Galatians Chapter 3

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      Galatians Chapter 3

      By Marti PA


      “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? If it be yet in vain. He therefore that ministered to you the Spirit, and works miracles among you, does he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Galatians 3:1-5)


      Interesting choice of words – “obey the truth.” Paul had given them the truth about Grace — what it means being saved by grace and living by grace — but now he wants to know who has beguiled them that they would rather be obedient to the Law?


      Paul wants to know from them – did they receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith? Answer should be: by the hearing of faith.

      Next question: having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect (mature) by the flesh? Answer should be: No. We are not saved by the law, nor can the law sanctify us.


      “Even as Abraham believed God, and it accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel [good news] unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.” (Galatians 3:6-9)


      How was Abraham counted righteous? By faith in what God said. (God always requires faith, no matter the dispensation.) What was it that he believed? God had told him back in Genesis 15:4-6, “And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, this shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and He counted it to him for righteousness.”


      Abraham’s faith was that he, being childless, would have a son, and not only that, but that his seed should be as the stars. Also look at Romans 4:18-22“Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, so shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: he staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.”


      “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is

      every one that continues not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do

      them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just

      shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith; but, the man that does them shall live in

      them.” (Galatians 3:10-12)


      Oh boy. So, if you want to live by the law you’re under a curse. Ouch. James 2:10 says it

      this way, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty

      of ALL.” Ok. So NOW who wants to live by the law?


      Again, Paul points out that NO MAN is justified by living by the law. The just SHALL live by

      faith! As an aside, I think it’s interesting to note that this portion of scripture is quoted

      four times in the Word of God – Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and

      Hebrews 10:38.


      Not only are we saved by faith, but we live by faith. What does this mean? Faith is taking

      God at His Word. We live by taking God at His Word on a daily basis – just like Abraham



      “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is

      written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might

      come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit

      through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14)


      Now THAT is more good news right there! We’re redeemed from the curse of the law

      because of what Christ accomplished on the Cross received through faith. God did this so

      that the blessing of Abraham would come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, not the law,

      and that the promise of the Spirit is received through faith.


      “Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be

      confirmed, no man disannuls, or adds thereto. 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. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in

      Christ, the law, which was 430 years after, cannot disannul, that is should make the

      promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise; but

      God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (Galatians 3:15-18)


      The covenant God made with Abraham no man can cancel or add to. It’s a done deal. God

      made that covenant with Abraham and to his seed, Isaac. Christ is also the seed of

      Abraham, according to His lineage. Another covenant of law came with Moses 430 years

      after the covenant with Abraham, but this new covenant did not cancel out the one made

      with Abraham. The covenant with Abraham stands, because God Himself made it.


      “Wherefore then serves 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. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then

      against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could

      have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture has

      concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them

      that believe.” (Galatians 3:19-22)


      Ok, so what about this covenant of law then? Why was it added? It was added because

      of the sins of man, until Christ came. Only problem was, the law could not give eternal

      life, and could not give anyone a right standing before God. In this regard, from man’s

      point of view, the law was weak. And because the scriptures conclude that ALL are under

      sin, there needed to be a remedy for this and that remedy was Jesus Christ, and our faith in

      His atoning sacrifice for sin.


      “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should

      afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ,

      that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a

      schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of

      you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek,

      there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ

      Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the

      promise.” (Galatians 3: 23-29)


      Here Paul says that before faith in Christ came, the law reigned. The law was a

      schoolmaster to show humanity their sin and, hopefully, prepare them to see their need for

      reliance on God to help them achieve what they could not. But after faith came, there

      would no longer be a need for a schoolmaster. For believing Israel, the Holy Spirit would

      empower them to keep God’s law according to the new testament. For believers under this

      dispensation of grace, we become children of God by faith alone in Christ’s finished work

      on our behalf.


      Everyone who is saved in this dispensation becomes one in Christ, known as the Body of

      Christ. And if they are Christ’s, then they are also Abraham’s seed in Christ, and heirs

      according to the promise that, in Abraham shall all nations be blessed.


      “I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved … that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”

      – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJB)

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