“Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ”
Paul gives another reason why the Mosaic law cannot abrogate the Abrahamic covenant. After giving the law, God fulfilled the promises of the Abrahamic covenant in the person and work of Christ. This shows the ongoing validity and permanence of grace in the Abrahamic covenant. This strikes at the core of legalism.
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made.
God made the “promises” of the Abrahamic covenant to Abraham and his lineage (Genesis 12:3,7; 13:16; 15:5; 17:7). When God makes a covenant, it amounts to a promise. No one can abrogate the Abrahamic covenant, even if Abraham or any of his seed fails, because it is an unconditional covenant. An unconditional covenant depends entirely on God’s promise in grace.
He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one,
Fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant does not depend on the nation of Israel but on the person of Christ.
“And to your Seed,” who is Christ
The blessing of the Abrahamic covenant comes through the Messiah. God blesses through one seed only, Jesus Christ. Paul alludes to Genesis 12:7 and 22:16-18. The law did not abrogate the Abrahamic covenant because Jesus Christ fulfilled the Abrahamic covenant after the Mosaic law.
The blessing of Abraham did not come to the Jews of the first century because they were Abraham’s seed. It came because Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah. This demolishes the argument that God justifies people by anything other than by grace. The law cannot save sinners for grace is as old as the Abrahamic covenant. God never intended the Mosaic law to save sinners. It never abrogated the Abrahamic covenant.
Salvation is always a gift from God (3:18). God’s gift of grace is His par excellence Seed, Jesus Christ, the Savior. This was God’s design from eternity. The Mosaic law did not change that plan.
Salvation is always a gift originating in God’s grace.
God’s salvation is always through the finished work of Christ on the cross. Legalism is lethal because it undermines that finished work, making it unfinished. Legalism implies we must finish the work by pleasing God through what we do. It is an attempt to gain God’s favor by works, undermining the fact Jesus already won God’s favor.
God’s promise of salvation stands eternally ours if we claim it by faith. It is not an issue of measuring up to God for that is impossible. That is why we need the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, God’s gift of grace.