The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource


3:1You senseless Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you with the “evil eye”? Right before your eyes Jesus the Anointed was openly presented as crucified,3:2so I’d like to learn just one thing from you: Was it by your legal performance that you received the Spirit, or by believing what you heard?3:3Are you really so senseless as to think you would start with the Spirit and finish with the flesh?3:4Was all your suffering really for nothing?3:5Did the One who supplied you with the Spirit do powerful works among you because you followed the Law, or because you believed what you heard?

3:6Just as Abraham believed God and was thereby declared righteous,3:7it follows that those with faith are of Abraham.3:8So the scripture, looking ahead to the time when God would justify the nations by means of faith, brought Abraham the good news: “All the nations will be blessed because of you.”3:9So then, those with faith are blessed together with faithful Abraham.

3:10Those who rely on their legalistic performance are cursed, for it is written: “Cursed is anyone who does not perfectly observe everything written in the scroll of the Law.”3:11Now it is obvious that no one is justified before God solely on the basis of the Law, because “the just will live by faith.”3:12The Law is not about faith but instead, “the one who does them will live in them.”3:13So the Anointed ransomed us from the curse of the Law by becoming that curse for our sakes, because it has been written, “Cursed is anyone who is hung on wood.”3:14That is how the blessing of Abraham could come to the nations in Anointed Jesus, so that we may obtain the promise of the Spirit by means of faith.

3:15Now let me put this in down-to-earth terms, brothers and sisters. Once a person’s Last Will and Testament has been properly signed and notarized, no one can modify it or declare it annulled.3:16Now the promises were declared to Abraham and his Descendant (note that it is singular— Descendant— and not “to your descendants”), who is the Anointed.3:17What I’m saying is that this legal will, ratified by God, was not invalidated by the Law that came four hundred and thirty years later.3:18For if the inheritance could come by a law then it would no longer come by a promise. Yet God graciously granted it to Abraham through promise.

3:19So then, what purpose did the Law serve? It was added to deal with our having crossed the line until the promised Descendant could come. And it was established in the presence of Messengers through the agency of a mediator.3:20In contrast, you can’t mediate between one— and God is One.

3:21So then, does the Law conflict with the promises of God? Absolutely not! If the Law could bring life, then righteousness could actually come from the Law.3:22But the scripture used Failure to contain everything, so that the promise may be given from the faith of Jesus the Anointed to those who believe.3:23Now before the arrival of faith we were bound under the Law until the faith was revealed.3:24So you could say that the Law served as our guide, to lead us to the Anointed so we could be justified by faith.3:25And when we arrived at faith, we had no further need of a guide.

3:26Now you are all children of God through faith in Anointed Jesus,3:27because whoever is immersed into union with the Anointed has clothed themselves with him.3:28And since you are all united as one with Anointed Jesus, there is no more division between Judean and Greek, slave and free, or even male and female.13:29And if you are his, then it follows that you are descendants of Abraham and thus heirs of the promise.2

  1. 1Paul’s statement (Jew/Greek, slave/free, male/female) exactly parallels an ancient rabbinical prayer: “Thank God that I was not born a gentile, a slave, or a woman!” This is especially significant in light of the fact that Paul was a Pharisee.
  2. 2Being descendants, we are heirs of the promise to Abraham because we are united with The Descendant by means of faith. Paul’s point is not that all are saved the same way, but that all are free from the Law— a fact with crucial implications for the Body of Christ.