The Promise of the Spirit


Galatians 3:14
in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


God promised Abraham a covenant relationship that would reach to all of Abraham’s heirs. These were originally thought of as those who were Abraham’s flesh and blood; those who carried his DNA. Because of Christ there was a new promise and this a mystery. Through faith Gentiles could receive the Spirit, and this would then bring them into the promise of Abraham. Almost as if the presence of the Spirit was now the witness to familial inclusion, rather than by flesh and blood. The Spirit provided a way in which fleshly boundaries could be transcended, and this is a beautiful promise. 


Often as I travel I observe the ways in which we have divided out humanity. We have used different methods of creating classes, whether by birth, race, gender, or wealth. Somehow it seems that we have this uncanny ability to try and classify others, probably in an effort to make ourselves feel better. The sad result is a people divided, not often recognizing that we are the ones who have created the dividing lines. Blind to the natural opportunities afforded to some, and not afforded to others, we don’t understand that we perpetuate structures which become barriers within this world.

The beauty of what Paul has to say is that the promise of the Spirit, through faith, changes everything. Or, at least it ought to. No longer should we see people in classes, color, or genders, but as brothers and sisters in Christ. The presence of the Spirit unites us all together into one family. In essence, the Spirit supersedes human DNA, and knits us together to be a people of God. This is the divine mystery, when God’s people become a multi-colored patchwork quilt of God’s beauty. It’s to inspire heaven and earth! The church is to be radically different from anything found in this world. 

If we are living with dividing lines among us, then we must examine whether we are allowing the Spirit to flow. If the Spirit is not flowing and breaking down the walls between us, then we need to repent and seek the Lord’s forgiveness and restoration. The promise of the Spirit comes to us all and, through faith, leads us into a new life. This is transformational both personally and relationally. If we don’t see the results on both counts, then let’s ask the Spirit to shine the light of truth into the dark corners of our lives. 


Lord, I want to live into the promise of your Spirit. May you lead and guide. Amen! 


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