Galatians 3:1-14 Faith versus the Law

Having covered the fact there was only one gospel to preach from, and established he was of equal rank to Peter, in his letter tot eh Galatian church the apostle Paul now focuses on a popular topic, faith versus the law.

First Paul refers to the Galatians as “foolish” because of their obvious lack of wisdom rather than low level of intelligence. The apostle rhetorically asks if his readers were “charmed” from the Greek “baskainō” as he lays down the truth about Jesus Christ, that the Lord was crucified and died for the sins of all men so that all who believe in Him would be saved from the lake of fire.

1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.” (Galatians 3:1)

Paul then reminds us the Holy Spirit springs from faith in Christ, not obedience to the law. It is what we believe that leads us to Jesus Christ, not abiding by any law.

2 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?” (Galatians 3:2)

While those in Christ find it easier to abide by the law than those who focus on the law for salvation, believers are just as much at risk as the unsaved.

Paul continues his comparison of faith and the law by reiterating the fact the Galatian church was in need of rebuke hence the apostle’s reminding them salvation could only be attained through faith.

3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing?” (Galatians 3:3-4)

By relying on the law for salvation the Galatian church made Jesus’ sacrifice and their own suffering useless. Paul addresses this as he mentions Abraham’ faith and the promises fulfilled by God for all those who rely on faith for their salvation instead of the law.

5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? 6 Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:5-7)

The apostle now brings the Gentiles into the mix revealing God’s plan to require faith of those seeking a place in heaven rather than observing the law.

8 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.” 9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” (Galatians 3:8-9)

Known as the “mystery” the concept that salvation was offered to Gentiles through faith should be no news to the Galatians since Paul’s reputation clearly associated him with a Gentile audience.

Abraham had been informed those in tune with his faith would be saved, rather than those in line with his inability to abide by the law.

10 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.” (Galatians 3:10)

Here Paul lays out the curse of the law, that anyone attempting to keep the law will be cursed upon failure to perfectly keep the law, and that faith in Christ is the only channel that leads to salvation.

11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” (Galatians 3:11)

Paul continues to affirm the great difference between the law and faith explaining the fact anyone who seeks salvation through to the law will be cursed while those seeking fulfillment by faith will inherit a place in heaven along side Christ Himself.

12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13 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.” (Galatians 3:12-13)

All men are sinners, living under the curse brought on by sin. Anyone attempting to justify Christ’ sacrifice through the law brings upon himself the curse of the law, that which leads to hell.

Paul confirms the truth about salvation, that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ by faith.

14 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.” (Galatians 3:14)

In this scripture Paul clearly divides the law and faith as polar opposites not to be mistaken. While abiding by the law may be pleasing to God, it is not at all to be confused at the way to God. The only way to God is through faith in Jesus Christ, who is the truth and the life. Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.