The book of Galatians, particularly chapter 3, is rooted in the Old Testament. The false teachers in the Galatian churches were teaching that though God began the history of salvation with a promise to Abraham, it was completed by the covenant of law made with Moses. In other words, the false teachers said that while the provision of Jesus was God’s blessing to people, complete salvation required strict adherence to the law. In Galatians 3:15-18, Paul says that this is patently unbiblical because, in his view, the law is fundamentally a restatement of the Abrahamic covenant of promise.
In both covenants—the covenant of promise to Abraham and the covenant of law through Moses—the only way to attain blessing from God is to trust him for his grace.
God’s ultimate blessing demands obedience, but godly obedience does not come through works of law—works that aim to earn God’s blessing. God’s blessing, God’s fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, is through the obedience of faith, of confidence that God has provided a substitute to keep us under God’s blessing.
Trusting the Promise
If we trust that Paul’s insight is right–that we cannot earn God’s blessing but only receive it through faith in God’s grace–then obedience for us is more about recalling and trusting than it is about behaving.
Given the variety of difficult circumstances in our lives, recalling and trusting the promises of God can feel nearly impossible. Thankfully, our gracious God provides a model for trust through his gracious Son.
On the night Jesus was arrested and handed over to the authorities who would kill him, Jesus spend time in the Garden of Gethsemane for the sole purpose of recalling and trusting the goodness and sovereignty of God. Drawing on Matthew 26:36-39, here are six ways we can use Jesus’ model when recalling and trusting seems impossible.
Jesus’s Method for Trusting God
1) Choose some close friends to be with you (v. 37).
2) Ask your friends to intercede for you and fight the battle for faith with you (v. 38)
3) Share honestly about what is going on in your mind, heart, and emotions (v. 38)
4) Pour out your heart to the Father in prayer (v. 39).
5) Find rest in the sovereign hand and good heart of God (v. 39).
6) Like Jesus, do not focus primarily on the situation at hand, but turn your eyes to the future you have because of faith in the cross and resurrection of Jesus (Hebrews 12:2 – “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”).