fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Heir to a Promise

Moses01

Galatians 3:18 – 4:31

Okay, folks – we’re getting into deep stuff, here.  I really take this lesson to heart because it calls us to examine our spiritual place as individuals. If anyone has a comment or explanation on the scripture in Galatians, please post a comment or email it to me and I’ll post it for you.

Paul had a strong argument about the promise God made to Abraham in Galatians 3:15-18 and how it relates to the Mosaic Law. The last known confirmation of the Abrahamic covenant was to Jacob just before he went to Egypt, which was 430 years before the Law was instituted. The promise made to Abraham was not invalidated when the Law came on scene; if the inheritance was based on the Law, then it wouldn’t be a promise.  18For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise (Galatians 3:18). Paul explained that the covenant between Abraham and God has never changed. He also showed that the Law brought a curse and that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law.

 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”–  14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal 3:13, 14)

 The Law was inferior to the promise, but it did serve a purpose; it was to reveal man’s sinfulness and inability to redeem himself. Man couldn’t perform enough works to bring himself back to a sinless state. 19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made (Galatians 3:19). The Law and promise of the Covenant (Jesus Christ) work in harmony. At Galatians 3:23, Paul brings out how imprisoned man under the Law. The Law served as a teacher leading us to Christ – so that when the Messiah appeared, they would recognize the need for salvation and invite Him into their hearts.

 1Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything,  2but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the father.  3So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental things of the world.  4But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,  5so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.  6Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”  7Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God (Galatians 4:1-7).

When Christ died for our sins, we became God’s spiritual children. Galatians 3:29 says we are all heirs in the sense that we benefit from the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic covenant, being justified by faith in Christ. Galatians 4:1-7 are such great verses because it clarifies our position with God. There is nothing worse than not knowing where you stand: whether it’s a job, a marriage, health issues and yes, even with God – we need to know our position in these matters. In His mercy, God lets us know where we stand so that we’re better equipped to fulfill His purpose for us. Paul basically explains this to the Galatians because, obviously, they’re lost. To help them understand, Paul uses an illustration of a child and a slave. God’s children are heirs who were entrusted to guardians and tutors until they became of age. These guardians and managers depicted the Law. However, when Christ died for us, God’s children were released from the “guardians and tutors”.  

 Jesus was born under the Law. This is significant because it emphasizes Jesus humanness; he had to fully be man to be able to substitute man for himself. He was also under the Law up until his death – he released us from the bondage and curse of sin (represented by the Law). As a result of Christ death, we have become God’s children by adoption (Gal 4:5). We are heirs of the covenant being “justified” by faith in Christ alone. It’s sad to see that unbelievers are still living their lives as if under the Law – trying to endlessly please God by the flesh.  23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.  24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.  25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.  26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:23-26).

Now that we know where we stand with God, how should this affect our lives? Rather than looking back – or even regressing back to the time we were alienated from the God of our salvation, let’s build our relationship with Him; we are His children. Prayer brings us into God’s presence. Study of God’s word allows the Holy Spirit to reveal spiritual truths to us. Through prayer and bible study we will deepen our love for God our Father and His son, Jesus Christ.

 The bottom line is that we are God’s adopted children. I could have summed it up with that statement, which is easy to accept and comprehend. But knowing how we came to being heirs to a promise adds significance to our existence as believers of Christ and worshippers of God. No one can take away our inheritance (unless we surrender it ourselves). May we never take our position in God’s sovereignty for granted – we are His children, justified by our faith in Christ. To Him be the Glory!

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Expressions | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

It Is Done. He Is Risen!

cross1It is Easter night and I find myself thinking back on the week’s activities and events that took place. Last Sunday this time I started to think about what Jesus, during his time, would be going through as the day of crucifixion drew nearer. Despite all the drama going on around me with work and personal matters, all I wanted to do was focus on Jesus; nothing else mattered during those days…nothing else seemed important enough to brood over…nothing but the death of Jesus and the meaning of his blood poured out for us all. For one week, my prayers centered around Jesus and not my wants. I was drawn to appreciate the sacrifice he did for me; the pain and suffering he underwent on my behalf.

 

I remembered the words at Isaiah 53 where God’s plan of Redemption is outlined. Our sin brought pain and suffering into the world; we became alienated from God. However, Jesus was the “restitution offering” that would pay for our sins and reconcile us to God. Isaiah’s prophesy of the coming Messiah would affect each one of us.  Vs 2, 3 – “For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face he was despised, and we did not esteem Him”.

 

The messiah would not be recognizable; in fact, he would be someone we would never expect. Only those with faith would recognize him. Isaiah prophesied that he savior would carry our sins and pains. Jesus carried the weight of our sicknesses, he was blames and faultless, but he suffered for our sins.  In Luke 23:13-24, we read the account of Barabbas. Jesus was up against a convicted felon. Jesus was the one supposed to be freed because he was not convicted of a crime, unlike Barabbas. Nevertheless, Jesus took the place of Barabbas – in affect, he also took our place at the cross. We were already convicted in our sin…Jesus was perfect and commited no crime. Yet, Jesus fulfilled his Father’s will for him so that we may be reconciled to Him. He was the “restitution offering” (Lev6:1-7)

 

Vs 7 “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, so he did not open His mouth”.  Jesus submitted to injustice for the purpose of fulfilling his Father’s will for him on earth. He also didn’t cry out in defense, but would go willingly with his accusers. Jesus was falsly accused, yet he suffered all of this for our benefit. Jesus made life possible for us through his sacrificial death.

 

However, Jesus conquered the world.  Acts 2:22-24 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know – this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God you nailed to a cross by the hand of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power”.  Because of God’s promised, death could not keep Jesus in the grave; Jesus conquered death! He is Risen!

 

My prayer for you (and myself) is that we understand God’s redemption as a way of life all year long, and not only during this special time of year. We have been purchased with the blood of Jesus. We can now enter into the Most Holy Place before our Father because we have been cleansed by Jesus blood (See journal “Christ the Passover – Part Two”). I resolve to claim the blood of Christ when I find myself in need of redemption and for those for whom I pray for.  I hope everyone had a blessed week this Easter season!

April 12, 2009 Posted by | According to Scripture | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

   

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