“So that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. 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.”
We’ve been preaching through the book of Galatians in our lectionary series of late, but we can’t cover every verse. Sunday we will take up Galatians 3:23-4:7. Devotions today and tomorrow will look at the verses between where we left off a few sunday ago and 3:23.
“No takebacks!” You said to your friend after making a trade. You might find the same sign at garage sales “No refunds” “All sales final.” Or consider a will. If your father leaves you all he owns in his will and then dies, nothing can change that. It can’t be taken back.
So Paul says with the gospel and the law. Sometimes perhaps, we forget that the Gospel is older than the law. The gospel is the covenant of promise that God gave to Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:15), to Noah (Genesis 6-9) and also to Abraham (Genesis 12). It was the promise of a savior to come and die to forgive sins. It was a totally one sided covenant. It had nothing to do with the law. The law of Moses came after. Therefore, Paul says, it is clear that the law was never intended to supersede the gospel, or to change that covenant. For any tiny bit of law introduced into the gospel, causes the gospel to cease being the gospel. The gospel is lawless! And it is never changed. “No takebacks!” We could say to God, and He would agree. He has promised free salvation in His Son. Nothing changes that.