Updated: Aug 15
Ch 3 :1-18 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law
3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
They had heard the one true Gospel, that Jesus Christ had been crucified for the sin of humankind, he died and was resurrected to the right hand of the Father, and everyone who believes in Him, shall be saved by faith in Him.
2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?
This is a rhetorical question, we receive the Spirit by believing of course.
3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?
4 Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really was for nothing?
Usually it is only the true gospel that gets persecuted.
5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
When the dynamic of the Holy Spirit came to them, by faith, how could they even consider going back to a dead religion, Surely, they could see that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, occur where there is faith, but not where there is observance of the Law.
Paul, now, takes them back to first principles.
6 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
Abraham never observed the Law.
7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
The believers followed his example.
8 The 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."
9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
This is very Good News.
10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."
These curses include poverty, sickness, famine, want, shortage, confusion, defeat, terror, darkness, despair, and separation etc.; see all these curses in Deuteronomy 28.
11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because "The righteous will live by faith."
12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary,
"The man who does these things will live by them.” The Law only offers life to those who completely obey it.
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."
Jesus took it all on the cross that all believers might go free and receive the blessings of God not his curses.
14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
This is the greatest blessing.
15 Brothers, 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. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.
17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years 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 a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
v15-18 A covenant is a solemn and binding agreement in which two parties exchange vows or promises committing themselves to a joint relationship or venture.
There may be penalties involved for breach of promise.
What types of covenants do we enact in everyday life?
Marriage and business contracts (mortgages etc.).
So many marriages break up because people want to add new clauses to the deal or the vows that they made. For instance, to have and to hold until you get sick , or get made redundant, or until you meet someone else whom you prefer to your spouse, or until your lack of commitment , selfishness and self pity overwhelm you to the extent that you that you break the marriage covenant.
Many business contracts now include penalty clauses to compensate for breach of contract. No sensible business deal will allow you to change the terms after the deal has been struck.
In the same way God does not let anyone alter the conditions of his promise to Abraham fulfilled through his seed Jesus Christ, and passes through Jesus to us , to be changed nothing can be added or subtracted from the deal.
Because we live in new testament times, we sometimes forget that the law came 430 years after God’s promise to Abraham and Paul is saying here that the law cannot alter the original covenant, deal, or promise.
What was the promise?
God's announcement of His plan of salvation and blessing to His people, one of the themes integrating the message of the Old and New Testaments. God's promise begins with a declaration by God; it covers God's plan for not just one race, but all the nations of the earth; and it focuses on the gifts and deeds that God will bestow on a few to benefit the many.
We may define God's promise this way: the divine declaration or assurance was made to Abraham representing the whole nation of Israel and specified that:
(1) He would be their God,
(2) They would be His people,
(3) He would dwell in their midst.
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