Galatians 3:15–29 (ESV)
The Law and the Promise
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. 16 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. 17 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. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.
19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now
an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness
would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But
now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s
offspring, heirs according to promise.
Through Christ, God fulfills the promise He gave to Abraham. All united to Christ by Baptism become heirs of
the promise and therefore are righteous before God. The Law, as between Moses and Christ, still serves the good purpose of revealing sin and our need for a Savior. However, Christ does what the Law cannot do. He gives forgiveness and life.
I pray: Lord, help us to see that in our congregation all are to be welcomed, whatever their background or place in life. Help us also to reach out to all with
the message of Jesus’ love. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The
Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 2008.