Tuesday, 17 May 2016
For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. Galatians 5:5
The first word explains Paul’s intent for the rest of the verse. “For” (in Greek: gar) is setting this verse in contrast to the previous verse. Side by side, they read –
“…you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
This is in contrast to –
“…we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.”
Those who look for justification through the law by their own efforts are contrasted to those who trust in the operation of the Spirit for justification. The first is of human origin; the second is of divine origin. The first results in falling from grace; the second results in the hope of righteousness by faith. The first displays a lack of trust in Christ; the second displays a complete trust in Christ. There is an absolute divide between the two, and it again shows that works and grace are mutually exclusive.
Concerning the words “by faith,” according to Vincent’s Word Studies, they are connected to the word “wait” rather than the phrase “hope of righteousness.” In other words, the thought is, “…we through the Spirit eagerly wait (by faith) for the hope of righteousness.” Our hope is not in the law to grant us righteousness, but rather it is in the fact that the Spirit has acknowledged our faith, and our faith continues to be what we cling to. The hope of righteousness is the object of our faith.
Life application: The law cannot save anyone. But the fulfillment of the law can. What does that mean? Christ fulfilled the law and thus by faith in His accomplished work we have a sure and grounded hope that we will stand before God, having been declared righteous because of the work of Jesus. However, if we attempt to please God by deeds of the law, then our hope is in the law, not in Christ. One cannot have it both ways.
Lord God, we come to You with a sense of awe and wonder. At times, it is over the marvel of what Your hands have created. At times, it is how marvelously You have woven our lives together to bring us happiness, abundance, and joy. But the one thing that is greater than any other is that You have sent us Christ Jesus to grant us an even more marvelous eternity, fully restored to You once again. Thank You for Your kind hand upon us in all ways, especially in the giving of Your Son! Amen.