God is One

“Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.” (Gal. 3:20)

We pick up with the closing comment of verse 19. The law came through angels. Often angels are used by God as messengers but the Bible writers speak of them as if it were God talking. The burning bush is an example of this. The angels gave the law through an intermediary. This is where the passage gets just a little sticky. What is meant by an intermediary? Usually, an intermediary means that two parties are being represented and the intermediary stands between them to work out the terms of agreement.

Our first response might be to think that Paul is referring to Moses as the intermediary standing between God and the Israelites. Therefore we might put God, angels, Moses, people, in the order of mediation to bring about the law. This is a reasonable understanding but even so, we are left to wonder what is the point Paul is making.

Let’s think about what we know. First and foremost Paul is out to prove that the law was inferior to the covenant with Abraham. Second, we understand that the intermediaries between God and the people in regard to the law left the people with a great responsibility. This means that in order for this law to be effective, the people must do their part. This is why the law was an impossibility as a saving covenant.

Third, we know that the covenant God made with Abraham did not require anyone but God. No angels were involved and Abraham himself was asleep while the covenant was made. God was the sole party in the Abrahamic covenant promise. He was the only intermediary in that He took care of it all. There were no rules and regulations that involved Abraham. In the same way, the Galatians are saved not by a mediated human covenant but by the lone arrangement made by God with Abraham. He makes the same covenant with us. We are children of the promise through faith and grace not through “keeping” the law.

Task for Today: Do not trust in your own understanding or in your own ability to keep the law. Instead trust in Jesus, the gift of grace. You don’t need angels (who didn’t know anyway) nor Moses who was a human himself. You have Jesus, the new covenant in the flesh and now in glory. Believe in Him and offer Him your life.

 

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