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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Paul's letter to the Galatians

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Frameworks: Galatians 3

  

See preliminaries in chapter 1

                  

CHAPTER 3

   

[Chapter Synopsis: He had preached Christ crucified to the Galatians but they now appeared to have reverted to salvation by good works instead of salvation by faith in Christ alone. He explains about covenants, the inadequacy of the Law and how faith was the key, not works, to make us children of God]

   

v.1-5 The Galatians' backward path
v.6-14 Back to the basics of faith
v.15-22 The Covenant Promises & the Subsequent Law
v.23-29 Now all Children of God

 

v.1-5 The Galatians' backward path

   

[Passage Synopsis: how Paul had preached the gospel but the Galatians had backed away from it to rely on works]

   

v.1 (Right! Let's confront your folly. We clearly preached that Christ died for your sins to justify you) You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

v.2  (at the beginning, did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the Law or simply believing what we preached?) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?

v.3 (are you actually going backwards in your beliefs?) Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

v.4 (was all you experienced with us in vain?) Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain?

v.5  (supernatural life and ministry by keeping the Law or by the Spirit?) So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?

 

v.6-14 Back to the basics of faith

    

[Passage Synopsis: he has to restate salvation by faith in Christ and the Cross and not the Law]

    

v.6 (go back to the beginning@ Abraham was justified by believing? right?) So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” [Gen. 15:6]

v.7 (his real children are therefore faith people ) Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.

v.8 (the fact that this would apply to the whole world was told him) 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.” [Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18]

v.9 (it's faith-believers who are blessed by God) So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

v.10 (the Law only brings a curse [failure + guilt = judgment]) For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” [Deut. 27:26]

v.11 (no one relying on the Law is put right in God's eyes) Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” [ Hab. 2:4]

v.12 (faith and the Law don't go together because it requires impossible obedience ) The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” [Lev. 18:5]

v.13 (Christ saved us on the Cross by taking our punishment) 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 pole. ” [Deut. 21:23]

v.14  (he bought us from sin and judgment so we could receive all God has for us) 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.

 

v.15-22 The Covenant Promises & the Subsequent Law

     

[Passage Synopsis: how the Law did not supersede the covenant promise to Abram but emphasised our need of the promise, so faith still prevails]

   

v.15 (consider [for us] a will that can't be put aside) Brothers and sisters, 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.

v.16 (God's promises [which can't be put aside] referred to Christ and all who follow him) The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” [Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 24:7] meaning one person, who is Christ.

v.17 (the Law coming a lot later didn't put aside those promises) 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.

v.18 (the inheritance of the promises doesn't rely on the subsequent Law) For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

v.19 (why the Law? it was like an Addendum to the Promises, pointing sinners to their need until Christ came) Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.

v.20 (Moses was the middle-man bringing the Law, but the promises comes directly from God) A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

v.21 (the Law isn't against the promises because, unlike the promises, it can't bring life) 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.

v.22 (the Old Testament condemns all failure to keep the Law, but faith in Christ releases every believer) But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

 

v.23-29 Now all Children of God

 

[Passage Synopsis: whereas the Law acted as our guardian, now we are sons who inherit]

    

v.23 (before faith we were locked up in the Law) Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.

v.24 (it watched over our failures until Christ came to justify [and thus release] us) So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.

v.25 (faith has released us from the watchful eye of the Law) Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

v.26,27   (so now we are 'in Christ') So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

v.28 (so there are no distinctions between any of us believers) There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

v.29 (‘in Christ' we are faith people, following Abraham's example and heirs [receivers] of the promises he was given) If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.