Galatians Chapter 3

In Chapters 1 and 2, Paul based his argument on the one true gospel. So, what exactly is Paul’s argument? We’ll find out here in Chapter 3 and in Chapter 4. Paul knew firsthand the grace of God, which rescued him and gave him a new life guided by the Holy Spirit. Adopted through Christ as one of God’s children, Paul was empowered to fulfill Christ’s law of love. But sometimes it has to be tough love! Paul gets down to business, using his authority as an Apostle to rebuke the Galatians for deviating from the one true gospel. He refers to Abraham, who was deemed righteous due to his faith in God. Then, like the trained lawyer that he is, he builds his case on that foundation.

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Paul denigrated the law through which no man can be made right with God. Then he highlighted the irrevocable nature the promise God made to Abraham 430 years before the Law of Moses. He furthers his argument be stating that the law was temporary, given only to show the need for redemption. Paul summarized that all true believers are one in Christ. He had fully and clearly explained the nature of Christ’s suffering and sacrifice to the Galatian Christians. As a result, they became partakers of the Holy Spirit, embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone.

Paul criticized them for adding works of the law to the gospel of justification by faith. He used the example of Abraham, whose faith was based on the word and promise of God, who believed in his acceptance as righteous by God. Through faith in God's promise he was blessed; and only in this way can others obtain this same blessing. The curse of the law is against all men, for all have sinned and are guilty before God. Only the righteous are restored to God’s favor; and it’s only through faith in Christ alone that we become righteous.

The covenant God made with Abraham and his Seed was not superseded by the Law. The Law wasn't intended to lead men to justification, but to point out their need of the promise and of Christ, through whom alone they could be justified. The Law's rites, ceremonies, and especially its sacrifices, pointed to Christ that all might be justified by faith. By accepting Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, relying on him alone for justification and salvation, we become sons of God. Being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into his death, that as he died and rose again, so we die to sin and are reborn justified by faith.

Food for Thought:

  • In this battle between faith and the law, how did Paul gain control over the situation?

  • What did the Galatians do that Paul considered foolish?

  • What is Paul referring to by questioning if the Galatians had experienced so much in vain?

  • How does Paul emphasize justification by faith?

  • God counted Abraham righteous due to his faith. What did Scripture foresee God would do?

  • What would Gentiles share by putting their faith in Christ?

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