The Law and the Promise – Gospel in Life

The Law and the Promise

Tim Keller |  January 11, 1998

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  • Justification
  • Salvation
Galatians 3:10-22
RS 288-13


Today’s passage is not an easy one. When you look through it, there’s a lot of obscurity. Nothing leaps up and grabs you, but if we do some mining, we’ll find all sorts of gems in here. This passage helps unlock one of the keys for understanding all of the Bible. Paul shows us how the Bible fits together with beautiful coherence.

Paul is writing to a series of churches in Galatia that he founded. They had come under the influence of a group of wayward teachers, and Paul is at great pains to correct them.
The teachers said to first believe and obey and then you’ll be saved. But Paul taught to believe and be saved, and then you’ll obey. The teachers said faith and obedience go together and result in salvation, but Paul said faith and salvation go together and result in obedience. This change in order makes all the difference for how we live.

Galatians 3:10–22

In studying Galatians, we realize that just following laws can’t make us right with God. Instead, it’s our faith that counts. The book also shows how the promises God made to Abraham are brought to life through Jesus. The law isn’t meant to last forever; it’s like a guide, leading us to put our faith in Christ. Some people argue that we can be saved by combining faith in Jesus and following the law. But Galatians makes it clear: we are saved by faith alone. Once we have faith, following the law becomes a natural outcome.



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