Tuesday after the Tenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Galatians 3:1-14 (NKJV)
1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?—6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. 10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
As Lutherans, we hold fast to this undeniable truth of Scripture: “the just shall live by faith.”
But when lawlessness surrounds us as Christians, faith can easily waver. Sin is very real and will no doubt trouble our lives, whether overtly or covertly. We can easily find ourselves longing for the good ol’ days when life was “simpler” and “better.” We can find ourselves hoping that maybe our society can return to “simpler times.” While we can always find examples of circumstances in days gone by that appear better, we need to recognize that ever since the fall of Adam, life in this world has not been perfect. While nostalgia may well up good feelings inside, those feelings will quickly subside as the cold hard fact of the curse of the Law remains: the Law brings death.
No matter how we may long to go back to a better time, the Lord is always having us look ahead. We live by faith and not by sight. Thus, one of the ironies for the Christian is that the good ol’ days lie ahead. Through Holy Scripture we are afforded the opportunity to take a look back in time to see how, by the grace of God, our forefathers in faith were confronted with their sins, repented, and were forgiven their sins. Thus they were able to face the troubles of their day in the hope of the life to come. Following their example of contrition and repentance, we, too, can look ahead in faith to life in the world to come.
By God’s grace, the blessing of Abraham has come upon us Gentiles. We no longer stand as cursed because Christ became a curse for us.
Gracious Father, send the Holy Spirit to keep us in faith. Amen.