The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 34 of 181
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In what sense could the Gospel be preached before the earthly coming of the Saviour
and the sacrificial offering of Himself on the cross? This was possibly because in the
divine foreview, the seed of Abraham had Christ in view as the seed as well as the nation
of Israel (Matt. 1: 1). This explains the rather perplexing argument in chapter 3: 16
which we shall deal with in its place.
Paul can no firmly assert that "They which be of faith are blessed with faithful
Abraham" (3: 9). These men of faith are one with Abraham in their firm trust in God
and His provision by grace of that all-needed righteousness which they could never
produce themselves.
It is the same today. Mankind can be divided into two classes, or at least those who
have come under the sound of the gospel of Christ. Either like Abraham of old, they
have realized their sin and failing and their utter inability to eradicate it and its
consequence, death, or they persuade themselves that, given time, they will one day be
able to work out their own salvation and make themselves perfect. None seem to agree
as to how this is going to be accomplished, but they all delude themselves by wishful
thinking that it can be realized if they work hard enough. The epistles to the Galatians
and Romans show the utter falsity of such ideas. God's good news about His Son and
what has been accomplished by Him for sinners is the only answer, and this is the
glorious gospel that we have to proclaim "in season and out of season" (II Tim. 4: 2-4)
while opportunity lasts and this is what the Apostle Paul was urging on the believers in
3: 10 - 18.
pp. 86 - 92
Having cited Abraham as an excellent example of the faith that takes God at His Word
without trying to add human works or merit, the Apostle Paul passes on to the law of God
given through Moses. Doubtless the Judaizers would deem the reference to Abraham to
be irrelevant. The main point to them was the law and the necessity for practicing it in
order to be saved and it was this fundamental error they were pressing on the Galatians.
Paul goes to the heart of the matter straight away by stressing that this law was not just
a string of precepts to be talked about and admired. It was a rigid code to be obeyed to
the letter continuously without one flaw, and the failure to do this brought the offender
under nothing less than the curse of God. To prove this point he quotes Deut. 27: 26:
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, for it is written
Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of the law to do them . . . . .",
and this is followed by the first verse of the next chapter "and it shall come to pass, if
thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and do all