(3.1) I cannot BELIEVE the way you have so quickly forgotten all of this! Please tell me some wizard has put a “dumb-ass” spell on you, because then all this would start to make a little sense! Have you forgotten that you saw the crucified Jesus with your own eyes? (2) Answer me this: How is it that the Holy Spirit’s peace and confidence started to fill your life? Did it happen as a result of jumping through religious hoops, or as a result of believing the truth about God and about yourself? (3) Are you so deluded that you think your religious accomplishments can improve on what the Spirit has already done? (4) Have you forgotten all that we experienced together? (5) Does divine strength flow through your body because you’ve earned it, or because you’ve opened your mind to divine reality? (6) You know the answer as well as I do:
“By trusting God, Abraham entered into what he had been given – a right relationship with God and the world.”
(7) Abraham’s true descendants are those who take God at his word. (8) And his word says that by faith, ALL peoples will experience healing in their relationship with God and the world. This word was spoken plainly to Abraham:
“As you are blessed, all people will be blessed through you.”
(9) All people who (like Abraham) open their minds to God will (like Abraham) be filled with what God has given. (10) If you are hoping to get a good life by obeying the rules in Torah, then I have bad news for you, for the scriptures say:
“Cursed is everyone who does not obey every single rule perfectly.”
(11) So imperfect rule-keeping (the only kind of rule-keeping you and I are capable of) isn’t going to do you any good, because
“The good life results from faithfully knowing reality.”
(12) If good life were to come from rule-keeping, then none of us would qualify for a good life anyway. (13) Because of our inability to do good, Torah has become just a curse to us. But Master Jesus rescued us by taking that curse upon himself, “the curse of hanging on a cross.” (14) By enduring the curse, he destroyed it, so that ALL peoples could (through faith) receive the inheritance promised to Abraham – the honor of carrying the Spirit’s blessings into the world.
(15) Okay guys, here’s an example from everyday life: Let’s say you get together with your lawyer so you can write a will. Once you die, your descendants cannot re-write your will if they don’t like what it says. Your will says what it says, and that’s that. (16) Well, God was sort of writing a will when he made the promise to Abraham and his heir (a.k.a., Jesus). (17) Now listen to this: The will that was written and signed that day never got changed or replaced! The promise still stands today, regardless of what Torah said 430 years later. Torah had its purpose, and it did its job perfectly. But it had nothing to do with changing or nullifying the promise already made to Abraham. (18) Think about it! If our inheritance is conditional on our rule-keeping, then it’s no longer a promise. But as we all know, it IS a promise, promised to Abraham without condition.