The Evangelical Universalist Forum

JRP's Exegetical Compilation: Galatians 3:6-8

This is part of my Exegetical Compilation Project, which can be found here.

In Galatians 3:6-8 (and contexts) St. Paul argues that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham, but says this in direct citational context of Genesis 18:18 which prophecies that God shall justify the nations by faith: all the nations cannot be blessed in Abraham, the believer, unless all the nations come to have faith in God. By the same token of proportion, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the Law, to perform them”–and in fact no one is justified by the Law before God. All nations have sinned: corporately, individually and universally. All nations means everyone in relation to the same context when talking about sin; the prophecy indicates (unless there are good reasons to believe otherwise) all nations means everyone when talking about being saved into faith and becoming sons of Abraham.

Even more importantly, the promise of blessing to all nations is really being offered to Christ, the seed of Abraham (verse 16). Nor can the Law, which came 430 years later, nullify that promise nor invalidate a covenant (actually made with the Son by the Father through Abraham) previously ratified by God. For God grants it to Abraham (and thus to Christ) by means of a promise. Consequently, the failure of both Jews and Gentiles to keep the Law (and Paul recognizes that even Gentiles who do not have the Torah still have a conscience inspired by God to act as Torah within them so that no one has excuse but all are shut up under the Law), does not supercede the promise made to the Son by the Father to bless all nations: a blessing that Paul explicitly identifies as salvation from sin and the reception of the Holy Spirit through faith.

If the promise is given to Christ by the Father, and fulfilled for Christ by the Father, then how would the Father not be shamed by promising to the Son less than what was achieved through sin: the corruption of all humanity?! Or how would the Father not be shamed by giving up or (worse) being incompetent to fulfill that promise to the Son?!

See also commentary on Hebrews 9:27.

This topic naturally has important connections with the discussion of adoption, and of Sarah and Hagar, in the next chapter of Galatians.

As always, members are invited to discuss interpretations of these verses below, and to link to discussions either here on the forum or elsewhere.

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