Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.
Just the other day may husband and I were talking about how the uncertainty of life is one of the greatest challenges to our faith. However, we are blessed to serve an unchanging and faithful God. Last week we talked about why God’s grace is greater than our works. Now as we work our way through Galatians we are talking about why God’s promise is greater than our works. And this is some Good Gospel News Beloved. Because when we fall short, God does not. May 2 Timothy 2:13 carry you through this week: “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for your promises. Most importantly that you for your promise of salvation to those who believe in You. I trust You this week. If you say it, let it be so. In Jesus Christ Name I pray. Amen.
Read this Week’s Message
We are in chapter 3 of Galatians, and we are going over each argument that the apostle Paul presents as to why and how we should live free in Christ. Last week we learned that our faith is greater than our works. Today let’s talk about why God’s promises are greater than our works.
In Galatians 3:15-18 we read:
“Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.” – Galatians 3:15-18 (NIV)
In Genesis we find that God made a covenant to bless Abraham and all his descendants. This was an unconditional covenant, meaning all the responsibility was on God to fulfill it. All Abraham needed to do was believe that promise. So Paul points out that the Law of Moses—all the rules we find in the Old Testament, including the ten commandment—do not discount the promise of Abraham. What Paul means is this: if God promised to save us by grace through faith, He’s not then going to turn around and be like, “Never mind that promise, you now have to earn your salvation by works and by fulfilling the complete Law.” Paul is reminding the Galatians that God is not going to go back on His word. Salvation is a gift from God, He’s not going to change His mind and be like, “Now you owe me for it.” So we do not need to lean on our works to accomplish what God’s promise has already done for us.
The covenant that God made with Abraham still stands true today, which is why salvation is still a free gift from God, not something we work for. So why have the Law of Moses then? The purpose of all the laws that we read about in the Old Testament are not to show us how to get saved if we just follow them. The Law is to show us God’s standard for righteousness. More importantly, it shows us that we can’t meet that standard and are in desperate need of a Savior. It shows us how much me need the promise that God made to Abraham to bless all His descendants, who are those that have faith in God’s promise and not their works.
The Galatians were starting to think that their salvation was dependent on what they could do for God. But the backbone of our faith is not our works. The backbone of our faith is the promise of God’s unconditional commitment to us. And this is good news! It means that God is not going to go back on His promise just because we do.
The Bible tells us:
“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.” – 2 Timothy 2:13 (NIV)
The Law of Moses did not cancel out the promise of Abraham. God’s promise still stands true today. God has given us a commitment that cannot be broken. If we don’t get this and try rely on our works, we’ll either live in despair due to the fact that we could never work up to God’s standard, or we’ll live in pride thinking we can save ourselves. But the gospel of Jesus Christ frees us from both. Jesus took on the full responsibility of fulfilling the law for us with His perfect life. All we need to do is believe that.
Today you have a choice: believe in your works, or believe in the unfailing, life-giving, soul-freeing promise of God.
Now I want to hear from you, Beloved. Today we talked about God’s promise of salvation for all those that believe. And the Bible tells us of so much more promises that God grants His daughters. What I want to know from you is this: what promise of God are you holding onto today? I can’t wait to chat with you in the comments!
If you enjoyed today’s message be sure to share it with a friend because you never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today. I post new encouragement every week so be sure join Beloved to have my weekly devotion “Hello Beloved!” delivered directly to your inbox. As always, thank you so much for reading and until next time be beautiful, be blessed and beloved.