6: The Priority of the Promise – Discussion Starters

  1. Memory text or quandary? The memory text for this week is “For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.” (Galatians 3:18 ESV). Based on this text, does our inheritance as Christians come to us by law or by promise? Explain how the promise of salvation came to Abraham. Is law in any way involved in this transaction? Discuss.
  2. Law and Faith. Read Galatians 3:15-18 and suggest a reason why God waited four hundred years after giving Abraham a covenant promise before He gave the law to His nation of Israel. What made God’s agreement with Abraham so strikingly different from a treaty between two persons or human organizations? What was the relationship between God’s covenant with Abraham and the law of Moses? Or was there a relationship? Is a covenant a promise? Always?
  3. Faith and Law. Does Romans 3:31 tell us that the law has nothing to do with our salvation? Or, in Paul’s words, “Do we make void the law through faith?” If the law and our faith are related, can you explain the relationship? Cannot faith indeed cancel the law in our hearts? Why or why not? How are faith and obedience related in the heart of the believer? Have you ever suffered from following–or not following–the law of God?
  4. The Purpose of the Law. In Galatians 3:19, Paul asks the question, What purpose does the law serve? Is Paul discussing the ceremonial law here? Or the moral law? If the moral law, was that law added to the covenant with Abraham? The ceremonial law pointed to what event anticipated by the Israelites? “Where there is no law there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15). Then couldn’t we just ignore the law and thus escape the consequences of its transgression? Why not?    
  5. The Duration of the Law.  In what ways, if any, was the revelation of God’s law to Abraham strikingly different from the law as given at Mount Sinai? How would you respond to your friend who says that the Mount Sinai law ended with the coming of Christ? Why isn’t “No, it didn’t” not a good answer? The presentation of the law to the Children of Israel was so striking, they couldn’t possibly forget it. It was permanently embedded in their hearts and minds. Or was it? What happened?
  6. The Superiority of the Promise. Since God sent us ten laws, wouldn’t it be a lot easier just to focus on those laws and keep them the best of our ability? Instead, grace enters the picture. Now what happens? Galatians 3:19 asks, “What purpose then does the law serve?” and gives the answer, “It was added because of transgressions until the Seed should come…” How can we, like Abraham, receive the reward of God’s grace to us and to all who accept it?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons