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Galatians 3:18 – For Free

05-08-2022 - Posted by Hans

For if the enjoyment of the allotment is of law, it is no longer of promise. Yet God has graciously granted it to Abraham through the promise.

It is not the first time in this letter that Paul has sharpened the polemic. Assuming that the allotment i.e. the blessing that was promised to Abraham, is obtained on the basis of “works of law”, then that blessing is conditional. But that would be radically contrary to the promise made to Abraham. After all, that promise was unconditional and thus an expression of grace (Gr. charizomai). So ‘not’. A blessing is either conditional or unconditional, but not both.

Again and again we touch with this contrast the essence of the Evangel as Paul was allowed to make it known among the nations. The unconditionally of the Evangel was questioned and contested in Galatia. And Christendom as a whole has since gone down the same path. “The truth of the Evangel” means that nothing can be added or taken away from the promised blessing. Any condition that is imposed, however small, minor or of any kind, ignores that. “Free of charge” is unconditional. And a ‘little bit free’, that does not exist.