The Berean Expositor
Volume 51 - Page 39 of 181
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frequently quote. But if they would only look down the chapter and read the last verse
this is what they would find:
"And if ye (the Galatian believers) be Christ's then are ye Abraham's seed and heirs
according to the promise."
So Abraham has a literal seed after all! Is Paul contradicting himself? No, not when
one faces all the Scriptural facts. In verse 16 Paul is alluding to Gen. 21: 12:
". . . . . for in Isaac shall thy seed be called."
The Hebrew zera is a collective noun and is used here as a singular with a singular
verb. But if we turn to Gen. 17: 7 we read:
"And I will establish My covenant between Me and thee and thy seed (zera) after thee
in their generations, for an everlasting covenant . . . . .".
Here zera is obviously treated as a plural (generations) and the truth of the matter is
that the Seed, Christ and the seed (Abraham's posterity) is looked on as a unity in the
kingdom purposes of God and both are necessary in the divine plan. The Lord Jesus
Christ is the one foundation for the whole redemptive purpose of God which embraces
both heaven and earth. In this way the Apostle was able to dispose of objections that
might be made by any Judaistic opposer, that the law of Moses cancelled the promises of
grace made to Abraham four centuries before.
3: 19 - 4: 12.
pp. 133 - 138
The Apostle now goes on to ask the question "What, then, was the purpose of the
law?" (Gal. 3: 19, N.I.V.) and we do well to pause and consider what the Scripture says
the law of Moses can or cannot do, lest we start interposing our own ideas.  We
commence with the fact that it was "holy, just and good" (Rom. 7: 12, 14, 16). It was
God's law and therefore perfect. Its main aim was to show up sin in its true colours, as
the next verse in Galatians shows:
"It was added because of transgressions till the Seed should come to whom the
promise was made" (Gal. 3: 19).
"I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had
said, Thou shalt not covet" (Rom. 7: 7).
It is well that we note what the Word of God tells us what the law can and cannot do:
It cannot give eternal life (Gal. 3: 21). In O.T. days it could give as a blessing
lengthened human life. In referring to the law relating to the obedience of
children to parents, Paul could add in Ephesians "that it may be well with thee
and thou mayest live long on the earth" (Eph. 6: 2, 3).
The law could not give all-needed righteousness (Gal. 2: 21).