The Promise of Grace Before the Law
“In Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 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.”
Galatians 3:14-16 (ESV)
In Paul’s letter to the churches in southern Galatia, God’s plan was revealed. That plan was a promise given to Abraham that he would have a son. The miracle child born to Abraham was Isaac, but it was not in Isaac that God’s plan was perfected. Isaac was a picture, a type, a shadow of the child who was to come. That child came many years after God gave the law to Moses. But God’s promise came 430 years before the law. The law was not the promise. God’s grace was the promise given because of Abraham’s faith. The promised son was Jesus. God revealed His plan to Abraham when He told him to sacrifice his son Isaac. That was a picture of the sacrifice that was to come when Jesus offered up His body to be sacrificed on the cross.
The law was given to show all of us how guilty we are of death, the penalty for sin. The law was our guardian until God’s Son paid the ultimate sacrifice by taking upon Himself our sin and the death penalty for sin. Jesus took our place and our punishment so that we can live. Eternal life is now offered as a gift received by faith. Works has been replaced by God’s Spirit. Religion has been replaced by a relationship with our Creator.
This week, if you have received God’s gift, thank Him for adopting you into His family and rejoice in knowing that your Heavenly Father loves you as His own dear Son.