Galatians 3

Greetings! 

Paul isn’t bashful or vague.  Look how he starts off the first paragraph:

Galatians 3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

He gets right to the heart of the Gospel: We are saved by belief in Christ, but we can foolishly then try to earn what we have already been given.  It is as if we have been granted free access into Heaven, but we sneak out then try to work our way back in. 

We should look different and continually get “better” as God sanctifies us (purifies us).  But that can sometimes fool us into the false belief that we deserve salvation or can earn it ourselves. 

Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

If we try to live by the law, we have to uphold every bit of it.  This is simply impossible.  If you look closely at the 10 Commandments it is hard to go 10 minutes without sinning. 

All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.

One of the big myths about Christianity is that we win God over and restore our relationship with him by doing good things.  But the opposite is true: We are hopeless on our own and it is only by his power that we are transformed and become righteous.  The law can condemn us, but it can’t save us. 

Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

This is hard for us to believe, but as Christians we are no longer under the curse of the law.  We were imprisoned by something we couldn’t conquer, but now we can live in freedom.  Sinning does not cost you your salvation once you have received it.

Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

The world wants to give more importance to certain backgrounds, skin colors, job holders, sexes, etc.  But the Bible teaches that each person has equal worth in God’s eyes. 

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Reflect on what stood out to you in this reading and share your comments and questions if you like.

0 thoughts on “Galatians 3”

  1. Peace be with you, In issues of faith, Paul our brethren in Christ is attempting to dissuade false teaching and doctrines on issues concerning the Laws of Moses, in regards to faith in Jesus. However, the sheep are confused by his words and the words of tradition. Paul is using his words to explain to the people listening, that the receiving of the spirit is evident of faith as so is the miracles of Jesus.

    He then goes on to use scripture, to give weight to his arguement. Stating that a promise was given by God to Abraham, wherefore the law was to no effect concerning the promise. As one crying in the wilderness.

    Paul has erred as do many. Jesus said; if a man love me he will keep in my Words. Jesus said concerning the law, I have not come to destroy the law or the prophets, I come to fulfill. Not one Jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law until all be fulfilled. Jesus spoke often concerning faith, but the faith Jesus spoke of was faith in the Words that he spoke. Do thou believe that I can do these thing, do you have faith, in me. If you have the faith of a mustard seed?

    Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

    The Word of God tells us that the words Paul’s where his own, from the traditions of men. Jesus said; For the law was given by Moses, but Grace and truth, came by Jesus Christ. Paul did not have faith to believe in the Words of God. Jesus is the Living Word of God. Christians are not under the law or the 10 commandments, Jesus said; I come not to destroy the LAWS or the PROPHETS, but to fulfill, He said nothing about not replacing the 10 commandments with 63.

    I have foretold you all things, in truth.

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  2. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    Does the above scripture not indicate that Baptism is an essential part of Salvation?That in order to be clothed in Christ we must be baptized in Him?

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  3. My understanding is that this could be the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not necessarily water baptism. Either way, if you take all the verses on how to be saved and what role baptism has I think it comes down to this: Baptism is not required for salvation (i.e., it doesn’t save you, faith and grace do) but it is a logical step to take after putting one’s faith in Christ. If we are obedient, we’ll get baptized.

    Other thoughts?

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  4. I do believe we are saved by faith through grace, but also know that God placed great emphasis on baptism because Jesus, who knew no sin, was baptised. In fact Jesus insisted John baptize him to fulfill all rightousness.If it’s not somehow an essential part of Salvation why place so much emphasis upon it,ie-MATT.28:19, ACTS 2:38; Mark 16:16….ect
    I’m enjoying your Bible studies!!

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  5. This is what I was taught and believe to be true of baptism –

    Baptism is necessary because it is commanded by Christ (Matthew 28:19).

    God justifies a person by grace alone, for Christ’s sake alone, through faith alone. Faith is created and preserved by God through the means of grace; Therefore, the means of grace are necessary for salvation; and Baptism is a means of grace.

    Baptism has been instituted by God, for which reason no one can be saved who frivolously neglects or despises the Sacrament. Because all human beings are born in the state of sin (John 3:6), they need spiritual rebirth or regeneration. The Holy Spirit creates this new life through Baptism (John 3:5; Titus 3:5). Without regeneration no sinner can be saved.
    However, this necessity of regeneration is absolute in relation to the work of the Holy Spirit, but relative in relation to the Holy Spirit using baptism to work such regeneration. (In other words, the Holy Spirit is the person of the Trinity who gives us the saving faith we need, but can give it to us in ways He sees fit because He is God the Holy Spirit, and with God all things are possible.) God is NOT bound to Baptism. If He so desired He could regenerate without Baptism. Nevertheless, the Church is bound to baptism inasmuch as God has connected His promise with the Sacrament and has imparted to the Church no other word or promise for such regeneration. If God makes justifiable excetions, such exceptions by God do not justify us in not adhering to the rule. We are safe in following the clear expressions of the Scripture.

    Baptism strengthens and seals faith with the Holy Spirit of promise. Baptism incorporates the one baptized into the new earthly body of Christ. Moreover, to be baptized is to give a public witness of being a member of the community of Christ.

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