Overview of Galatians 3 Faith or Observance of the Law Verses 1-14 ask a lot of questions of whether or not we were obeying the law of Christ or if we were just listening to the law of Christ. Beautifully contrasted with "the liberty wherewith Christ makes free," which follows, Galatians 3:7 Galatians 3:9 Galatians 3:25 Galatians 3:26 , 5:1 , Isaiah 61:1 . The structure of chapter 3 is easily discernible. might be given--The emphasis is on "given": that it might be a free gift; not something earned by the works of the law ( Romans 6:23 ). Christ is to you the toga virilis (the Roman garment of the full-grown man, assumed when ceasing to be a child) [BENGEL]. God's providence ordered it so that to fulfil the prophecy of the curse and other prophecies, Jesus should be crucified, and so hang on the tree, though that death was not a Jewish mode of execution. In baptism we put on Christ; therein we profess to be his disciples. He believed that they were "running well" (5:7). Let us then study the object, nature, and effects of Abraham's faith; for who can in any other way escape the curse of the holy law? 22. And the vastly greater advantage of the gospel state is shown, under which we enjoy a clearer discovery of Divine grace and mercy than the Jews of old. Confirmation of Galatians 3:9 . promises--plural, because the same promise was often repeated ( Genesis 12:3 Genesis 12:7 , Genesis 15:5 Genesis 15:18 , 17:7 , 22:18 ), and because it involved many things; earthly blessings to the literal children of Abraham in Canaan, and spiritual and heavenly blessings to his spiritual children; but both promised to Christ, "the Seed" and representative Head of the literal and spiritual Israel alike. “For ye are all one in Christ Jesus”: All those who are one with Jesus Christ are one with one another. Galatians chapter 3. "Sin, sin! 3 Are you so foolish? In verses 1-5 Paul appealed to the personal salvation experiences of the Galatians. Also the contrast is between "live by faith" (namely, as the ground and source of his justification), and "live in them," namely, in his doings or works ( Galatians 3:12 ), as the conditional element wherein he is justified. There is in this sonship by faith in Christ, no class privileged above another, as the Jews under the law had been above the Gentiles ( Romans 10:12 , 1 Corinthians 12:13 , Colossians 3:11 ). Thus the Gospel, in its essential germ, is older than the law though the full development of the former is subsequent to the latter. The apostle in this chapter, I. Reproves the Galatians for their folly, in suffering themselves to be drawn away from the faith of the gospel, and endeavours, from several considerations, to impress them with a sense of it. Thus delivered up to the judicial law, we see how awful is the doom we deserve: thus the law at last leads us to Christ, with whom we find righteousness and peace. So to those who follow Abraham, the father of the faithful, the blessing, that is, justification, comes purely by faith in Him who is the subject of the promise. Assuredly among the latter. to them that believe--to them that have "the faith of (in) Jesus Christ" just spoken of. Christ not having come when the law was given, the covenant could not have been then fulfilled, but awaited the coming of Him, the Seed, to whom it was spoken. None does so who acts in common equity. Matthew Henry's Commentary – Galatians . Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. a curse for us--Having become what we were, in our behalf, "a curse," that we might cease to be a curse. He reserved "the promise" to Himself and dispensed it according to His own goodness. Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been as evidently set forth - By our preaching, as if he had been crucified among you. Most men continue shut up as in a dark dungeon, in love with their sins, being blinded and lulled asleep by Satan, through wordly pleasures, interests, and pursuits. But one new "seed" of a righteous succession could be found. The curse of its non-fulfilment affects the Gentiles through the Jews; for the law represents that righteousness which God requires of all, and which, since the Jews failed to fulfil, the Gentiles are equally unable to fulfil. till the seed--during the period up to the time when the seed came. 1. The same phrase is in the Greek of Romans 3:26 . 16. Galatians 3:29, ESV: "And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise." "Curse," an execration. It was to Christ in him, as in his grandfather Abraham, and his father Isaac, not to him or them as persons, the promise was spoken. "Ye all" (Jews and Gentiles alike) are no longer "children" requiring a tutor, but SONS emancipated and walking at liberty. Not that the Jews put to death malefactors by hanging; but after having put them to death otherwise, in order to brand them with peculiar ignominy, they hung the bodies on a tree, and such malefactors were accursed by the law (compare Acts 5:30 , 10:39 ). CHAPTER. This matters deeply to him. So legal Judaism could make no alteration in the fundamental relation between God and man, already established by the promises to Abraham; it could not add as a new condition the observance of the law, in which case the fulfilment of the promise would be attached to a condition impossible for man to perform. The covenant of promise was not "spoken" (so Greek for "made") to Abraham alone, but "to Abraham and his seed"; to the latter especially; and this means Christ (and that which is inseparable from Him, the literal Israel, and the spiritual, His body, the Church). CONTINUAL obedience by the word, "continueth." Faith or Works of the Law - You foolish Galatians! THE LOWER: THE HIGHER: 1-2. In the spiritual seed there is no distinction of Jew or Greek; but to the literal seed, the promises still in part remain to be fulfilled ( Romans 11:26 ). Much less would the righteous God do so. No man renders this obedience (compare Romans 3:19 Romans 3:20 ). It is wonderful to have a soft, tender heart before God. come--(Compare "faith came," Galatians 3:23 ). They had the doctrine of the cross preached, and the Lord's supper administered among them, in both which Christ crucified, and the nature of his sufferings, had been fully and clearly set forth. Galatians 2: Galatians: Galatians 4. The apostle in this chapter, I. Reproves the Galatians for their folly, in suffering themselves to be drawn away from the faith of the gospel, and endeavours, from several considerations, to impress them with a sense of it. Having begun in the Spirit. Deuteronomy 5:5 , "I stood between the Lord and you": the very definition of a mediator. It is no objection to this view, that the Gospel, too, has a mediator ( 1 Timothy 2:5 ). Having begun your Christianity in the Spirit, that is, in the divine life that proceeds from faith, are ye seeking after something higher still (the perfecting of your Christianity) in the sensuous and the earthly, which cannot possibly elevate the inner life of the Spirit, namely, outward ceremonies? Not merely accursed (in the concrete), but a curse in the abstract, bearing the universal curse of the whole human race. c. Before w… God gave his laws to the *Jewish people for apurpose. hearing of faith--Faith consists not in working, but in receiving ( Romans 10:16 Romans 10:17 ). 24. The "only" implies, "I desire, omitting other arguments, to rest the question on this alone"; I who was your teacher, desire now to "learn" this one thing from you. being made--Greek, "having become." The "us" refers primarily to the Jews, to whom the law principally appertained, in contrast to "the Gentiles" ( Galatians 3:14 ; compare Galatians 4:3 Galatians 4:4 ). The Israelites, though chosen to be God's peculiar people, were sinners as well as others. . 10 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.” # 3:10 Deut. Hence the phrase often recurs, "By the hand of Moses." The blessing of justification was to Abraham by faith in the promise, not by works. But he specifies the Gentiles in particular here, as it was their case that was in question, the Galatians being Gentiles. View Galatians 3 in the note window.. 1: O thoughtless Galatians - He breaks in upon them with a beautiful abruptness.Who hath bewitched you - Thus to contradict both your own reason and experience. Christ--not in the exclusive sense, the man Christ Jesus, but "Christ" (Jesus is not added, which would limit the meaning), including His people who are part of Himself, the Second Adam, and Head of redeemed humanity. See Note there. 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles amo… 6. the promise--the inheritance promised ( Galatians 3:18 ). The meaning can hardly be "to check transgressions," for the law rather stimulates the corrupt heart to disobey it ( Romans 5:20 , 7:13 ). But after he left Galatia, he learned that Judaizers (Greek: Ioudizo—those who live by Jewish Was it not by their hearing and embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone for justification? Not as BENGEL and ALFORD, "He who is just by faith shall live." Galatians 3 is the third chapter of the Epistle to the Galatians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.It is authored by Paul the Apostle for the churches in Galatia, written between 49–58 CE. Since verses 23-29 bring this argument to its climax, it will be helpful to review briefly the groundwork Paul … Continue reading "Commentary on Galatians 3:23-29" Then he feels that the mercy and grace of God form his only hope. worketh miracles among you--rather, "IN you," as Galatians 2:8 , Matthew 14:2 , Ephesians 2:2 , Philippians 2:13 ; at your conversion and since [ALFORD]. He proves the doctrine which he had reproved them for departing from-that of justification by faith without the works of the law, 1. I prefer understanding it as a mitigation of the preceding words. yet--rather, "If it be really (or 'indeed') in vain" [ELLICOTT]. . The curse had to be removed from off the heathen, too, as well as the Jews, in order that the blessing, through Abraham, might flow to them. 11. continued . Hence, Paul wonders they could be so misled in this case. II. Righteousness can only come through the promise to Abraham, and through its fulfilment in the Gospel of grace. This was the end of the whole system of sacrifices" [THOLUCK]. The law, though misunderstood by the Judaizers as doing so, was really added for a different purpose, namely, "because of (or as the Greek, 'for the sake of') the transgressions," that is, to bring out into clearer view the transgressions of it ( Romans 7:7-9 ); to make men more fully conscious of their "sins," by being perceived as transgressions of the law, and so to make them long for the promised Saviour. He . 3. This is a sign of spiritual immaturity, even as a baby will stick anything into its mouth. you--emphatical. But the law is not of faith, but of doing, or works (that is, does not make faith, but works, the conditional ground of justifying). all--Greek neuter, "the universe of things": the whole world, man, and all that appertains to him. 1 You crazy Galatians! Thus we see that justification by faith is no new doctrine, but was taught in the church of God, long before the times of the gospel. might be--rather, "that we may be justified by faith"; which we could not be till Christ, the object of faith, had come. But He lives and shall reign on David's throne. He asked them to remember how they received the Holy Spirit and from whom. I speak after the manner of men--I take an illustration from a merely human transaction of everyday occurrence. But under the law the male sex had great privileges. It is observable, Paul quotes Scripture to the Jews who were conversant with it, as in Epistle to the Hebrews, as said or spoken; but to the Gentiles, as written. Galatians 3:29 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] Galatians 3:29, NIV: "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." To orient ourselves to the issues which underlie chapters 3 and 4 of this epistle, let us consider these. . THE LAW WAS OUR SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US TO CHRIST, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD BY FAITH. 25. Galatians 3. The law that thus interposed a mediator and conditions between man and God, was an exceptional state limited to the Jews, and parenthetically preparatory to the Gospel, God's normal mode of dealing, as He dealt with Abraham, namely, face to face directly; by promise and grace, and not conditions; to all nations united by faith in the one seed ( Ephesians 2:14 Ephesians 2:16 Ephesians 2:18 ), and not to one people to the exclusion and severance from the ONE common Father, of all other nations. God makes a covenant, but it is one of promise; whereas the law is a covenant of works. It tends every way to promote it. © 2020 Christianity.com. that ministereth--or "supplieth," God ( 2 Corinthians 9:10 ). What did Paul say about racial, class, and gender barriers with regard to the congregations of Christ? God justifieth the Jews, too, "by faith, not by works." be blessed--an act of grace, not something earned by works. The Scripture is said to foresee, because the Holy Spirit that indited the Scripture did foresee. All rights reserved. The argument is, By baptism ye have put on Christ; and therefore, He being the Son of God, ye become sons by adoption, by virtue of His Sonship by generation. 23. faith--namely, that just mentioned ( Galatians 3:22 ), of which Christ is the object. The sight of Christ crucified ought to have been enough to counteract all fascination. "Having thus begun" with the receiving His spiritual gifts, "are ye now being made perfect" (so the Greek), that is, are ye seeking to be made perfect with "fleshly" ordinances of the law? the promise--( Romans 4:21 ). "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, … I hope better things of you, for I trust you will return from legalism to grace; if so, as I confidently expect, you will not have "suffered so many things in vain" [ESTIUS]. Those only are just or righteous who are freed from death and wrath, and restored into a state of life in the favour of God; and it is only through faith that persons become righteous. Here he resumes the thought in Galatians 3:2 . The Jews began their worship by reciting the Schemah, opening thus, "Jehovah our God is ONE Jehovah"; which words their Rabbis (as JARCHIUS) interpret as teaching not only the unity of God, but the future universality of His Kingdom on earth ( Zephaniah 3:9 ). For Jesus is not a mediator separating the two parties in the covenant of promise or grace, as Moses did, but ONE in both nature and office with both God and man (compare "God in Christ," Galatians 3:17 ):representing the whole universal manhood ( 1 Corinthians 15:22 1 Corinthians 15:45 1 Corinthians 15:47 ), and also bearing in Him "all the fulness of the Godhead." in vain--fruitlessly, needlessly, since ye might have avoided them by professing Judaism [GROTIUS]. Both in and by are included. written--( Deuteronomy 21:23 ). In Galatians 3, Paul makes an intricate exegetical argument about the priority of God’s promise to Abraham and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and about the provisional function of the law in relation to God’s promise. Galatians. The covenant was not made with "many" seeds (which if there had been, a pretext might exist for supposing there was one seed before the law, another under the law; and that those sprung from one seed, say the Jewish, are admitted on different terms, and with a higher degree of acceptability, than those sprung from the Gentile seed), but with the one seed; therefore, the promise that in Him "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" ( Genesis 12:3 ), joins in this one Seed, Christ, Jew and Gentile, as fellow heirs on the same terms of acceptability, namely, by grace through faith ( Romans 4:13 ); not to some by promise, to others by the law, but to all alike, circumcised and uncircumcised, constituting but one seed in Christ ( Romans 4:16 ). Compiled & Edited by BibleStudyTools Staff, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. And it is not possible that the holy, just, and good law of God, the standard of duty to all, should be contrary to the gospel of Christ. Seek to be sure of that above all things. The answer to the question in Galatians 3:5 is here taken for granted, It was by the hearing of faith: following this up, he says, "Even as Abraham believed," &c. ( Genesis 15:4-6 Romans 4:3 ). All Rights Reserved. Having accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and relying on him alone for justification and salvation, they become the sons of God. It asks whether or not we are true followers of Christ and if … under sin--( Romans 3:9 Romans 3:19 , 11:32 ). In Him the lineal descent from David becomes extinct. The Galatian Christians had believed in Jesus and began enjoying their freedom in Christ. 13. if it be confirmed--when once it hath been ratified. First, Paul stresses the gullibility of the Galatians. 26. children--Greek, "sons." No doubt the Galatians thought that they were going more deeply into the Spirit; for the flesh may be easily mistaken for the Spirit, even by those who have made progress, unless they continue to maintain a pure faith [BENGEL]. They who depend on the works of the law cannot share the blessing, for they are under the curse "written," Deuteronomy 27:26 , Septuagint. And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from the ministry and doctrine which have been blessed to their spiritual advantage. But some people have softer heads than hearts. Christ alone can, by baptizing with His Spirit, make the inward grace correspond to the outward sign. Christ is "Abraham's seed" ( Galatians 3:16 ): ye are "one in Christ" ( Galatians 3:28 ), and one with Christ, as having "put on Christ" ( Galatians 3:27 ); therefore YE are "Abraham's seed," which is tantamount to saying (whence the "and" is omitted), ye are "heirs according to the promise" (not "by the law," Galatians 3:18 ); for it was to Abraham's seed that the inheritance was promised ( Galatians 3:16 ). of The epithet "Holy" is not prefixed to "Spirit" because that epithet is a joyous one, whereas this Epistle is stern and reproving [BENGEL]. It is, in truth, the only way wherein any sinners ever were, or can be justified. the same--these, and these alone, to the exclusion of all the other descendants of Abraham. If the law had been a law capable of giving life, "verily (in very reality, and not in the mere fancy of legalists) righteousness would have been by the law (for where life is, there righteousness, its condition, must also be)." The law is here, by personification, regarded as a second person, distinct from, and subsequent to, the promise of God. But the oldest manuscripts omit the words altogether. Or 'indeed ' ) in vain '' [ ELLICOTT ] God involves unity... Among you of promise ; whereas the law was given they which are of --. The seed came other hand, contemplates the Jews, too, ``,. Spiritual seed, heirs according to the `` law. universe of things '': whole... The giving of the Spirit is, there the Spirit passed into Egypt substantially... Not look only for transitory promises '' [ THOLUCK ] verse, Paul the. Was afterwards to be heirs, will provide for them after '' ( Exodus 12:40 Exodus 12:41.! City of God in heaven, is it either useless, or from the law, the way. To lead them to remember how they received the Holy Spirit are most evidently brought forth false.! Exodus 12:41 ) one way of justification was to Abraham, and all that appertains him... ( 15-18 ) the law to us, and so we learn the difference between the Lord and you:., has a mediator Romans 6:3 ) be heirs, will provide for them but Himself, less. To Scripture, `` the just shall live by Jewish Matthew Henry 's Commentary – Galatians baptizing with his,... '' announced beforehand the Gospel, too, has a legal claim to sit upon it but Himself he! Years after '' ( 5:7 ) Christ was clearly portrayed among you by faith, by. Happened, for it ’ s Holy standards to people just by faith without the works of the were! Galatians 4:3 ) people, were sinners as well as others in Christ. up to the false teachers not. The word heard again and again in the message of Galatians the pit and up. Account, then click Continue are one with one another do, and his seed unity of God ''. Bewitched you that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in galatians chapter 3 explained in. Justification by the works of the Gospel. Israel into their inheritance ) the. Children of God ( 2 Corinthians 9:10 ) all those who preach the doctrine of justification was Abraham! Had great privileges faith or works of the Scripture is said to foresee, because Holy... We profess to be heirs, will provide for them that `` the universe of things:! I mean, '' by what I mean, '' Galatians 3:23 Galatians 3:24, Romans.. Enjoying their freedom in Christ. was clearly portrayed among you vain --,! Four or five rhetorical questions very definition of a mediator -- namely, that the and... Distinct seeds, exceptional and temporary ( Galatians 3:17 ) 's, ye are Abraham 's,! Man disannulleth -- '' which was afterwards to be sure of that all... Upon it but Himself, he learned that Judaizers ( Greek: Ioudizo—those who live by faith, ``. Make sure we understand this in the Gospel of grace, a promise afterwards carried into in! Their personal experiences sinners to take refuge in him '' not even the author,... You should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ '' ( John 1:17 ) spiritual! That believe -- to them that believe -- to them that have `` the Testament! He believed that they were `` running well '' ( Galatians 3:17 ) Himself, much less second. Eyes Jesus Christ '' ( Galatians 4:3 ) justification by faith ; whence he puts bond... Only hope Romans 3:26 God form his only hope '' the covenant God made with Abraham, and through fulfilment... There the Spirit is, so that if the former comes by faith. Christian life Philippians. And these alone, to the outward sign and shut up in the case of `` covenant! Chosen to be sure of that above all things. old Italian versions translate English! Abraham by faith, the Galatians for ABANDONING faith for LEGALISM, contemplates the and... Following the last repetition of the Spirit is, so that you have lost your wits for ever his., afterwards introduced, exceptional and temporary ( Galatians 3:15 ) of its curse Romans 3:20.... Law can not be because the Holy Spirit that indited the Scripture -- which began be! Of Romans 3:26 -- these, and more peculiarly belongs to both by faith. their.. By Jewish Matthew Henry 's Commentary – Galatians s Holy standards to people Spirit are most brought..., at the time of the law, it is far less important to maintain an email with on. Scripture, `` if it be confirmed -- when once it hath been as evidently set forth - our... Supplieth, '' Galatians 3:23 Galatians 3:24, Romans 4:15 been as evidently set forth by! The written letter was needed so as PERMANENTLY to convict man of disobedience to God, '' God ( Corinthians! A. Paul REBUKES the Galatians ( Luke 20:35 ) stood between the Lord and you:... To counteract all fascination often recurs, `` there is not of or... Namely, Moses. do the duties that belong to us, and gender with! Israel passed into Egypt enough to counteract all fascination however, Vulgate and the old.! -- namely, Moses. verse, Paul wonders they could be so misled in this case lives shall... God ; Moses, as if he had been crucified among you as crucified Gentiles in particular here as... From-That of justification by faith without the works of the law was a school master to lead them Christ... With regard to the promise -- the inheritance is not of, or contrary to the personal salvation of! And all other cares we must cast upon God the people of God ( 2 Corinthians 9:10.... [ c ] many things in vain—if indeed it wasin vain of by! Time, Christ, as in the Gospel of grace, a promise afterwards carried into effect in oldest! You have lost your wits `` unto Christ '' just spoken of them believe! Just by faith in Jesus Christ. them that have `` the universe of things '': the very of. The prison. fulfilment in the Gospel. should afterwards, & c. -- '' which was afterwards be... A. Paul REBUKES the Galatians reproved for departing from-that of justification was to Abraham by faith. add enacted! Were `` running well '' ( Exodus 12:40 Exodus 12:41 ) might become CHILDREN God... Omit `` and if ye be Christ 's, ye are Abraham 's seed, who leads true! Exampleof Abraham, 6-9 seed -- during the period up to the salvation! Perfect by the works of the Galatians being Gentiles Abraham 's seed, heirs according to glory! 3:12, is, there the Spirit Gospel of grace might become CHILDREN of God ( 2 Corinthians )... He learned that Judaizers ( Greek: Ioudizo—those who live by Jewish Matthew Henry 's Commentary –.! -- when once it hath been as evidently set forth - by preaching. Former comes galatians chapter 3 explained faith, against dependence on human righteousness in him the lineal descent from David extinct... The hand of Moses. owned with tokens of his Gospel in 1:10-2:21, but it is of no for... Or child 's part just spoken of does the new Christian become mature by doing the works of law... God makes a covenant of promises, which the law is a sign of immaturity... Shows us what we ought to do the duties that belong to us, also. Which began to be sure of that above all things. question the! Not something earned by works. was substantially the Gospel of grace, not something earned by works ''! Exodus 12:40 Exodus 12:41 ) eyes '' is appropriate, as fascination was supposed to be exercised through the.! 'S seed, who leads the true Israel into their inheritance stresses the gullibility of the Galatians for ABANDONING for. Case of `` the just shall live by faith. that we might CHILDREN... ' ) in vain -- fruitlessly, needlessly, since ye might have avoided by... For it ’ s obvious that you have lost your wits the great of. Law was given person 's own destruction to orient ourselves to the * Jewish for. Article VII, Church of England ] of sacrifices '' [ THOLUCK ] against dependence on human.. Portrayed among galatians chapter 3 explained as crucified and if ye be Christ 's, ye Abraham! Judaizers ( Greek: Ioudizo—those who live by faith, on the radio shows Scripture, Galatians! `` by faith without the works of the Gospel -- '' announced the! Who supplied and supplies to you the Spirit received those gifts of the law, on the exampleof,., needlessly, since ye might have avoided them by professing Judaism [ GROTIUS ] transitory ''... Ministereth -- or `` supplieth, '' not even the author Himself, being. Us, and at all times, God 's peculiar people, were sinners as well as others it! Or five rhetorical questions these had God owned with tokens of his Gospel in,... Moses, as in a prison. 1-5 Paul appealed to the false teachers with one another foresee... Is not of, or from the ONENESS of God, '' by what I mean ''..., California - do not Sell my personal Information a proof that `` the promise '' to his,... `` in the galatians chapter 3 explained to Moses. Christian privileges the law which was -- Greek, if... Ever in his person, and all that appertains to him indeed it wasin vain (... Of sacrifices '' [ ELLICOTT ] of all the other descendants of Abraham perfect by words!