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Worship Guide for October 24

October 21, 2021

Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below.

Galatians 3:15-22

15 To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.

19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. 20 Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Worship Lyrics

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Summary: Thus far, Paul has been very direct with the Galatians, warning them about the dangers of turning to “another gospel.” He has gone so far as to call them “foolish”! In 3:15-22, Paul now softens his tone, appealing to his readers as “brothers and sisters.” He is aware that Jewish teachers are arguing that the Mosaic Law takes precedence over the covenant with Abraham. So, Paul first provides a word of correction: that its actually the previously established Abrahamic covenant that has priority (3:15-18). And nothing can change that. Also of importance is that Christ is the true offspring of Abraham who receives the promised inheritance of a new creation.

Secondly, Paul clarifies that the actual function of the Law was to reveal and deal with sin until the arrival of Jesus (3:19-20). The Law was never intended to grant life and righteousness, only to prepare God’s people for the arrival of the one who fulfills the promises to Abraham, Jesus Christ (3:21). Those who prioritize their trust in him, not any distinguishing markers of the Law, become fellow recipients of the promised inheritance along with Christ (3:22).

Review and Apply

Why do you think Paul changes his tone in this passage?

Why does the covenant with Abraham have priority over the Mosaic Law?

What is the inheritance that Jesus, the promised offspring of Abraham, receives? How do we also become recipients of the inheritance? How is the hope associated with the inheritance different from the hope of heaven? How does this reorient the way you think of eternal life? What are some things to which you look forward to enjoying when you enter your inheritance?

What are some things you tend to prioritize as distinguishing marks of your genuine status as a Christian, perhaps looking at them with a sense of pride, rather than prioritizing the faithful work of Jesus? How have such priorities brought unnecessary separation or division between you and other believers? How can we reorient our lives to place priority on Christ as the one who brings us into the family of God and makes us worthy of an inheritance, nothing else.

How does the proper function of the Law help you understand both its continued relevance (in revealing sin) and how Jesus has dealt with sin once and for all? As the Law still reveals your sin, how do you also see your insufficiency to deal with you own sin? How does this cause you to rest in the grace we have received in Christ?


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