The Passion Translation
Faith Brings Freedom
3 What has happened to you Galatians to be acting so foolishly? You must have been under some evil spell![a] Didn’t God open your eyes to see the meaning of Jesus’ crucifixion? Wasn’t he revealed to you as the crucified one?[b]
2 So answer me this: Did the Holy Spirit come to you as a reward for keeping all the Jewish laws? No, you received him as a gift because you believed in the Messiah. 3 Your new life in the Anointed One began with the Holy Spirit giving you a new birth. Why then would you so foolishly turn from living in the Spirit by trying to finish by your own works?[c]
4 Have you endured all these trials and persecutions for nothing?
5 Let me ask you again: What does the lavish supply of the Holy Spirit in your life, and the miracles of God’s tremendous power,[d] have to do with you keeping religious laws? The Holy Spirit is poured out upon us through the revelation and power of faith, not by keeping the law!
6 Abraham, our father of faith, led the way as our pioneering example. He believed God and the substance of his faith released God’s righteousness to him.[e] 7 So those who are the true children of Abraham will have the same faith as their father! 8 God’s plan all along was to bring this message of salvation to the nations through the revelation of faith. Long ago God prophesied over Abraham, as the Holy Scriptures say:
“Through your example of faith all the nations will be blessed!”[f]
9 And so the blessing of Abraham’s faith is now our blessing too! 10 But if you choose to live in bondage under the legalistic rule of religion, you live under the law’s curse. For it is clearly written:
“Utterly cursed is everyone who fails to practice every detail and requirement that is written in this law!”[g]
11 For the Scriptures reveal, and it is obvious, that no one achieves the righteousness of God by attempting to keep the law, for it is written:
“Those who have been made holy will live by faith!”[h]
12 But keeping the law does not require faith, but self-effort. For the law teaches,
“If you practice the principles of law, you must follow all of them.”[i]
13 Yet, Christ paid the full price to set us free from the curse of the law. He absorbed it completely as he became a curse in our place. For it is written:
“Everyone who is hung upon a tree is doubly cursed.”[j]
14 Jesus, our Messiah, was cursed in our place and in so doing, dissolved the curse from our lives, so that all the blessings of Abraham can be poured out upon even non-Jewish believers. And now God gives us the promise of the wonderful Holy Spirit who lives within us when we believe in him.
The Law versus God’s Promises
15 Beloved friends, let me use an illustration that we can all understand. Technically, when a contract is signed, it can’t be changed after it has been put into effect; it’s too late to alter the agreement.[k]
16 Remember the royal proclamation[l] God spoke over Abraham and to Abraham’s child? God said that his promises were made to pass on to Abraham’s “Child,”[m] not children. And who is this “Child?” It’s the Son of promise, Jesus, the anointed Messiah!
17–18 This means that the covenant between God and Abraham was fulfilled in Messiah and cannot be altered. Yet the written law was not even given to Moses until 430 years later, after God had “signed” his contract with Abraham! The law, then, doesn’t supersede the promise[n] since the royal proclamation was given before the law.[o]
If that were the case, it would have nullified what God said to Abraham. We receive all the promises because of the Promised One—not because we keep the law!
19 Why then was the law given? It was meant to be an intermediary agreement added after God gave the promise of the coming One! It was given to show men how guilty they are, and it remained in force until the Seed was born to fulfill the promises given to Abraham. When God gave the law, he didn’t give it to them directly, for he gave it first to the angels; they gave it to Moses, his mediator,[p] who then gave it to the people. 20 Now, a mediator does not represent just one party alone, but God fulfilled it all by himself![q]
21 Since that’s true, should we consider the written law to be contrary to the promise of new life? How absurd![r] Truly, if there was a law that we could keep which would give us new life, then our salvation would have come by law-keeping. 22 But the Scriptures make it clear that since we were all under the power of sin, we needed Jesus! And he is the Savior who brings the promise to those who believe.
God’s Sons Inherit the Promises
23 So until the revelation of faith for salvation was released, the law was a jailer, holding us as prisoners under lock and key until the “faith,” which was destined to be revealed, would set us free. 24 The law becomes a gateway to lead us to the Messiah so that we would be saved by faith. 25 But when faith comes the law is no longer in force, since we have already entered into life.
26 You have all become true children of God by the faith of Jesus the Anointed One![s] 27 It was faith that immersed you into Jesus, the Anointed One, and now you are covered and clothed with his anointing. 28 And we no longer see each other in our former state—Jew or non-Jew, rich or poor,[t] male or female—because we’re all one through our union with Jesus Christ with no distinction between us.
29 And since you’ve been united to Jesus the Messiah, you are now Abraham’s “child” and inherit all the promises of the kingdom realm!
- Galatians 3:1 The Greek word used here means “to cast a spell using the evil eye.” Paul uses a pun here in the Greek text. He goes on to say, “Didn’t God open your eyes?”
- Galatians 3:1 The great revelation of the cross had been supernaturally given to them; but they were diluting the glorious work of the cross by adding to it the works of religion.
- Galatians 3:3 As translated from the Aramaic.
- Galatians 3:5 As translated from the Greek. The Aramaic text states “God’s covenant of power.”
- Galatians 3:6 See Gen. 15:6.
- Galatians 3:8 See Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18.
- Galatians 3:10 See Deut. 27:26.
- Galatians 3:11 See Hab. 2:4.
- Galatians 3:12 See Lev. 18:5.
- Galatians 3:13 See Deut. 21:23.
- Galatians 3:15 The most ancient Aramaic manuscript has a different meaning for this verse. It could also be translated, “The covenant of the Son of Man that I reference should never be denigrated or changed in any way by men.”
- Galatians 3:16 As translated literally from the Greek. It can also mean “covenant.”
- Galatians 3:16 Or “seed.”
- Galatians 3:17 The concept of the “promise” is that all we need is faith to believe it. This is the revelation of grace that saves us, for the “promise” is enough.
- Galatians 3:17 This last sentence is the implied conclusion of Paul’s logic.
- Galatians 3:19 This would be Moses. However, the Aramaic can be translated “the one who was able.”
- Galatians 3:20 Or “but God is one.”
- Galatians 3:21 The law and the promise (grace) each have a distinct function. The law brings conviction of sin, which unveils grace as the way to salvation. The law moves us, even compels us, to reach for grace. And grace will cause one to soar even higher than the demands of the law.
- Galatians 3:26 It is the “faith of Jesus,” or what he believes about you, that makes you his very own.
- Galatians 3:28 Or “enslaved or free.”