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No.61. (19) GALATIANS.
Galatians 2: 21 - 3: 7.
The realm of faith (3: 6, 7).
pp. 150 - 152
The apostle Paul had no scruples about using figures borrowed from the race course,
the theatre, the pugilistic ring, or the throwing of dice (I Cor. 9: 24-26; 4: 9; 9: 27;
Eph. 4: 14) and we are sure that he would appreciate the figure that comes to our mind
when we speak of the introduction of "Abraham" into the argument both in Galatians and
in Romans, as the apostle's "trump card". In each of these epistles the name of Abraham
occurs nine times, and every reference is a definite part of a consecutive argument. Let
us note these references in Galatians before proceeding.
Justification is by faith. "Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to
him for righteousness" (Gal. 3: 6).
Children be faith. "That they which are of faith, the same are the children of
Abraham" (Gal. 3: 7).
The Gospel and faith. "The scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen
through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all
nations be blessed" (Gal. 3: 8).
Blessing by faith.
"So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful
Abraham" (Gal. 3: 9).
The apostle now reveals the fact that any attempt to be justified by works of the law is
virtually putting oneself under a curse. Yet in accomplishing redemption, Christ became
a curse for us, with this object.
Promise through faith. "That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles
through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through
faith" (Gal. 3: 14).
Promises made to the Seed, which is Christ. "Now to Abraham and his seed were
the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And
to thy seed, which is Christ" (Gal. 3: 16).
Inheritance by promise. "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of
promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise" (Gal. 3: 18).
Christ's are Abraham's seed. "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and
heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3: 29).
After an interval in which the figure of adoption is introduced, and the retrograde
movement of the Galatians placed on all fours with a turning back to paganism, the last
reference to Abraham is made in which the two children, one of the free woman and one
of the bondmaid are used as an allegory.
"It is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free
woman . . . . . mount Sinai . . . . . bondage, Jerusalem, which is above is free"
(Gal. 4: 22-26).