One Gospel; Nothing New

All of us want to train our children and influence our grandchildren. That is the reason we need to know what the Bible says and what it means. So we need to get a handle on Galatians. And it is okay for us to read and reread it.

Paul is making his point that salvation is through faith by itself; that no good works or morality can be added to faith; it can’t be faith plus anything else. Now he turns to support this with examples from the Old Testament. (Read Galatians 3:10-18 and keep your Bible open so you can look back at it.)

Paul is saying that there is nothing new here. Abraham believed God when he was promised many descendents and that it would be through one of his descendents that all the world would be blessed. That faith was counted as if Abraham was perfect…he was “declared righteous.” His sin was forgiven and no longer separated him from God! (Genesis 15:6). Those who believed God like he did would be his true sons and would be the ones to inherit these promises. Paul had not dreamed up a new way of salvation! Jesus had not thought up something new.

But, what about the Law given to Moses 430 years later? Didn’t that change things a bit? (Read Galatians 3:10-18 again.) The bad thing about the law is that it must be kept perfectly if it is going to make us righteous (good enough to approach a perfect and glorious God). Never lie…not once. Never covet another’s lifestyle or health. Never steal.

“Nothing has changed here,” Paul says again. The promise made to Abraham was like a will. It could not be changed or made of no effect later. Being declared righteous and being promised the Holy Spirit as a guide and encourager was the inheritance of all descendents of Abraham. And the true descendents of Abraham were people who believed God when He promised, “In your Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). The people of Galatia (Turkey) did not have to listen to those coming from Jerusalem claiming they had to keep Jewish law in addition to their faith in Christ Jesus.

It must have made them cheer. I hope you are cheering too. No matter what cultural group you are from, you can be blessed by the Descendent of Abraham, the Lord Jesus Christ, through what His suffering, death, and resurrection accomplished. Does it make your heart sing?

That is what you want to show your children and grandchildren. It is an “old path” that is meant for our encouragement. There is nothing new here. It is the same gospel from Genesis to Revelation. We are declared righteous by faith in what Jesus did through His suffering, death, and resurrection.

About Carol Brandt

I earned a B.A. in History from Florida State University and M.Ed in.Higher Education from Florida Atlantic University. I taught high school social studies before "retiring" to full-time homemaking and raising two daughters. Now I love being a grandmother to four boys and a girl. I have also raised five collies. My husband, John, was an optometrist, who worked tirelessly for his profession through private practice and as a consultant, and served on the Board of Trustees of Illinois College of Optometry for twenty years. Ernest Reisinger was my chief mentor in this warm-hearted application of Calvinism. He gave me many books! The Founders Journal and Founders Conferences, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and Charles Spurgeon have been other sources of Reformed thinking as well as the other warm-hearted ones listed in my book, "Warm-hearted Calvinists."

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