Sons of Abraham, Part 9
Scripture: Galatians 3:6–3:14
Sons of Abraham
Text: Galatians 3:6-14
April 18, 2010
“As true as a lot of the exhortations might be, the familiarity of law (things to do) can make us wonder why the message of our churches is all that different and why the Christian message is all that radical. Only the radical news concerning Jesus Christ can distract us from all the trivial pursuits and transform us from the inside out…It is no wonder that people become bored with church and assume that they can get along well enough in life without it,” (Michael Horton, The Gospel-Driven Life, pp. 22-23).
“We need to see God as the headliner again. It is not we who must find a supporting role for God in our personal and social campaigns for spiritual, moral and therapeutic well-being. We need to stop and listen to God’s surprise announcement about what He has done to save sinners like us. The only thing that the church can provide to the world that is truly unique is the gospel. Only the gospel brings a new creation into this present age of sin and death,” (Ibid, p. 23).
I. The OT Scriptures teach that all who rely on works of the Law are under a curse (3:10).
A. Man’s Total Inability
B. Man’s Law Breaking
“The most elementary thing about sin is that it is that which is contrary to God's law. You cannot believe in the existence of sin unless you believe in the existence of the law of God. The idea of sin and the idea of law go together…
That being so, I ask you just to run through the Bible in your mind and consider how very pervasive in the Bible is the Bible's teaching about the law of God. We have already observed how clear that teaching is in the account which the Bible gives of the first sin of man. God said, ""Ye shall not eat of the fruit of the tree"". That was God's law; it was a definite command. Man disobeyed that command; man did what God told him not to do: and that was sin. But the law of God runs all through the Bible. It is not found just in this passage or that, but it is the background of everything that the Bible says regarding the relations between God and man,” (J. Gresham Machen, The Christian View of Man, pp. 184-185).
“…Paul concludes boldly that all are cursed because all have been commanded to keep the law perfectly, and this is because, in the present corruption of our nature, the ability is wanting. Hence we conclude that it is accidental that the law should curse, though at the same time perpetual and inseparable. The blessing which it offers us is excluded by our depravity, so that only the curse remains,” (John Calvin, 11.53).
“In its condemning power, the law is very different from the gospel. The law condemns, and cannot justify a sinner: the gospel justifies, and cannot condemn the sinner who believes in Jesus.
In the law, God appears in terrible threatenings of eternal death; in the gospel, He manifests Himself in gracious promises of life eternal.
In the former, He curses as on Mount Ebal; in the latter, He blesses as on Mount Gerizim. In the one, He speaks in thunder and with terrible majesty; in the other, with soft whispers or a still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).
By the trumpet of the law, He proclaims war with sinners; by the jubilee-trumpet of the gospel, He publishes peace, ‘peace on earth and good will toward men’ (Luke 2:14). The law is a sound of terror to convinced sinners; the gospel is a joyful sound, ‘good tidings of great joy.’
The former represents God as a God of wrath and vengeance; the latter as a God of love, grace, and mercy. The one presents Him to sinners as ‘as consuming fire’; the other exhibits the precious blood of the Lamb which quenches the fire of His righteous indignation so that it may not consume such sinners as believe. That presents to the view of the sinner a throne of judgment, this is a throne of grace.
Every sentence of condemnation in Scripture belongs to the law; every sentence of justification forms a part of the gospel. The law condemns a sinner for his first offense, but the gospel offers him the forgiveness of all his offenses.”
(John Colquhoun, A Treatise On The Law And The Gospel, pp. 150-151)
© John Fonville
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