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O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom—right before your very eyes—Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified?

Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?]

Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh?

Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing (to no purpose)—if it really is to no purpose and in vain?

Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard?

Thus Abraham believed in and adhered to and trusted in and relied on God, and it was reckoned and placed to his account and credited as righteousness (as conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action).(A)

Know and understand that it is [really] the people [who live] by faith who are [the true] sons of Abraham.

And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (declare righteous, put in right standing with Himself) the Gentiles in consequence of faith, proclaimed the Gospel [foretelling the glad tidings of a Savior long beforehand] to Abraham in the promise, saying, In you shall all the nations [of the earth] be blessed.(B)

So then, those who are people of faith are blessed and made happy and favored by God [as partners in fellowship] with the believing and trusting Abraham.

10 And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them.(C)

11 Now it is evident that no person is justified (declared righteous and brought into right standing with God) through the Law, for the Scripture says, The man in right standing with God [the just, the righteous] shall live by and out of faith and he who through and by faith is declared righteous and in right standing with God shall live.(D)

12 But the Law does not rest on faith [does not require faith, has nothing to do with faith], for it itself says, He who does them [the things prescribed by the Law] shall live by them [not by faith].(E)

13 Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);(F)

14 To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit.

15 To speak in terms of human relations, brethren, [if] even a man makes a last will and testament (a merely human covenant), no one sets it aside or makes it void or adds to it when once it has been drawn up and signed (ratified, confirmed).

16 Now the promises (covenants, agreements) were decreed and made to Abraham and his Seed (his Offspring, his Heir). He [God] does not say, And to seeds (descendants, heirs), as if referring to many persons, but, And to your Seed (your Descendant, your Heir), obviously referring to one individual, Who is [none other than] Christ (the Messiah).(G)

17 This is my argument: The Law, which began 430 years after the covenant [concerning the coming Messiah], does not and cannot annul the covenant previously established (ratified) by God, so as to abolish the promise and make it void.(H)

18 For if the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing] the Law [as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer [depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham [as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise.

19 What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man].

20 Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party [there can be no mediator with just one person]. Yet God is [only] one Person [and He was the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both].

21 Is the Law then contrary and opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! For if a Law had been given which could confer [spiritual] life, then righteousness and right standing with God would certainly have come by Law.

22 But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him].

23 Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed),

24 So that the Law served [a][to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith.

25 But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood).

26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.

27 For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ.

28 There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male [b]and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham’s Seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise.

Footnotes

  1. Galatians 3:24 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  2. Galatians 3:28 Literal translation.

Faith or Works of the Law

You foolish(A) Galatians!(B) Who has bewitched you?(C) Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.(D) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit(E) by the works of the law,(F) or by believing what you heard?(G) Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[a] Have you experienced[b] so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles(H) among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?(I) So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[c](J)

Understand, then, that those who have faith(K) are children of Abraham.(L) 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.”[d](M) So those who rely on faith(N) are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.(O)

10 For all who rely on the works of the law(P) are under a curse,(Q) as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e](R) 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God,(S) because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f](T) 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g](U) 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law(V) by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h](W) 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,(X) so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.(Y)

The Law and the Promise

15 Brothers and sisters,(Z) let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.(AA) Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[i](AB) meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years(AC) later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise;(AD) but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions(AE) until the Seed(AF) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels(AG) and entrusted to a mediator.(AH) 20 A mediator,(AI) however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!(AJ) For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.(AK) 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin,(AL) so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody(AM) under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.(AN) 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came(AO) that we might be justified by faith.(AP) 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.(AQ)

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God(AR) through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ(AS) have clothed yourselves with Christ.(AT) 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,(AU) nor is there male and female,(AV) for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(AW) 29 If you belong to Christ,(AX) then you are Abraham’s seed,(AY) and heirs(AZ) according to the promise.(BA)

Footnotes

  1. Galatians 3:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. Galatians 3:4 Or suffered
  3. Galatians 3:6 Gen. 15:6
  4. Galatians 3:8 Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18
  5. Galatians 3:10 Deut. 27:26
  6. Galatians 3:11 Hab. 2:4
  7. Galatians 3:12 Lev. 18:5
  8. Galatians 3:13 Deut. 21:23
  9. Galatians 3:16 Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 24:7
  10. Galatians 3:23 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus … 23 Before faith came

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