Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 2 Study # 4
January 1, 2012
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
1901 ASV Translation:
7 Know therefore that they that are of faith, the same are sons of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations be blessed.
9 So then they that are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one who continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.
11 Now that no man is justified by the law before God, is evident: for, The righteous shall live by faith;
12 and the law is not of faith; but, He that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 that upon the Gentiles might come the blessing of Abraham in Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
- I. Paul's Linkage of the Gospel to the Methodology of God's Dealings With Abraham [See notes for Dec. 4, 2011<135>].
- II. Paul's Focus Upon Abraham's "Believing" [See notes for Dec. 11, 2011<137>].
- III. Paul's Interpretation of God's "Accounting" (KJV word, NASB uses "reckoned") [See Notes for Dec. 18, 2011<139>].
- IV. Paul's Adamant Application of Genesis 15:6 to the Gospel.
- A. Paul's use of "know".
- 1. It is the typical word for knowledge that is derived from personal experience and rudimentary intelligence (particularly focused upon sensory perception; not particularly focused upon logic or rationality).
- 2. It is in a grammatical form that allows it to be taken as imperative or indicative.
- a. If it is to be translated as an imperative, Paul was insisting that the Galatians begin to do something that they have not been doing, but have the background for.
- b. If it is to be translated as an indicative, Paul was emphasizing his claim that the Galatians already know something that is an open-and-shut case for his argument.
- 1) The strength of taking it as an indicative is that Paul has already called them "foolish" because they do know that the methodology of the Gospel is "faith" and not "works".
- 2) The weakness of taking it as an indicative is that they are clearly in retreat from "faith" and desperately need to return to their former stability.
- c. The question is whether Paul is demanding (imperative) that they "retake" earlier ground or insisting (indicative) that they really are "foolish".
- 1) Paul's "just as"/"so then" statement in 6-7 argues that he is using the indicative.
- 2) Paul's use of the indicative fits better than a demand that they "know" from their experience. If Paul wanted them to be "reasonable", he could have easily used the Greek verb that deals with "knowing" out of "rationality" rather than experience.
- B. Paul's insistence that Genesis 15:6 is the absolutely crucial Old Testament text on Gospel methodology.
- 1. The "problem" is at an extremely crucial level of importance: nothing is more critical than approaching "justification" from the proper methodology.
- 2. To "camp" on a verse as the basis for a complete revision of theology is understandable because any clear statement can serve as such a basis, but it is fraught with danger: What if the dependence upon one verse is misguided? However, in this case Paul's choice is extremely clear sighted: the text to which he appeals can, in no way, be removed from the "How do we obtain a declaration of righteousness from God?" debate because its terminology leaves very little room for misunderstanding. Abraham believed God and God reckoned his faith to him as righteousness. That Paul (Romans 4:3) and James (2:23) had different "takes" on its meaning in regard to what is actually involved (the "nature" of "faith") does nothing to erase the clarity that is there: "faith" results in "righteousness".
- C. Paul's claim that his "scriptural support" includes the extension of the Gospel to the nations.
- 1. This is more of the 2:16 argument: anyone who seeks to be justified will have to come through the "faith" methodology.
- a. Since "faith" is the identifying character trait that identifies Abraham as "the believer" and all of those who mimic it as his "sons", the notion that the Scriptures have always included the nations in God's plans is settled. God could not have said "...all of the nations shall be blessed in thee..." unless there was a particular, defining, essence in "thee" that controls all of the "blessedness" that God intends to shed abroad among men. In other words, ever since Genesis 15:6 declared Abraham "just" by "faith" men have had the basis to believe that if they also "believed" as Abraham they also would fall under that "justificational" process.
- b. That the word of God says "all nations" is as clear as it can be that Israel was not the only nation under God's consideration.
- 2. There is, however, an extension of the doctrine: God has always intended to spread His grace beyond Israel to the nations and He has always intended that it be done according to the only viable mechanism -- faith. Verses 8-9 reiterate verse 7, but extend its concept beyond the boundaries of the "natural Jews".
- a. Paul's "thesis" in 3:7-9 is that "faith" exercised brings one into the blessedness of being under the "Abrahamic Umbrella".
- b. 3:7 states the "thesis", 3:9 concludes it, and 3:8 gives the biblical support for it.