Galatians 3

Author

Joel King

Scripture

Galatians 3:1-29

Observations

· Paul wonders how the Galatians could fall for something else since the basics of Christ was explained to them
· He asks them if they received the Holy Spirit by observing the law or by grace. Of course the answer is by believing – grace
· He wonders why if they began with grace, why they are trying to earn it by law now
· He wonders if they think God is working miracles among them because they believed or because they earned it – assumption is faith
· Paul uses Abraham and the Old Testament which says he was made righteous not by observing the law but by faith
· Paul states that the true children of Abraham are those that believe not keep the law
· He says that this opened the door to all people as Abraham was to be a blessing to all nations
· So those who followed Abraham will, like him, be blessed for having faith (not keeping the law)
· Then Paul quotes the OT and reminds them that anyone who breaks any part of the law is under a curse
· He believes it is clear that no one will be made right before God by keeping the rules, and again quotes the OT that the just will live by faith.
· He reminds them that the law is not a matter of faith but complete obedience
· Christ hung on a tree and was a curse for us so we would not be cursed by not keeping the law
· Christ redeemed the nations so they could receive the promised blessing to Abraham
· It is by faith that we receive the Holy Spirit
· He uses a human example that once a covenant is made it can’t be just set aside or changed
· The promise of blessing was given to Abraham and his seed being the Messiah
· When the law came 430 years after God’s promise to Abraham the covenant made with Abraham was not set aside
· If our acceptance by God rested on the law then it would make the promise to Abraham null and void
· But God showed Abraham grace and made a promise rather than making it conditional on keeping the law
· So Paul asks the question many would ask “What is the purpose of the law?”
· The law served to keep us on the path of salvation until the promised Seed appeared
· The law was not delivered by God himself but by Moses a mediator
· The mediator represents both God and the people (it is a contract versus a promise)
· Paul asks a question “Is the law opposed to the promises of God?”
· He points out that if it were possible for law to give life, then it would of succeeded
· But as the OT points out the whole world is enslaved to sin
· But the promise is given to all those who believe in Jesus the Messiah
· Before faith was available in Jesus people were held prisoner by the law until the time the faith option was revealed
· The purpose of the law was to point us to Christ, that we might put our faith in him
· Now that faith has come through Jesus, we no longer need the law to point us in that direction
· We become sons and daughters of God now through faith alone in Jesus the Christ
· If you have believed and identified with Christ in baptism, we are now clothed with the Messiah’s righteousness
· Now we no longer approach God as Jew or non-Jew, slave or free, male or female, for we all approach Christ in faith
· If we belong to Christ we are recipients of the promise made to Abraham and his seed.

Application

· I need to be careful as I grow as a Christian that I don’t begin to lean on my keeping the rules rather than the faith I extended when I started following Jesus.
· If I want miracles in my life, I need to remember they come from the Holy Spirit based on faith not religious activity
· I can rest in the fact that God’s love is not conditional on my every act of obedience, but is a product of His promise that is available in good days and bad.

Prayer

Father,
Thank you for extending grace. I would never be able to keep the law. Please forgive me for trying to earn your favor by being a rule keeper. On the other hand, help me continue to grow in love and trust of you that my faith might increase. I want to experience more of your Holy Spirit and see your power unleashed as I follow you by faith. Help my mustard seed size faith be directed at kingdom mountains that I might see them move. In Jesus Name I Pray. AMEN


11 comments (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
· The law was not delivered by God himself but by Moses a mediator
· The mediator represents both God and the people (it is a contract versus a promise)

There are "easy reading" chapters in Scripture but Gal. 3 is not one of them. Yet your observations above really gave we perspective as God's covenant with Abraham being a lasting promise and the giving of the Law being a temporary contract mediated through Moses. Though the terms of the contract were not upheld by Israel, God was faithful and sent Christ who fulfilled the terms of the contract and therefore the Law/contract no longer are applicable/required of Jewish and Gentile believers. But the promise stands...

I'm processing out loud if this illustration helps or hinders understanding... Joel & Lynn made a lasting promise to one another through a covenant of marriage. Later they also entered into a contract mediated by the state to adopt children and become parents. For many couples, their new identity as parents becomes all encompassing as they identify much more with being a mom or a dad than a wife or husband. Other couples understand their promise to one another came long before kids and will remain long after they move out. Hmm, not fully analagous but it's what popped into my mind...

Fri, May 8, 2015 @ 7:05 AM

2. Jan Ramirez wrote:
This is what God stirred in my heart...

A contract involves 'signing on the dotted line'; definition: "a written or spoken agreement that is intended to be enforceable by law". An arrangement, deal.

A promise is "a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen". A pledge, vow, oath, bond, commitment, covenant.

I see a contract as a piece of legal paper; but a promise is from the heart.

God sacrificed His ONE and ONLY Son to fulfill the covenant, the promise to Abraham.
When a father has his first born son, he is so proud, knowing his 'seed' will continue; for his son to die, or for him to 'give up' his one and only son, is devastating!
God did that, so that we could be restored in relationship with Him.

Father, forgive me for 'minimizing' the sacrifice YOU gave, in order for me to have a PERSONAL relationship with you. Jesus, THANK YOU, for WILLINGLY sacrificing yourself on the cross, to fulfill the covenant. Holy Spirit, help me daily realize your presence in my heart; burn bright and strong. With a humble heart, Amen.

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