1 He rebuketh them, for suffering themselves to be drawn from the grace of free justification in Christ, most lively set out unto them. 6 He bringeth in Abraham’s example, 10 declaring the effects, 21 and causes of the giving of the Law.

[a]O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, to whom Jesus Christ before was described in your [b]sight, and among you crucified?

This only would I learn of you, Received ye the [c]Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of [d]faith preached?

[e]Are ye so foolish, that after ye have begun in the Spirit, ye would now be made perfect by the [f]flesh?

[g]Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if so be it be even in vain.

[h]He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it through the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith preached?

[i]Yea rather as [j]Abraham believed God, and it was (A)imputed to him for righteousness.

[k]Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

[l]For the Scripture foreseeing, that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, (B)[m]In thee shall all the Gentiles be [n]blessed.

[o]So then they which be of faith, are blessed with [p]faithful Abraham.

10 [q]For as many as are of the works of the Law, are under the curse: [r]For it is written, (C)Cursed is every man that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the Law, to do them.

11 [s]And that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: (D)for the just shall live by faith.

12 [t]And the Law is not of faith: but (E)the man that shall do those things, shall live in them.

13 [u]Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, made a curse for us, ([v]for it is written, (F)[w]Cursed is everyone that hangeth on tree.)

14 [x]That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 [y]Brethren, I speak as [z]men do: (G)though it be but a man’s covenant, when it is [aa]confirmed, yet no man doth abrogate it, or addeth anything thereto,

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to the seeds, as speaking of many: but, And to thy seed, as of one, [ab]which is [ac]Christ.

17 [ad]And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed afore of God [ae]in respect of Christ, the [af]Law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 [ag]For if the [ah]inheritance be of the Law, it is no more by the promise, but God gave it freely unto Abraham by promise.

19 [ai]Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of the [aj]transgressions, [ak]till the seed came, unto the which the promise was made: [al]and it was [am]ordained by [an]Angels in the hand of a Mediator.

20 Now a Mediator is not a Mediator of one: [ao]but God is one.

21 [ap]Is the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid: For if there had been a Law given which could have given life, surely righteousness should have been by the Law.

22 But the [aq]Scripture hath (H)concluded [ar]all under sin, that the [as]promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given to them that believe.

23 [at]But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, as under a garrison, and shut up unto [au]that faith, which should afterward be revealed.

24 Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be made righteous by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 [av]For ye are all the sons of God by faith, in Christ Jesus.

27 [aw]For all ye that are [ax]baptized into Christ, have [ay]put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Grecian: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female: for ye are all [az]one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs by promise.

Footnotes

  1. Galatians 3:1 The third reason or argument taken of those gifts of the holy Ghost, wherewith they were endued from heaven after they had heard and believed the Gospel by Paul’s ministry: which seeing they were so evident to all men’s eyes, that they were as it were lively images, wherein they might behold the truth of the doctrine of the Gospel, no less than if they had beheld with their eyes Christ himself crucified, in whose only death they ought to have their trust, he marvelleth how it could be that they could be so bewitched by the false apostles.
  2. Galatians 3:1 Christ was laid before you, so notably and so plainly, that you had his lively image as it were represented before your eyes, as if he had been crucified before you.
  3. Galatians 3:2 Those spiritual graces and gifts, which were a seal as it were to the Galatians, that the Gospel which was preached to them was true.
  4. Galatians 3:2 Of the doctrine of faith.
  5. Galatians 3:3 The fourth argument mixed with [the former] and it is double, If the Law is to be joined with faith, this were not to go forward, but backward, seeing that those spiritual gifts which were bestowed upon you, are more excellent than any that could proceed from yourselves. And moreover, it should follow, that the Law is better than Christ, because it should perfect and bring to end that which Christ began only.
  6. Galatians 3:3 By the (flesh) he meaneth the ceremonies of the Law, against which he setteth the Spirit, that is, the spiritual working of the Gospel.
  7. Galatians 3:4 An exhortation by manner of upbraiding, that they do not in vain suffer so many conflicts.
  8. Galatians 3:5 He repeateth the third argument which was taken of the effects, because he had interlaced certain other arguments by the way.
  9. Galatians 3:6 The first argument which is of great force, and hath three grounds, The first, That Abraham was justified by faith, to wit, by free imputation of righteousness according to the promise apprehended by faith, as Moses doth most plainly witness.
  10. Galatians 3:6 See Rom. 4.
  11. Galatians 3:7 The second, that the sons of Abraham must be esteemed and accounted of by faith.
  12. Galatians 3:8 The third, that all people that believe, are without exception, comprehended in the promise of the blessing.
  13. Galatians 3:8 A proof of the first and second grounds, out of the words of Moses.
  14. Galatians 3:8 Blessing in this place, signifieth the free promise by faith.
  15. Galatians 3:9 The conclusion of the fifth argument: Therefore as Abraham is blessed by faith, so are all his children (that is to say, all the Gentiles that believe) blessed, that is to say, freely justified.
  16. Galatians 3:9 With faithful Abraham, and not by faithful Abraham, to give us to understand that the blessing cometh not from Abraham, but from him, by whom Abraham and all his posterity is blessed.
  17. Galatians 3:10 The sixth argument, the conclusion whereof is also in the former verse taken of contraries, thus, They are accursed which are of the works of the Law, that is to say, which value their [righteousness] by the performance of the Law. Therefore they are blessed which are of faith, that is, they which have righteousness by faith.
  18. Galatians 3:10 A proof of the former sentence or proposition: and the proposition of this argument is this: Cursed is he that fulfilleth not the whole Law.
  19. Galatians 3:11 The second proposition with the conclusion: But no man fulfilleth the Law. Therefore no man is justified by the Law, or else, which seek righteousness by the works of the Law. And there is annexed also this manner of proof of the second proposition, to wit, Righteousness and life are attributed to faith, Therefore no man fulfilleth the Law.
  20. Galatians 3:12 Here is a reason shown of the former consequence: Because the law promiseth life to all that keep it, and therefore if it be kept, it justifieth and giveth life. But the Scripture attributing righteousness and life to faith, taketh it from the Law, seeing that faith justifieth by imputation, and the Law by the performing of the work.
  21. Galatians 3:13 A preventing of an objection: How then can they be blessed, whom the Law pronounceth to be accursed? Because Christ sustained the curse which the Law laid upon us, that we might be quit from it.
  22. Galatians 3:13 A proof of the answer by the testimony of Moses.
  23. Galatians 3:13 Christ was accursed for us, because he bare the curse that was due to us, to make us partakers of his righteousness.
  24. Galatians 3:14 A conclusion of all that was said before in the handling of the fifth and sixth reasons, to wit, that both the Gentiles are made partakers of the free blessing of Abraham in Christ, and also that the Jews themselves, of whose number the Apostle counteth himself to be, cannot obtain that promised grace of the Gospel, which he calleth the Spirit, but only by faith. And the Apostle doth severally apply the conclusion, both to the one and the other, preparing himself a way, to the next argument, whereby he declareth, that the one only seed of Abraham, which is made of all peoples can no otherwise be joined and grow up together, but by faith in Christ.
  25. Galatians 3:15 He putteth forth two general [rules] before the next argument, which is the seventh in order: That one is, that it is not lawful to break covenants and contracts which are justly made and according to Law amongst men, neither may anything be added unto them: The other is, that God did so make a covenant with Abraham, that he would gather together his children which consist both of Jews and Gentiles into one body (as appeareth by that which hath been said before.) For he did not say, that he would be the God of Abraham and of his seeds, (which things notwithstanding should have been said, if he had many and divers seeds, as the Gentiles apart and the Jews apart,) but that he would be the God of Abraham, and of his seed, as of one.
  26. Galatians 3:15 I will use an example which is common among you, that you may be ashamed you give not so much to God’s covenants, as you do to man’s.
  27. Galatians 3:15 Authentical, as we call it.
  28. Galatians 3:16 He putteth forth the sum of the seventh argument, to wit, that both the Jews and the Gentiles grow together into one body of the seed of Abraham, in Christ only, so that all are one in Christ, as it is afterward declared, verse 21.
  29. Galatians 3:16 Paul speaketh not of Christ’s person, but of two peoples, which grew together in one, in Christ.
  30. Galatians 3:17 The eighth argument taken of comparison, thus: If a man’s covenant (being authentical) be firm and strong, much more God’s covenant. Therefore the Law was not given to abrogate the promise made to Abraham, which had respect to Christ, that is to say, the end whereof did hang of Christ.
  31. Galatians 3:17 Which tendeth to Christ.
  32. Galatians 3:17 An enlarging of that argument, thus: Moreover and besides that the promise is of itself firm and strong, it was also confirmed with the prescription of long time, to wit, of 430 years, so that it could in no wise be broken.
  33. Galatians 3:18 An objection: We grant that the promise was not abrogated by the covenant of the Law, and therefore we join the Law with the promise. Nay, saith the Apostle, these two cannot stand together, to wit, that the inheritance should both be given by the Law and also by promise, for the promise is free: whereby it followeth, that the Law was not given to justify, for by that means the promise should be broken.
  34. Galatians 3:18 By this word (inheritance) is meant the right of the seed, which is, that God should be our God, that is to say, that by virtue of the covenant that was made with faithful Abraham, we that be faithful, might by that means be blessed of God as well as he.
  35. Galatians 3:19 An objection which riseth of the former answer: If the inheritance be not by the Law (at the least in part) then why was the Law given, after that the promise was made? Therefore saith the Apostle, to reprove men of sin, and so teach them to look unto Christ, in whom at length that promise of saving all people together should be fulfilled, and not that the Law was given to justify men.
  36. Galatians 3:19 That men might understand, by discovering of their sins, by the only grace of God, which he revealed to Abraham, and that in Christ.
  37. Galatians 3:19 Until the partition wall was broken down, and that full seed sprang up, framed of two peoples, both of Jews and Gentiles: for by this word Seed, we may not understand, Christ alone by himself, but coupled and joined together with his body.
  38. Galatians 3:19 A confirmation of the former answer taken from the manner and form of giving the Law: for it was given by Angels, striking a great terror into all, and by Moses a Mediator coming between. Now they that are one, need no Mediator, but they that are twain at the least, and that are at variance one with another. Therefore the Law itself and the Mediator, were witnesses of the wrath of God, and not that God would by this means reconcile men to himself, and abolish the promise, or add the Law unto the promise.
  39. Galatians 3:19 Commanded and given, or proclaimed.
  40. Galatians 3:19 By the service and ministry.
  41. Galatians 3:20 A taking away of an objection, lest any man might say, that sometimes by consent of the parties which have made a covenant, something is added to the covenant, or the former covenants are broken. This, saith the Apostle, cometh to pass in God, who is always one, and the selfsame, and like himself.
  42. Galatians 3:21 The conclusion uttered by a manner of asking a question, and it is the same that was uttered before, verse 17, but proceeding of another rule: so that the argument is new, and is this: God is always like unto himself: Therefore the Law was not given to abolish the promises. But it should abolish them if it gave life, for by that means it should justify, and therefore it should abolish that justification which was promised to Abraham and to his seed by faith. Nay it was rather given to bring to light the guiltiness of all men, to the end that all believers fleeing to Christ promised, might be freely justified in him.
  43. Galatians 3:22 By this word, Scripture, he meaneth the Law.
  44. Galatians 3:22 All men, and whatsoever cometh from man.
  45. Galatians 3:22 In every one of these words, there lieth an argument against the merits of works, for all these words, promise, faith, Christ, might be given, to believers, are against merits, and not one of them can stand with deserving works.
  46. Galatians 3:23 Now there followeth another handling of the second part of this Epistle: the state whereof is this: Although the Law (that is, the whole government of God’s house according to the Law) [does] not justify, is it therefore to be abolished, seeing that Abraham himself was circumcised, and his posterity held still the use of Moses’ Law? Paul affirmeth that it ought to be abolished, because it was instituted for that end and purpose, that is should be as it were a schoolmaster and keeper to the people of God, until the promise appeared in deed, that is to say, Christ, and the Gospel manifestly published with great efficacy of the Spirit.
  47. Galatians 3:23 The cause why we were kept under the Law, is set down here.
  48. Galatians 3:26 Because age changeth not the condition of servants, he addeth that we are free by condition, and therefore, seeing we are out of our childhood, we have no more need of a keeper and Schoolmaster.
  49. Galatians 3:27 Using a general particle, lest the Jews at the least should not think themselves bound with the band of the Law, he pronounceth that Baptism is common to all believers, because it is a pledge of our delivery in Christ, as well to the Jews as to the Grecians, that by this means all may be truly one in Christ, that is to say, that promised seed to Abraham and inheritors of everlasting life.
  50. Galatians 3:27 He setteth Baptism secretly against circumcision, which the false apostles so much bragged of.
  51. Galatians 3:27 The Church must put on Christ, as it were a garment, and be covered with him, that it may be thoroughly holy, and without blame.
  52. Galatians 3:28 You are all as one: and so in this great knot and conjunction signified.

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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