Sons of Abraham, Part 10
Scripture: Galatians 3:6–3:14
Sons of Abraham
Text: Galatians 3:6-14
April 25, 2010
I. The OT Scriptures teach that the Law issues a sentence of cursing rather than blessing (3:10).
A. Man’s Total Inability
Q. “But can those converted to God keep these commandments perfectly?”
A. No. In this life even the holiest have only a small beginning of this obedience. Nevertheless, with earnest purpose they do begin to live not only according to some but to all the commandments of God. (Heidelberg Catechism, Q. 114)
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).
“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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