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  • Ethos Church


March 16, 2023

Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.


The Bible is one big, grand story of God’s grace from beginning to end. The promises made to Abraham and to his offspring were given many years before the law came. And Paul is arguing that a law given centuries later (which is temporary - Galatians 3:19) cannot change a permanent covenant made by God. In fact, there is a relationship between the promise and the law. They are not opposed to each other. Jesus is the promised “seed” of Abraham to whom each stage of the Old Testament looks. Both the promise and the law are designed to uphold Christ!

When we hear the demands of the law and see our sin, that upholds Christ. When we remind ourselves of God’s promises, that upholds Christ.


1. Often, we seek to prove ourselves holy when God intends to prove us needy. Ask God to show you your sin and your utter need to depend on Jesus to deliver you from it.

2. How aware are you of God’s promises? How do you live differently when, in faith, you expect Him to fulfill those promises? (Consider Matthew 6:31-33, Psalm 121, Philippians 4:6-7, Matthew 11:28-30, John 15:9-17)


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