BCL Grow: Blessing of Abraham — Galatians 3:11-15
1 Peter 2:16 (Sanctification)
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. — Galatians 3:11-14
“The Abrahamic covenant, taken as a whole, is largely promissory (though it does require circumcision)…. What is ‘new’ or distinctive about Sinai is not the (conditional) blessing; what is new or distinctive is the conditional cursing.” — T. David Gordon, “Abraham and Sinai Contrasted in Galatians 3:6-14” from The Law Is Not of Faith: Essays on Works and Grace in the Mosaic Covenant, p. 245.
Steps to Take
1. Consider: God made an unconditional, permanent covenant with Abraham: “‘I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’” (Gen. 12:3; 15:5–6). God fulfilled his promise to Abraham by sending his only begotten Son Jesus to the earth as the Savior of the world to be born in the flesh from a descendant of Abraham (Matt. 1:1–17; Luke 3:23–38; Gal. 3:16).
2. Contrast: The Mosaic covenant was a conditional agreement between God and the people of Israel that was mediated by Moses (Exod. 19–24). The people of Israel had to fulfill God’s stipulations in this covenant to stay and prosper in the land God had given them. The Israelites repeatedly failed to keep the conditions of the Mosaic covenant and were sent into exile, experiencing the curses of the covenant. The Mosaic covenant showed the Israelites—and us today—that, because of indwelling sin, the law is a taskmaster that humans can never appease (Rom. 3:19–20).
3. Remember: None of the Israelites were ever pure before God through the keeping of the Mosaic covenant, because it was impossible for anyone to obey it perfectly. They were only declared righteous by faith alone, just as their father Abraham was (Gen. 15:6) and just as every believer is today. While the Old Testament saints didn’t get to see God’s promise to Abraham fulfilled in Jesus, they are still joined together through faith in Christ with the New Testament saints (Rom. 9:7-8), having “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:5-6).
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