I see a light on the horizon – it is the first sign of the sun rising – soon the bright burnished ball of light will appear above the horizon. “This is a new day a new week – reflect on My gift to you – the gift of My Son on the cross – the gift of His death for you, the gift of the Holy Spirit – these are all pure gifts – let me cleanse you of all your prejudices – all those things in your life that are clouding your view of my gift – it is pure and yes – remember it is a gift, which means all you need to do is receive it and even as you receive it – remember that If I have given My Son on the cross for you – how much more will I give you all things (Romans 8:32) – so start this week with this assurance of My love and care for you, receive My gift so that you can continue to make your contribution to My kingdom’s work.”
As Paul continues in Galatians chapter 3 and 4 to show how important it is that we realize that salvation is free, he focusses quite a bit on the “promise” which God gave to Abraham (Genesis 12:2,3). This promise which is described elsewhere as the “gospel declared beforehand” needs to be understood in its context to really appreciate its importance in opening up the understanding of the whole rest of God’s story in the bible.
To grasp the context we need to go back to Genesis 3:14 to the end of that chapter and read the deadly words which God spoke out over His creation in the form of a curse. The ultimate proof and consequence of Adam’s sin amounted to the introduction of the death sentence for mankind (Gen 3:22, 24), amongst all the other dreadful things. These are more fully described in Deuteronomy ch 28. It is worth reading this chapter, because many of us are somewhat surprised, at the awful things that are happening in our country and the world at the moment. Many think these curses as described in Deut 28 are specifically reserved for the Israelites or are limited to the Old Testament times. However, if you look at the book of Revelation and read the graphic descriptions God gave John on Patmos about the end times, one will realize that they are a feature of the whole of the time of tribulation which started at Jesus’ crucifixion and which are a feature of our lives today. Many Christians have tried to comfort themselves by suggesting that these judgements of God will only occur during a short 7 year period before Jesus returns. The bible doesn’t support that view at all. Remember Jesus’ oft repeated words “In Me you will have peace but in he world you will have tribulation”
The only way to avoid the curse of God, according to Deuteronomy Ch 28, 30, is obey the Lord Jehovah fully and completely. So here is where the promise of blessing for the world through Abraham comes in. The blessing, cancelling the curse comes as a result of the promise to Abraham, which is to be put into effect through his “seed” Gal 3:15 (Gen 12:7). It is done by Jesus taking the full judgement of God contained in the curse upon Himself on our behalf (Gal 3:10ff). He was able to obey the law completely and nevertheless still was put to death so that we could escape that capital punishment which actually looks forward to the eternal separation which will come to anyone who does not embrace Jesus’ work by faith.
We need to stand back and contemplate the enormity of this revelation, to see how puny anyone’s efforts are to break the curse personally in comparison to to the power of Jesus’ death. And what is more amazing is that it comes as a result of a promise and only needs to be received by faith. It is an insult to God and to Jesus that we can think His death was insufficient and needs our contribution. I dare say we don’t think of it that way, but that is what it amounts to.
Of course we should not lose sight of the fact that we receive the blessing of God in the heavenly realm (the realm of the spiritual) and are still living physically in a world under God’s curse (Ephesians1:3).
At this time may I say as a comfort to us, it is important to realize that God is still in control of the world and all the happenings, his curse is not out if His control (cf Revelation ch 12).
This all fills me with an enormous sense of thanksgiving and praise. How do you view the death of Jesus as the fulfilment of the promise of God 6000 years before, as it affects you personally?