Galatians Reading (#8)
Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.
Read Galatians 3:15-18
[3:15] 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.  This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void.  For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
- What kind of example is Paul giving in v. 15? What does he say about a “man-made covenant”?
- To whom were the promises made (v 16)?
- What does “it” not say (v 16)? What would it be referring to if it did say that?
- How many does it refer to (v 16)? What does it say? To whom is it referring?
- How much later does the law come (v 17)? What does it not do?
- What would be the result if “the inheritance” were to come by the law (v 18)? How did God give it to Abraham?
- What is an example of a man-made covenant (v 15)? Why is it important for Paul’s argument to show that covenants are not changed?
- Unpack Paul’s argument in v 16; it is a little hard to follow, but very important to his overall case:
- The promises that Paul is referring to are most likely the ones in Genesis 13:15 and 17:8.
- The Hebrew word that is translated as “offspring” is zera. The same word can refer to just one of a thing or many of that same thing, like our word “seed” or “offspring”. So when God promises an inheritance to Abraham’s “offspring” (in Hebrew: zera), it could be referring to many offspring or just one.
- Which does Paul understand it to be talking about?
- Who is that “offspring”?
- What does that mean about the way that the promises made to Abraham come to the entire world?
- Paul says that the law came 430 years after. It seems that he is referring to the fact that God gave the Law to Moses 430 years after he made these promises to Abraham.
- Remember the context of the letter – some people were teaching that Gentiles needed to be circumcised and follow the dietary laws of the OT in order to be Christians.
- How do Paul’s statements in v. 17-18 show that the inheritance cannot come by the law?
- What it the inheritance (v. 18)? How do you get the inheritance?
- Paul builds an entire theological point on whether or not an individual word should be read as a singular or a plural. How does his confidence in the trustworthiness and importance of the words of the Old Testament help you to have confidence in the trustworthiness of the Bible?
- All of God’s promised blessings (the inheritance) come to you through Jesus (the offspring). How does that help you to keep your heart and soul and faith and spiritual disciplines set on Jesus (as opposed to things like keeping the rules and looking like you are holy)?
Share prayer requests and pray for each other.