Till the Seed Should Come

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In the Bible it is written (my emphasis in red), “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”(Gal 3:19) These words tell us that God’s Law, Torah, was “added because of transgressions,” given at Sinai to expose and identify sin, that which is contrary to the nature of God. Torah defines holiness and righteousness, the perfect nature of the Godhead, and thereby also exposes all that is opposed to His nature.

This text states that Torah is intended to be active in fulfilling this purpose for a definite period of time, evidently ending when “the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” What does this mean?” At what point will the purpose of the Law be fulfilled? When is its usefulness or helpfulness complete such that it is no longer relevant or needed?

From verse 16 in our context we know that Abraham’s seed is Christ: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Most would be content to claim from this that Torah’s purpose in exposing sin was completed in Messiah, the promised Seed of Abraham, in His first coming; they would claim that Torah, or at least those parts of Torah they do not care for, are no longer relevant, having been abolished and nullified in the cross of Christ.

However, Christ Himself denies this interpretation in the Sermon On The Mount, where He gives us a sense of the time when Torah will pass away: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt 5:18) It is impossible for the smallest particle of Torah to become irrelevant or obsolete while Heaven and Earth as we know them are still standing.

Further, Paul also contradicts this idea in our immediate context by indicating that the Law is still operative after the first coming of Christ: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Gal 3:10) Even today, after the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah, the curse of the Law still falls on all those who seek to be justified by works: Torah still actively condemns all who remain outside of Christ because it is still being enforced in God’s economy. Torah defines for us all, for both believers and infidels, what is right and wrong: violating Torah is still the definition of sin for us today.  (1Jn 3:4) So we see that Torah has not yet been abolished; obeying Torah is optional for us if and only if righteousness is optional.

Perhaps there is another coming of the seed that would agree with the whole of Scripture, and perhaps even a further context that would provide a more complete and comprehensive definition of the seed itself.

From verse 29 in this same context we know that those who are in Christ are also Abraham’s seed: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal 3:29) We can also see in the immediate context that the promise made to Christ is also made to all those who are in Christ by faith: “The scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christmight be given to them that believe.” (Gal 3:22) So if we wish to consider the full scope of the seed of Abraham it seems that we must consider Christ and all that belong to Him, who are baptized into Him and have put Him on. (verse 27) This provides us a more complete and comprehensive definition of the seed which may have implications in helping us understand its coming.

When this entire seed comes in fullness and completeness may well describe the state when all those in Christ are finally identified and fully aligned with Him, joined with Him in perfection and completely transformed into His likeness. Up until this point in time the seed is still coming along, arriving as it were; Christ is still being formed in us as His body (Gal 4:19, Eph 5:30), and this coming is immature and incomplete as long as sin remains in anyone that belongs to Christ.

The completion of the harvest of Christ in His people will be marked by a second and final coming of Christ to Earth, a second coming in which He will bring along with Himself all of His people; He will be coming with His saints, the rest of the seed, to destroy all that is outside of and opposed to Him. (Jude 1:14, 1 Th 4:14-17)

Yes, there will come a time when the seed in all of its fullness will finally and completely come, after the harvest of Christ has been realized in all of His elect. This is when Christ, Himself the very Seed into which His people are infused, comes again to Earth in the end of time, and brings along with Himself all that are in Him. He will be coming to destroy all of God’s enemies: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Co 15:22-6)

This is the final and ultimate coming of Christ, the Seed, Who comes in and with His saints, who are also in Him and part of the seed. This is evidently the event which signals the fulfillment of the purpose of Torah; when God destroys all of His enemies there will be no more need for Torah — its purpose will have been fulfilled and its function will be complete.

Having this understanding of the coming of the seed seems entirely consistent with both Christ and Paul regarding the passing away of Torah: Torah has not yet passed away; it is still relevant today – entirely pertinent and valid, providing God’s perfect standard of righteousness and communicating His holy nature to a sinful world — and Torah will continue in this purpose right up until the end of this world … when the seed in all of its fullness has finally come. Torah will stand as long as there is any need to define and expose what is contrary to God, until the last enemy is destroyed and God’s family is complete. Therefore, in this knowledge, let no one deceive us into thinking that the Law of God has passed away, long before its time.

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