“For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise, but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.” (Gal. 3:18)
What is the inheritance? The inheritance was awarded to the oldest son in a family. It was the blessing passed on to the oldest male heir. There was an inheritance for the people of God and the question under discussion with the Galatians is how does that inheritance get handed out? There is a lot said in the scriptures about this promise of God. In this case, the promise has something to do with the covenant God made with Abraham.
That covenant had various parts, one was the promise of the large tract of land between the River of Egypt and the Euphrates River. This was the physical part of the promise. Another part was the blessing of numerous offspring which would rival the number of stars in the heaven. Still, another part of the covenant was the blessing of the nations or the entire world. Peter gives a speech in Solomon’s Portico and towards the end, he says, “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Acts 3:25) Peter used this speech to connect Jesus to the offspring, the same thing that Paul does in the Galatian Letter.
How can the Jewish Christians seek the inheritance through the law when it was given to Abraham by a promise? If the law brought the inheritance, if you could be saved by keeping the law then the promise was not needed. Why would God say it would come through Abraham’s faith if it was going to come by the law? Paul’s argument seems very clear to us but we may not have several generations of trusting in law keeping versus faith keeping. Paul makes this last statement in a strong voice. Not the law. The promise. Not the law. Never, impossible for the law to do what God had already done through the promise he made with Abraham. That covenant was first and it would stand forever.
Task for Today: Neither the inheritance of the blessings of Abraham nor the gift of the Holy Spirit came through law keeping. They both come as a result of obedient trust in God. It’s call faith. It is a gift from God. If you are not a child of God today then, by all means, trust Jesus with saving faith. Faith that obeys His commands. Don’t just believe, but act. Repent of your sins, confess Him as Lord and be buried into His death to receive the forgiveness of sins and the promised Holy Spirit.