Galatiansby Khan Hui Neon
Do you have that gnawing feeling that faith in Jesus alone might not be enough to save you? Do you feel the need to contribute to your own salvation? If that describes your situation, then let Paul assure you through Scripture that justification by faith has always been God's chosen way of saving you. Paul bases his argument on what Scripture has revealed.
Paul's opponents taught otherwise. They taught from the Old Testament, so from here on, Paul goes on the offensive and takes the battle to his critics. He quotes the Old Testament extensively to counter the Judaizers' argument, and to show that even in the Old Testament, justification came through faith, not through observance of the law.
For most if not all Jews, Abraham is the most important figure in their rich history, as God selected him to father the race that later became the nation of Israel. Paul's opponents probably pointed out that Abraham had been circumcised to mark him as God's chosen. Perhaps they even taught that only those who observe the circumcision law are Abraham's children.
The Judaizers highly regard Moses, through whom the law came, but Paul points out in Galatians 3:6 that Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation who predated both Moses and the law, was put right by God (″credited . . . as righteousness″) through faith, not by keeping the law (see Romans 4:1-3).
In Romans 4:10, Paul notes that Abraham was declared righteous even before he was circumcised; this rite would take place some 14 years later (Genesis 17:23-26). And the Mosaic law came even later (Galatians 3:17). Clearly, God's justification of the Jews' greatest forefather came as a result of faith, not adherence to any law or rite. By going back not to Moses but to Abraham (″So also Abraham″ in v. 6, which means ″Consider the case of Abraham″) Paul is giving the strongest Scriptural evidence for justification by faith.
But what does this mean for the Gentiles who were not descended from Abraham? In verses 7-9, Paul explains how God told Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him. Anyone who believes like Abraham did-including Gentiles-will be blessed; they become his spiritual children. And since Abraham received God's righteousness by faith alone, his spiritual sons, too, will be made righteous the same way (see Romans 4:11-16).
The lesson is pretty clear: How do we know that faith has always been God's way of saving us? Because God said so in the Old Testament.
Even today, Paul's writings still impact us deeply. Have we fallen into the trap of depending on our feelings, performance, or activities to make us feel secure about our salvation? Let us remember that we are the spiritual descendants of Abraham, because like him, we are also justified by faith alone.
What does it mean to live according to God's promises, given to us through His Word, that we will be saved through faith alone?
As believers in Christ, we are spiritual children of Abraham. How does knowing this affect how we live?