"The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed."
The more time I spend studying the Bible, the more I am awestruck at the timeless continuity of Scripture and God's unique plan for restoring His creation. This verse is one that helps tie it all together for me. How could a book (Scripture) look forward and know how people would be made right with God unless the Author knows the future and has planned for it? Who but God could proclaim that plan to both Abraham and Paul? Do you think of the Good New for Abraham as the same Gospel to Paul?
In Galatians 3, Paul is challenging believers to be thoughtful to what they hear concerning God and His ways. False teachers were teaching the necessity of their efforts to be right with God. They failed to grasp the reason the Gospel of Jesus Christ is Good New is because Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Using Abraham as the example, Paul provides a detailed analysis of why man is made right with God by faith alone. In Genesis 15:6, Abraham believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Abraham did not become righteous, but God considered him to be so because of his faith. Since the Law provided through Moses was not given for 430 years, what role could the law possibly play in Abraham being justified or made right before God. The Law rather than providing the way to be right before God was a curse on everyone who did not faithfully keep every component. Since man by nature, the nature of our father Adam, is a lawbreaker, the Law condemns men.
In Galatians 3:8, what Scripture foresaw was God Himself redeeming lawbreakers from the curse by becoming the curse for them. The offspring, the One who became the curse, is Christ Jesus the Lord. So the promise made to Abraham, "In you shall all the nations be blessed" was made to Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:14 describes the blessing that comes through Christ Jesus as the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) says, "The promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession— to the praise of his glory." Galatians 3:18 describes all the promises God made Abraham as an inheritance.
Can you imagine what the inheritance for those justified by faith must be if the gift of the Holy Spirit is just a deposit! According to Romans 8:29-30, their inheritance includes everything from "predestined...to...glorified." The Biblical description of the inheritance is glorious riches (Ephesians 1:18); reward (Colossians 3:24); eternal (Hebrews 9:15); and imperishable (1 Peter 1:4). How much thought have you put into the culmination of your inheritance? Are you looking forward to that city whose designer and builder is God? The city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all...and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant.
That is what it means to be justified by faith through the finished work of Jesus Christ; heirs according to His promise.
Sovereign LORD God, it is Your grace alone that leads to our justification. Thank You for such an undeserved gift. You are the giver of every good gift; predestination, calling, justification, and glorification are all from Your hand. Holy Spirit, thank You for the foretaste of glory. Lord Jesus, all the promises of our Father, are because of You. We are delighted with You as our inheritance.