now 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. this 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. for if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to abraham by a promise. [galatians 3:16-18]
a promise then, a promise now.
there was a lot of confusion surrounding the purpose of the law. some thought it made them better than others because it was given only to them. some thought it would save them. others thought they could follow it perfectly. as we see here, some thought it replaced or fulfilled the promise given to abraham. the promise that nations would be blessed through him and his offspring. they thought they were the offspring and that they were the blessing to the nations through the law. that the law was the blessing to the nations!
but abraham’s promise was not fulfilled in the law. the law was not the blessing to the nations. the law could not save anyone. the law was given to show God’s chosen how much they needed to rely on the promise, because in themselves, they had no capability to keep the law. they needed God’s unconditional, choosing, permanent grace and love. and this they had, this we have, through abraham’s offspring, Jesus Christ. in him we have redemption, through his blood, the forgiveness of our tresspasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight. [eph 1:7-8]
so the promise for abraham is still the promise for you. the promise of eternal life through Jesus. we sing children’s songs like “father abraham”, but in reality, if we share in the same promise through Christ, abraham is our brother in Christ! in christ, we will stand with abraham, worshiping around God’s throne, enjoying the fulness of the glory of an all satisfying, triune God, forever and ever and ever.
so are you clinging to the promise?
~ arwen eastman