Evidence of Sonship

In the assemblies of Galatia, “false brethren” preached “another gospel,” one that pressured Gentile believers to adopt circumcision and conform to other regulations of the Mosaic Law. Paul repudiated the very idea and sent a series of arguments demonstrating why Gentiles need not be circumcised. This included the fact that believers in Galatia had received the Spirit while still uncircumcised.

Since his converts received the Spirit without circumcision, it follows logically that this rite is not a requirement for justification before God or membership in His covenant people - (Galatians 3:1-5).

Waterfall China - Photo by Swander on Unsplash
[Waterfall, China - Photo by Swander on Unsplash]

The Gift of the Spirit was clear evidence that God accepted Gentiles as members of His people without circumcision. Jesus redeemed his saints from the “
curse of the Law” so that the “Blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through him, and we might receive the promise of the Spirit THROUGH FAITH,” not circumcision.

Thus, Paul equated the Gift of the Spirit with the promised Blessing of Abraham for the nations - (Galatians 3:6-14, Genesis 12:1-3).

The Mosaic Legislation was not against the promises, but its purpose was never to justify men before Him. The Torah was ADDED LATER – after the Abrahamic covenant - to expose sin for what it is: The “transgression” of God’s commandments. Furthermore, it could not and cannot justify anyone since the Law is incapable of “making alive.”

It is the Spirit that gives life, and Paul presents “being quickened” by it as effectively synonymous with “justification from faith.” The Spirit imparts life, and there is no everlasting life without justification by God - (Galatians 3:21).

This principle is attested elsewhere. “It is the spirit that quickens”! The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead will also “quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in us” when he resurrects the righteous dead - (John 6:63, Romans 8:11-23).

The letter of the Law kills. However, under the New Covenant, the Spirit that God bestows on His children “quickens,” it “makes alive.” Jesus was put to death “in the flesh” for us but made “alive the in spirit.” To be fleshly-minded is death, “but to be spiritually-minded is life and peace” - (Romans 8:11, 2 Corinthians 3:6, 1 Peter 3:18).

This principle is not unique to the New Testament. The Spirit of Yahweh imparted life when He created the Universe.  The Earth was yet “without form and void,” but the “Spirit of God hovered upon the face of the waters.” The Heavens were made by the Word of Yahweh, and “all their hosts by the Spirit of His mouth” - (Genesis 1:1-3, Psalm 33:6, 104:29-30, Isaiah 42:5).

THE NEW COVENANT


The Spirit not only imparts life but also causes it to abound. Yahweh promised to “pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground, to pour His Spirit upon man’s seed and my blessing upon his offspring” - (Isaiah 44:3).

In the Book of Ezekiel, God promised to “sprinkle clean water” to cleanse Israel from her uncleanness and give her children new hearts. He would put His Spirit in them and thereby establish an “everlasting covenant” - (Ezekiel 36:16-38). The Apostle Paul applied this promise to the Assembly at Corinth:

  • (2 Corinthians 3:3-6) – “But such confidence as this we have through Christ towards God. Not that of our own selves sufficient are we, to reckon anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God, who also has made us sufficient to be ministers of a NEW COVENANT, not of letter but of spirit, FOR THE LETTER KILLS, BUT THE SPIRIT MAKES ALIVE.

The Spirit of God creates, sustains, and restores life, both individually and corporately, biological as well as spiritual, and the withdrawal of His Spirit means the cessation of life.

Rainbow Rain - Photo by Jesse Gardner on Unsplash
[Photo by Jesse Gardner on Unsplash]

The God of Israel promised a coming time of restoration when He would cleanse His people and inaugurate a New Covenant under which His presence would dwell among them. However, the nation’s sin prevented the realization of that promise - (Leviticus 26:12 - “
I will walk among you and will be your God, and ye shall be my people”).

In the New Covenant, the promise has been actualized by Jesus Christ, the one who baptizes his people in the Spirit.  The Gift of the Spirit is the definitive sign of who is his disciple and member of the covenant community, and who is not, rather than circumcision or other Levitical rites, undeniable proof that we are the sons of God, the “children of Abraham,” and heirs of the promises and “coheirs” with Jesus - (John 1:14, Galatians 3:26-29, Romans 8:12-17, Colossians 2:9-10).



RELATED POSTS:
  • The Spirit of Life - (The Gift of the Spirit is clear evidence that a person has been justified by God and made a part of His covenant people)
  • Covenant Heirs - (With the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, the blessings for all nations promised to Abraham commenced)
  • The Life-Giving Spirit - (Jesus dispenses the Life-Giving Spirit without which there is no enduring life. His words are spirit, and they are life)

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