Intro: In my prayer time yesterday, my conversation with God included, “Lord, I am so grateful and joyful for your righteousness, but please continue to grow me in faith!” Faith is the substance of things we hope for and the evidence of things not yet seen (Heb 11:1). The reason for that prayer is because I believe [in Christ] I have received great promises from God and I want to have the faith to use every blessing for the growth of his Kingdom. I want to see people experience the salvation Jesus truly offers—a vibrant and eternal relationship with our Creator! Scripture teaches abundant life—one filled with God’s blessings—comes by believing; faith in Christ [putting on Christ’s righteousness] is the only way to have a right relationship with God (Eph 4:24). When we stand in that place of faith in Christ and obedience to his will, we can ask for God’s provision in prayer and receive (Mat 21:22).
For the believer, joy is the residue of the first AND second advent of Christ because Jesus is the joy of our salvation. We joyfully accept and receive him as the righteous Lamb who gave his life for the sins of the world. We joyfully look for his return one day as the Lion who will rule the world in righteousness. We believe in the work of Christ and put him on as our new identity. Therefore, faith in Christ [who fulfilled the law’s purpose] is essential and when we truly understand the tremendous and liberating blessing of life with Christ we will serve and obey God’s commands of love while being joyfully led by the Holy Spirit (Mat 5:17-18).
In our passage today, the Apostle Paul seeks to drive the truth home to the Galatians about faith in Christ who was the perfect law-abiding descendant of Abraham; Christ makes all believers heirs to God’s promises. We all must come to Christ; therefore, we all receive God’s promises in the same exact way. Believers are all being made anew in Christ’s image as his empowered descendants of faith (Gen 1:27; Eph 2:14-18; Col 2:6-7).
Galatians 3:23-29 NLT God’s Children through Faith
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for making us your sons and daughters of faith. May we grow in the substance of faith and operate in your eternal promises each day. Help us to produce the joy of our salvation. The world needs to see and experience the power outflowing your resurrection. In Jesus’ name. Amen.