Galatians 3:16-19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Now the promises [in the covenants] were decreed to Abraham and to his seed. God does not say, “And to seeds (descendants, heirs),” as if [referring] to many [persons], but as to one, “And to your Seed,” who is [none other than] Christ. This is what I mean: the Law, which came into existence four hundred and thirty years later [after the covenant concerning the coming Messiah], does not and cannot invalidate the covenant previously established by God, so as to abolish the promise. For if the inheritance [of what was promised] is based on [observing] the Law [as these false teachers claim], it is no longer based on a promise; however, God granted it to Abraham [as a gift] by virtue of His promise.
Why, then, the Law [what was its purpose]? It was added [after the promise to Abraham, to reveal to people their guilt] because of transgressions [that is, to make people conscious of the sinfulness of sin], and [the Law] was ordained through angels and delivered to Israel by the hand of a mediator [Moses, the mediator between God and Israel, to be in effect] until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made.
From my study since last night I will attempt my observations this was a good study!
We can make a distinction between a promise and an agreement. An agreement made between a parent and child would involve responsibilities and consequences that would be agreed on ahead of time.
Agreements can be both positive and negative. Here is an example of a positive agreement: "If you do your homework, you can go to your friends house." An example of a negative agreement could be: "If you don't eat your peas, you can't have dessert." But in either case, each side has a responsibility. An agreement is made ahead of time with certain consequences to follow.
Promises are different than agreements; A promise is based on one person: the parent expresses love from his or her heart to the child. For example, let's say that I promised my children that on Sunday I would take them out to get ice cream. I made that promise to them simply because I loved them. No conditions were involved, they did not have to do anything; they did not have to contribute anything to help me keep my promise. Based on my love for them and my desire to bless them, I promised them that I would take them for ice cream.
Children can tell the difference between agreements and promises. Even preschoolers can tell the difference between agreements and promises! They react with a sense of outrage if you try to change a promise into an agreement. Having promised to take my children to get ice cream, I cannot later add conditions to that promise, conditions such as, "We are NOT going to go to get ice cream if you are NOT good all week." They will very quickly remind me, "You promised we could go. You promised!"
The Law is an agreement –-This was not a promise, but an agreement:
Exodus 19:5 (NASB) 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;
Paul using a human analogy, he likens God's promise to Abraham to the will that people make. In our world, we call such a document the "Last Will and Testament."
When a person writes their last will and testament, they put within that will their wishes as to what is to be done with their estate and they specify who are to be the beneficiaries and the inheritance is not compensation for what the beneficiaries have done. The fact, nevertheless, is that if they are named in this will, then they are to receive the inheritance.
Paul notes here that even in the case of a human will, once it has been confirmed or validated, the terms therein cannot be altered. After the death of the person, its instructions must be carried out in every detail.
The implication is that the testament of God, who is infinitely more trustworthy than man, is all the more dependable and unchangeable. Paul sets this up as an illustration of why the Mosaic law must not be interpreted as an annulment or alteration of the terms of the Abrahamic covenant. (the promise)
This "irrevocable trust agreement" that God made with Abraham is described in terms of the beneficiary of the trust (v. 16), the date of the trust (v. 17), and the condition for inheritance (v. 18).
The Beneficiary of the Trust
Galatians 3:16 (NASB) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, "And to seeds," as referring to many, but rather to one, "And to your seed," that is, Christ.
Paul says, "God specified in His will that the beneficiaries were to be Abraham and his seed." The apostle calls particular attention to the word "seed," as distinguished from "seeds." And that singular seed that God had in Christ, not all the blood descendants of Abraham.
Actually, even before Christ became flesh, the New Testament reveals that He is the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. In Luke 1 we read about the birth of John the Baptist. When he was eight days old, he was circumcised and was given the name John. At that point, his father, Zacharias, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang a song of praise. Knowing that his son would introduce Christ to the people, he praised God for performing the "the oath which he swore to Abraham our father."
Sister in Christ, we have inherited the promises that God gave to Abraham. We have been blessed in Christ, we have received the inheritance
Some say, "This verse shows that the law was added because sin was getting out of hand, and it needed to be curbed. Therefore, God gave the law to control sin." Let me ask you a question, "Does the law control sin?" No! It certainly does not. It does just the opposite:
Romans 5:20 (NASB) And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
According to Paul, the Law made the transgression increase! Because of the sinfulness of my heart, when I see a line drawn I want to cross over it. In this sense, the law makes sin abound, because it draws many clear lines between right and wrong that my sinful heart wants to break. Therefore, the law makes me sin more - but not because there is anything wrong in the law, only because there is something deeply wrong in the human condition.
So, God gave the Law - to make men aware of the depths of their rebellion against Him. God didn't give the Law to make man aware of his disobedience so that he would cease it and begin to obey, but to show him he could not obey.
Imagine a state in which there are many traffic accidents but no traffic laws. Although people are driving in dangerous ways, they may not know it and cannot be held responsible for it until there is a book of traffic laws. Then it is possible for the police to cite drivers for transgressions of the traffic laws. The laws define harmful ways of driving.
So, the purpose of the Law made men aware of their sinfulness and show the need for a Savior (salvation)
Once we are made alive in Christ we can do all things, if we follow the command Jesus gave us, love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength and love your neighbor as yourself.
If we truly do this, we cannot possibly, lie, cheat, steal, murder, etc. because we are full of Love for our God and one another.
When we do slip up, we can go to God and tell him all about it, he is right and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Thank you father for you love us so much, help us all to love like you. Fill us with your Love to overflowing that we may spill out onto others.
Please feel free to Share anything God is showing you in the study in the comment section or privately. I would love to hear from you.
With Love in Christ, Blessings to you,