Sunday, 27 March 2016
…that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14
In this verse, Paul uses the word “that,” or ina, twice. The first speaks in response to verse 13 –
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”
As this is so, then the law is fulfilled and annulled through Him. He has done away with all the precepts which it held, and He has broken down its limitations, meaning its exclusive nature as belonging to the nation of Israel alone. In so doing, “the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus.”
The exclusivity of Israel’s inheritance is gone. The door has been opened for the promises to Abraham to be lavished upon all nations through mere faith in the finished work of Christ. However, there is still an exclusive nature to this blessing. It is not granted automatically to all people. Rather, it is only for those who are “in Christ Jesus.” One must demonstrate faith in what God has done through Christ in order to be included in the blessings of Abraham.
After stating this, Paul then uses the word “that,” or ina, again. This is used next in sequence after the first instance. Not only has there been redemption from the curse of the law through Christ, but because of that there is the allowance that “we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Note the pronoun: “We.” Paul is a Jew, but he is writing to the Gentiles about a matter which concerns them. In his words, he shows that the same promise is given to both Jew and Gentile in exactly the same way. Release from the mandates of the law, and the granting of the Spirit, both come through Christ’s work. Further, they come upon all who simply believe!
The “promise of the Spirit” was prophesied in the Old Testament in passages such as Joel 2:28, 29. In fact, that passage was cited by Peter in Acts 2:16-31 to show that the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost was a fulfillment of that passage.
It should be noted that with the promise being fulfilled now in both Jew and Gentile in a demonstrable way, and which is then recorded in the Bible, an outward demonstration of the Spirit is no longer necessary. Paul shows in Ephesians 1:13, 14 that when a person believes in Christ, they are sealed with the Spirit as a guarantee of their salvation. Instead of an outward demonstration – “sight,” we are now to believe that the Spirit has been given – “faith.” The modern charismatic movement which claims one must have an outward demonstration of tongues is not only nonsense, it is also contrary to the idea of living by faith.
Life application: The law is ended; the time of the giving of the Spirit has come; and this is offered to any and all who will receive the work of Christ by mere faith.
How marvelous! How wonderful! Christ came, Christ lived perfectly under the law, and Christ died in fulfillment of the law – thus annulling it. And then my Lord died on the Cross of Calvary to pay the sin debt of every person who will simply say “I believe.” And to prove it, my Lord rose from the grave, victorious over death. The law which condemned is gone; the Spirit which gives life is now available. I am reconciled to God once again! Christ arose. Hallelujah, Christ arose! Amen.