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Galatians 5:5 – Hope of righteousness

29-09-2022 - Posted by Hans

For we, in spirit, are awaiting the expectation of righteousness by faith.

To those who “fall out of grace”, Paul here writes what ” expectation” we are awaiting. Certainly, those who “fall from grace” also have an expectation, but it is not “in Spirit” but “in flesh.” And not “by faith” but by works. One expects to become righteous in one’s own strength (= flesh) and through one’s own achievements (=from work).

But what “we expect” is so much different, writes Paul. Not based on flesh but “in Spirit” and “by faith”. Just as Abraham and Sarah, as an old and impotent couple, believed that God would give them a physical son. That was not an order to them but a promise . They were unable to beget life “according to the flesh” and so it was God’s Spirit who bestowed upon them this vitality and potency.

The content of the expectation (“in Spirit, by faith”) Paul here calls “expectation of righteousness”. That does not mean that justification is our expectation, for as believers we are justified. No, the “expectation of righteousness” refers to the expectation associated with God ’s doing justice to his word and promise. His righteousness guarantees our expectation!

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