Participants: Mark Howard & Jim Howard
Series Code: GBOTB
Program Code: GBOTB00007A
00:24 Welcome back to Books of the Book, I'm Pastor Mark Howard.
00:27 I'm the director of the Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism
00:30 in the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventist and
00:32 I'm the Pastor of Gobels Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:34 and I'm here with my brother Jim Howard.
00:36 Yes my name is Pastor Jim Howard and I'm the Pastor of
00:39 the Detroit Metropolitan and South Lyon's Seventh-day
00:42 Adventist Church in Michigan.
00:44 And we are excited once again to study the
00:46 book of Galatians with you.
00:47 We love to get into the word and this book of all books
00:49 is so powerful and exciting.
00:52 It is full of powerful gospel truths and that is the
00:56 keynote of the book of Galatians is the gospel.
01:00 Paul wrote this to clarify the everlasting gospel and
01:04 the last time we were together we talked about what
01:08 Paul terms the curse of the law in Galatians Chapter 3
01:13 and we are going to follow that up almost where
01:16 we left off in Galatians Chapter 3.
01:18 In fact we will pick up a little bit and do a review in
01:21 Galatians 3:13 so if you have your Bible, those viewing
01:24 at home, if you would turn with us to Galatians 3 and
01:28 it is in the New Testament.
01:29 Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans,
01:31 1 and 2 Corinthians and then Galatians.
01:34 We're going to Galatians 3:13 and here the apostle writes
01:39 "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having
01:45 "become a curse for us (for it is written, cursed is
01:48 "everyone who hangs on a tree), that the blessing of
01:51 "Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,
01:54 "that we might receive the promise
01:56 "of the Spirit through faith. "
01:58 Something we need to grasp and just reiterating from
02:01 last time is that Christ did not come to redeem us
02:04 from the law but from the curse of the law.
02:06 Of course the curse of the law is the curse of sin.
02:09 "The wages of sin is death".
02:10 What is interesting here is that he goes into this
02:14 idea of the blessing of Abraham, the promise of the
02:17 Spirit and then he goes on from there to talk about
02:21 Abraham and his seed.
02:22 Today our topic is the 'Seed of Abraham'.
02:25 Jim you are going to pick up there in verse 15
02:28 I believe if you just want to start and pick up.
02:31 Sure I think we need to do is start back at verse 5 and let's
02:35 look there and get a little bit of an understanding of
02:38 this blessing of Abraham before we dive into
02:41 the Seed of Abraham.
02:43 We're starting in verse 5 of Galatians 3 where it says,
02:46 "therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works
02:49 "miracles among you, does He do it by works of the law,
02:52 "or by the hearing of faith? - just as Abraham believed
02:55 "God... it was accounted to him for righteousness.
02:59 "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are
03:02 "sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, for seeing that God
03:06 "would justify the Gentiles by faith, preach the gospel
03:10 "to Abraham beforehand, saying, in you all the nations
03:13 "shall be blessed. So then those who are of faith are
03:17 "blessed with believing Abraham. "
03:19 This is a fascinating passage.
03:21 I want to add a clarification here, in some translations
03:24 it is faithful Abraham weren't blessed because they believe
03:26 Abraham, but they are blessed along with Abraham
03:30 who was a believer and who was faithful.
03:32 That could be confusing, but if you look at verse 8
03:36 specifically, "the Scripture for seeing that God would
03:39 "justify the Gentiles by faith. "
03:42 So here we see that God was fore seeing that the Gentiles
03:47 were going to be part of this blessing and this promise
03:51 that was given to Abraham.
03:53 It says not in you all the Jews shall be blessed
03:56 but in you all the nations shall be blessed.
03:59 So that would include not only those who are commonly referred
04:03 to as the circumcised, but it would also include the
04:07 uncircumcised which the apostle Paul here is saying
04:11 is that means evidently that God was justifying not
04:15 because of the circumcision of Abraham but because of
04:17 the faith of Abraham. - That's right, that's right!
04:20 If all the Gentiles were going to receive the same
04:22 blessing then it must come by faith and not by
04:25 circumcision and then in verse 14 where you had read
04:29 in the open it said, "that the blessing of Abraham might
04:32 "come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might
04:36 "receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. "
04:42 So here we have Abraham as the one to whom the promise
04:46 was made, and the promise that the apostle Paul said
04:50 he would receive and the Gentiles would receive is the
04:54 promise of the Spirit which is fascinating.
04:58 The Spirit in other places the apostle Paul talks about
05:02 having a special role in terms of our awareness
05:07 of the eternal inheritance.
05:09 When we have the Spirit is what he calls a guarantee of
05:12 our eternal inheritance.
05:14 There is one place where we might look at that.
05:15 Ephesians chapter 1 and we will look at verse 13 it says,
05:24 "in Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of
05:30 "truth, but gospel of your salvation; in whom also,
05:36 "having believed, you were sealed with the
05:38 "Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our
05:41 "inheritance until the redemption of the purchased
05:44 "possession," so the guarantee of our inheritance is
05:47 the Spirit. - that's right. - so when the Gentiles
05:51 received the Spirit that was evidence that they were
05:55 partakers of the inheritance that was promised to Abraham.
05:59 So you have this example for instance, remember we
06:03 studied about Acts 15 where the apostle Peter made
06:07 the point, he said look we know that God intends for
06:11 the Gentiles to be equal inheritors of the promise
06:16 with the Jews because the Gentiles received
06:19 the Spirit just like we did.
06:21 So the Spirit becomes that promise that God had given.
06:25 Now here is an interesting thought.
06:26 These Judaizers in the Galatian church who were causing
06:33 so much trouble and perverting the gospel.
06:35 They were not only missing how to obtain the promise,
06:41 but they were misconstruing what the promise itself was.
06:45 They were not only misconstruing how to be justified,
06:49 to receive the blessing of Abraham but they were missing
06:54 what the blessing even was.
06:56 The blessing was the Spirit, being born of the Spirit.
06:59 They were seeking to just use circumcision to avoid
07:02 having to have that internal change,
07:05 that the Spirit would bring.
07:06 You see the Spirit is born-again experience, that change
07:10 of heart, that change of life and they were putting
07:15 the circumcision as a substitute for that change and
07:18 they were missing out on the power of the Gospel
07:21 which is a changed life.
07:23 That is right, and you know Jim what is interesting and
07:27 important here to note is that some people when they read
07:30 Galatians or even when they read through the Scriptures, they
07:33 want to lump in circumcision and the whole system of
07:37 the law together and I have had people ask me,
07:40 Christians come up and ask me, isn't it true that the
07:43 law of circumcision and the law of sacrifice and offering and
07:48 the Ten Commandments was all one system of law?
07:50 In one sense there is truth to that, in the sense that
07:53 the Old Testament for example, the word for law is the
07:56 word Torah and it means instruction.
07:59 When you read the word law in the Old Testament you are
08:01 talking about the Torah or the instruction of God.
08:04 The Hebrews have that connected together in the
08:07 Pentateuch which is the first five books of the Bible,
08:10 the books of Moses.
08:11 So while that is true yet there was also a distinction.
08:15 For example, the Ten Commandments of God were written
08:19 with finger of God, but only thing in Scripture
08:22 we know that was part of the document that was written
08:25 with God's own finger when it was transported
08:28 throughout the experience of Israel.
08:30 It was carried in the sacred Ark of the Covenant, whereas the
08:33 other laws of Moses were put in a special pocket beside
08:36 the Ark of the Covenant. So there was a distinction there.
08:39 In the New Testament we find for example, in
08:42 1 Corinthians Chapter 7 the apostle Paul draws a very
08:46 clear distinction between circumcision and the
08:49 Ten Commandments, I think because he foresaw the tendency
08:53 of some may be to try and draw a separation or lump them
08:57 together and he wanted to make sure that even though
09:00 circumcision was a rite given by God, it was a rite given
09:04 to Abraham because of his diversion in God's plan.
09:09 It was not part of the original plan and it was a clear
09:12 distinction to be held apart from the Ten Commandment law.
09:15 1 Corinthians 7:19 says, the apostle Paul writes here,
09:19 "circumcision is nothing an uncircumcision is nothing,"
09:23 and this is in the sense of not that it was insignificant
09:26 God had given it, but in the greater scheme of things it
09:30 wasn't the main issue, "circumcision is nothing and
09:33 "uncircumcised is nothing, but keeping the Commandments
09:36 "of God is what matters. "
09:38 So there is a clear distinction between circumcision
09:40 and the Ten Commandment law.
09:42 That's right and I have actually heard someone say
09:45 before that word keeping the commandments of God, he is not
09:49 talking about the Ten Commandments It's just talking
09:51 about the commands of Jesus so It's making a distinction there.
09:55 But I think if we look in Romans we will find it further
09:59 outlines that exact point.
10:01 So looking back at Romans 2:21 in says, "you, therefore,
10:06 "who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who
10:11 "preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
10:14 "You who say, do not commit adultery, do you commit
10:17 "adultery?" So clearly he is talking about the
10:18 Ten Commandments right? - right.
10:20 Now in verse 25 he says, "For circumcision is indeed
10:25 "profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker
10:30 "of the law, you're circumcision has become
10:32 "uncircumcision. " Now this next verse is where the difference is
10:36 clearly made. "Therefore, if an uncircumcised man
10:40 "keeps the righteous requirements of the law,
10:44 "will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision?"
10:47 So in the context of the Ten Commandments-
10:49 - How can an uncircumcised man keep the righteous requirements
10:51 off the law if circumcision is part of the law?
10:54 Now that is exactly right and clearly in the context
10:56 in this one the law he is speaking of, is the
11:00 Ten Commandments. - in the very context that is absolutely true.
11:02 So this idea of circumcision and the promises of God,
11:09 the Jews had gotten distorted in their understanding of the
11:14 importance of circumcision and actually placed it
11:17 in the place of obedience.
11:20 It is interesting there in the passage you read in Romans
11:25 that he said that circumcision is only significant if you
11:30 are obedient to God. - right.
11:32 So we read the other day that circumcision,
11:35 the Bible said was given to Abraham in Romans 4 as a sign
11:40 of faith, not a sign of obedience, but a sign of faith.
11:46 Yet in Romans 2 it says that circumcision is only
11:49 profitable if you obey.
11:52 So we see the link with faith and obedience once again
11:54 in the writings of Paul.
11:55 Faith obeys, the exercise of faith is obedience.
12:00 Now we are going to go to verse 15 in Galatians 3
12:04 and we are going to carry on here in Paul's writing.
12:08 Galatians 3:15 it says, Brethren rather I speak in the manner of
12:11 "men: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is
12:14 "confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. Now to Abraham
12:18 "and his Seed where the promises made. He does not say,
12:21 "And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to your
12:25 "Seed, who is Christ. And this I say, that the law,
12:28 "which was 430 years later, cannot annul the covenant
12:31 "that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it
12:33 "should make the promise of no effect. For if the
12:36 "inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise;
12:39 "but God gave it to Abraham by promise. "
12:41 Now Paul's listeners here, his audience believed in
12:45 Abraham, they believed in the promise that God gave
12:48 to Abraham, they believed that the descendent of Abraham
12:53 was the one through whom the promises would come and
12:58 and that was Isaac. - right.
13:01 However Paul takes that belief that they hold in common,
13:04 yes Abraham was the father of the faithful, yes God
13:07 the promises, but then he turns it and says I agree with
13:11 you all but you guys need to understand that
13:13 the Seed was not Isaac at all, the Seed was Christ.
13:18 In other words to be a part of Isaac means you have to
13:22 be a descendent of Abraham, literally born of the Jewish
13:26 nation and circumcised, but if he wasn't the Seed,
13:29 then circumcision isn't the way into the family.
13:32 So he is bringing out the fact that the seed is not Isaac.
13:37 The seed really is Christ.
13:39 And we have to go to our break and we come back from our
13:43 break we are going to address this issue of the Seed of
13:47 Abraham, not as Isaac in the literal nation of Israel,
13:51 but the Seed of Abraham is Christ and we are talking about
13:54 spiritual Israel here, so stay tuned,
13:57 We will be right back!