There is a largely unrecognized stumbling block between us and liberty in Christ – and who we are supposed to be in the kingdom. We can’t see it if we are looking through a veil.

2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech– 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (KJV)

What is it that is not seen where the veil remains? Paul says that the law brings wrath and transgression. There is no liberty in transgression. But the promise brings life, when it can be grasped, when it can be seen without the veil.

Romans 4:13 It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. 14 For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, 15 because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring–not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.(NIV)

We know that the law was added after the promise to Abraham was given. Under the law the promise becomes unavailable, since the promise is received by faith; for the law is not by faith but by obedience.

We not be teaching believers the law! Then they have to come through all the gospel and teaching of Paul in order to unlearn what the law taught them. This should not be!

When we say it is grace and not law, we still can miss the idea of promise. Of course we don’t live by law in the new covenant – but we have to go beyond grace and see that we live in and by the promise of God. The law being taught obscures our vision of our inheritance.

The promise comes out of faith, so that it may be according to God’s unearned favor on us, and is received by us who are the true offspring of Abraham.

Romans 9:6 ……… For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

What is the promise that we have not seen? Abraham was promised that he would be heir to the world. We also know that Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God.

Hebrews 11:16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

It is not really about earthly land or an earthly city, and not earthly descendants. Paul is talking about spiritual things. This is why we must say that the law not only is opposed to grace, but the law also hides the true promise based on faith.

Israel trusted in the law and the religious system, but they looked for a redeemer. By the time of Christ, they began to look for an earthly redeemer and king, to overthrow their oppressors. Sadly, most Christians are doing the same thing! They forget what and who makes them free.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

The promise to Abraham that he would inherit the world is for us, not after natural descendants, but after spiritual descendants. The seed is Christ, who is the last Adam. We who are His are the sons and daughters of God by faith, which makes justified in the manner of Abraham.

The promise is ours. Yes, it’s by faith and through grace/favor, but grace is the means and not the goal. The promise is the main thing.

The promise is liberating. The kingdom of God is not meat and drink (as in restrictions of laws) but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Paul talks about Christian liberty over and over again.

What is it about living in the promise, or promises, of God that liberates? Well, Abraham believed God. Pretty simple really. There was no law, as we think of law. Then it was about trust and belief and faith.

Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Consider the following carefully:

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

(Jesus was talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is the baptizer. The Holy Spirit came with signs and wonders and tongues. He still comes the same way if we look for Him. When we are not open to this today, we are not walking in all the fullness of the promise!)

Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

2Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

1John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

Finally, there is the great “hall of fame” chapter in Hebrews, which lists those who died while looking for the promise and ends with this triumphant declaration:

Hebrews 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

This is the meaning of the promise made to Abraham. It is how the people of God possess the earth. It’s not by might or power, but by the Spirit, bringing salt and light upon the darkened world. We who are salt and light are also liberated from the law and free to walk in the Spirit in the world.

We are free to be who God calls us to be and to display his glory and presence in His creation. The more we increase, the more of heaven will be here on the earth. (Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you).

The promise is linked with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit we regain part of what was lost in Eden. The first promise, way before Abraham, was given to Eve (Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.) We again have power and glory on our lives.

This is the promise given to us, by grace. We surely don’t even know the half of it, and what we do know is more than we can take in. We are growing and learning and moving with Him, carrying His presence into the world.

Why would we want to veil this privilege of relationship, and His life in us, with the law that brings death?