In today’s YouTube video, Rudy Ross makes the point that when God makes a covenant with people, it is equal to receiving his promise.
God promised an inheritance to Abraham. Jesus fulfilled it. People are the recipients of the glorious fulfillment of his promise.
God’s Covenant and Promise
The next verses are a continuation of Paul’s discussion of Abraham.
— Galatians 3.15-18 – Brothers and sisters, I give an example from daily life: once a person’s will has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it.
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring; it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many, but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ.
My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, to nullify the promise.
For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise, but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.
The Greek word that the New Revised Standard Version translates as “will,” refers to a disposition, contract, will, covenant, or testament.
Thus, the language of a person’s “Last Will and Testament” comes from Bible passages like this.
When a will is finalized, it cannot be changed without a legal process.
God’s will, covenant, or a testament to Abraham is recorded in Genesis.
— Genesis 17.7-8 – “I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.
And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land where you are now an alien, all the land of Canaan, for a perpetual holding, and I will be their God.”
As great as the gift of the land of Canaan was for God’s people, the greatest gift was when he said, “I will be your God.”
Abraham’s Promise Through Jesus
Hebrew people had the unusual opportunity to live as God’s covenant people. He was their God and they were his people.
The remainder of humanity worshiped substitutes for the One True God. Isaiah described the tragic poverty of idol worship.
An idol? A workman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
As a gift one chooses mulberry wood
—wood that will not rot—
then seeks out a skilled artisan
to set up an image that will not topple. (Isaiah 40.19-20)
Abraham was promised God’s blessing and was charged with blessing the whole world. God said, “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12.3).
Jesus inherited the promise made to Abraham because in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus all of the earth is blessed. Jesus perfectly fulfilled the promise made to Abraham.
What about the Law?
Instead of rejoicing in the finished work of Jesus, the false teachers in Galatia attempted to institute Jewish boundary markers into the lives of Jesus’ followers.
There is a value to the Law, as we will see as we read further into Galatians. However, the Law did not nullify the promise.
Just as I can’t change the will that my father wrote for us thirty years ago, the Law was not able to nullify the promise/covenant/testament/will that God gave to Abraham.
The conclusion is that faith in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus is all that is needed to participate in the promise that God gave to Abraham.
Just as God said to Abraham, “I will be your God,” he says the same thing to those who have faith in Jesus.
Why is this truth important in 2022?
— A Great Opportunity: There is no greater opportunity in life than to be a friend of God.
The Kansas City Chief’s mascot, K.C. Wolf, spoke to Vacation Bible School kids at Maywood several years ago. He asked the kids, “Do you who Michael Jordan is?”
Every hand in the room was raised. At that time, everyone knew Michael Jordan.
Then he asked, “How many of you are personal friends of Jordan?” This time, no hands were raised.
He followed up his question with this. “How many of you know who God is?”
Again, every hand was raised. After all, we were at the end of Vacation Bible School.
The last question was this: “How many of you are personal friends of God?”
That’s the question for us. From the days of Abraham until today, God offers himself to humans. We can know him and be his friend because of what Jesus did for us (and the work of the Holy Spirit).
Dallas Willard Video
Each day this week, Rudy Ross and I are encouraging readers of the blog and viewers of our video to listen to Dallas Willard. Please take the time to learn from a spiritual giant.
Please email your prayer request to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.