It is the Spirit of God that imparts life, especially the everlasting life in Jesus of which the gift of the Spirit is the foretaste and guarantee.
In the churches of Galatia, “false brethren” were preaching “another gospel,” one that pressured Gentile believers into getting circumcised, and otherwise, conforming to the regulations of the Mosaic legislation. But the Apostle Paul would have none of it. He responded with a series of arguments, most importantly, by appealing to the receipt of the gift of the Spirit by the Galatians.
Continue reading THE SPIRIT OF LIFE
With the ascension of Jesus, the gift of the Spirit has arrived with blessings for all believers as promised to Abraham.
The “promise of the Father” is the gift of the Spirit, and Paul links it to the Abrahamic covenant. The promises of the Abrahamic covenant find their fulfillment in the new covenant inaugurated by Jesus. The bestowal of the Spirit on the church marks the commencement of the age of fulfillment, and “in Christ,” Gentile believers become full heirs of Abraham.
Continue reading HEIRS OF THE COVENANT
Believers are the heirs of Abraham and possession of the inheritance is guaranteed by the gift of the Spirit.
Possession of the land of Canaan was a preliminary stage in God’s redemptive plan, which always envisioned something larger than Israel. Now, the covenant promises find their fulfillment in the “true seed of Abraham,” Jesus, including the promises of resurrection and new creation.
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The city “whose builder and founder” is God is none other than the New Jerusalem John saw “descending from heaven” – Revelation 21:24-22:5.
The book of Revelation concludes with a portrait of the immense and glorious city of “New Jerusalem” populated by the “innumerable multitude” of men redeemed from every nation by the “Lamb,” the ultimate fulfillment of the covenant promises to Abraham – “land” and “blessings to all the nations of the earth.”
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Jesus is the true “seed” of Abraham, the heir of the covenant promises, and receipt of the inheritance is based on faith in Him.
The introduction to the gospel of Matthew declares that Jesus is the “son of David, the son of Abraham.” This is more than a simple genealogical notation – it sets the stage for the theme of fulfillment threaded throughout Matthew. Jesus is the Davidic Messiah and King of Israel, and the true Son and promised “seed” of the Patriarch. In him, the covenant promises come to fruition.
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By his death, Jesus formed one covenant community – “one new Man” – based on faith in him, not ethnicity – Ephesians 2:11-22.
Paul was adamant. Now, “in Christ Jesus,” no longer can there be “Jew or Gentile.” He has “broken down the middle wall of partition” that once separated Jew from Gentile, “that he might reconcile them both in one body for God through the cross.” Having voided the “law of the commands in ordinances” that separated them, he is “creating in himself one new man.”
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