, it is not the works of the law but faith that is the defining mark of the believer (Gal. 3:7). This repeated negation of the works of the law raises the question, “Does the law have [...]
Even if his opponents conceded that Abraham’s life was characterized primarily by faith, Paul knew that they still would have questions about why God gave the law to Israel about four centuries after Abraham. Did not the giving of the law nullify any previous arrangement?
What is the point of Paul’s analogy between a person’s final will and testament and God’s covenant with Abraham? Gal. 3:15–18.
A covenant and a will are generally different. A covenant is typically a mutual agreement [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
Gal. 3:15–20, Gen. 9:11–17, Matt. 5:17–20, Exod. 16:22–26, Gen. 15:1–6.
“For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise” (Galatians 3:18, ESV).
Someone once asked a politician, “Have you kept all the promises that you made during the campaign?” He responded, “Yes . . . well, at least all the promises that I intended to keep.”Who hasn’t, at one time or another, been [...]
“Upon Christ as our substitute and surety was laid the iniquity of us all. He was counted a transgressor, that He might redeem us from the condemnation of the law. The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of [...]
Tawgy slowed his steps as he neared his home in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. “Dear Father,” he prayed, “help my parents not to be angry with me for going to church instead of doing my chores. Help them to understand that I’m not trying to disobey them, but that I want to obey You.”
Thirteen-year-old Tawgy had been a Christian for only a few months, and his parents still were deeply concerned that he had joined “that evil sect.” Tawgy understood, for he, [...]
Paul’s opponents were no doubt stunned by his bold words in Galatians 3:10. They certainly did not think themselves to be under a curse; if anything, they expected to be blessed for their obedience. Yet, Paul is unequivocal: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them’” (NKJV).