Loading…
Galatians 3:1–4:31

By Faith, or by Works of the Law?

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? zIt was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly aportrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: bDid you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by chearing with faith? Are you so foolish? dHaving begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by1 the flesh? eDid you suffer2 so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and fworks miracles among you do so gby works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as hAbraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Know then that it is ithose of faith who are jthe sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that kGod would justify3 the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, l“In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

10 For all who rely on works of the law are munder a curse; for it is written, n“Cursed be everyone who does not oabide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that pno one is justified before God by the law, for q“The righteous shall live by faith.”4 12 But the law is not of faith, rather r“The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, t“Cursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might vcome to the Gentiles, so that wwe might receive xthe promised Spirit5 through faith.

The Law and the Promise

15 yTo give a human example, brothers:6 zeven with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. 16 Now athe promises were made bto Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, c“And to your offspring,” who is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: the law, which came d430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as eto make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but fGod gave it to Abraham by a promise.

19 Why then the law? gIt was added because of transgressions, huntil the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was iput in place through angels jby an intermediary. 20 Now kan intermediary implies more than one, but lGod is one.

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For mif a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture nimprisoned everything under sin, so that othe promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given pto those who believe.

23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, qimprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, rthe law was our sguardian until Christ came, tin order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus uyou are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as vwere baptized winto Christ have xput on Christ. 28 yThere is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave7 nor free, zthere is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And aif you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, bheirs according to promise.

Sons and Heirs

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,1 though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, cwere enslaved to the elementary principles2 of the world. But dwhen the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, eborn fof woman, born gunder the law, hto redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive iadoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent jthe Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then kan heir through God.

Paul’s Concern for the Galatians

Formerly, when you ldid not know God, you mwere enslaved to those that by nature nare not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather oto be known by God, phow can you turn back again to qthe weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 rYou observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid sI may have labored over you in vain.

12 Brothers,3 tI entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. uYou did me no wrong. 13 You know it was vbecause of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you wat first, 14 and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me xas an angel of God, yas Christ Jesus. 15 What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I then become your enemy by ztelling you the truth?4 17 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. 18 It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and anot only when I am present with you, 19 bmy little children, cfor whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ dis formed in you! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, eone by a slave woman and fone by a free woman. 23 But gthe son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while hthe son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two icovenants. jOne is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;5 she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But kthe Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

l“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!

For the children of the desolate one will be more

than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you,6 brothers, mlike Isaac, nare children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh opersecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, pso also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? q“Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but rof the free woman.

Read more