of God--"ratified by God" ( Galatians 3:15 ). The Galatian Christians had believed in Jesus and began enjoying their freedom in Christ. Galatians Chapter 3 begins with Paul describing his personal argument about how they were justified by faith. . Before … Before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been as evidently set forth - By our preaching, as if he had been crucified among you. In baptism we put on Christ; therein we profess to be his disciples. 7. they which are of faith--as the source and starting-point of their spiritual life. Even His mediatorial office is to cease when its purpose of reconciling all things to God shall have been accomplished ( 1 Corinthians 15:24 ); and God's ONENESS ( Zechariah 14:9 ), as "all in all," shall be fully manifested. . JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH VINDICATED: THE LAW SHOWN TO BE SUBSEQUENT TO THE PROMISE: BELIEVERS ARE THE SPIRITUAL SEED OF ABRAHAM, WHO WAS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. It is still in force; Christ abideth for ever in his person, and his spiritual seed, who are his by faith. Faith or Works of the Law - You foolish Galatians! Thus we see that justification by faith is no new doctrine, but was taught in the church of God, long before the times of the gospel. Chapter 3. The just shall live by faith--( Romans 1:17 , Habakkuk 2:4 ). kept--Greek, "kept in ward": the effect of the "shutting up" ( Galatians 3:22 , Galatians 4:2 , Romans 7:6 ). "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, … 10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” # 3:10 Deut. (Galatians 3:13.) Then the law, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, becomes his loved rule of duty, and his standard for daily self-examination. under sin--( Romans 3:9 Romans 3:19 , 11:32 ). The revelation of God's "wrath" by the law of conscience, in some degree prepared the Gentiles for appreciating redemption through Christ when revealed. The law is regarded as something extraneous, afterwards introduced, exceptional and temporary ( Galatians 3:17-19 Galatians 3:21-24 ). In the spiritual seed there is no distinction of Jew or Greek; but to the literal seed, the promises still in part remain to be fulfilled ( Romans 11:26 ). Therefore "in," or "by the law, no man is justified before God" (whatever the case may be before men, Romans 4:2 )--not even if he could, which he cannot, keep the law, because the Scripture element and conditional mean of justification is faith. In Galatians 3, Paul continues to make the case that faith in Christ is all that is required to be justified—"made righteous"—in God's eyes. He died without posterity. —See the Note on Galatians 3:1. —Begun your career as Christians in a manner so entirely spiritual—with the spiritual act of faith on your part, and with an answering gift of spiritual graces and powers. Not a member? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? "Was it by the works of the law that ye received the Spirit (manifested by outward miracles, Galatians 3:5 , 16:17 , Hebrews 2:4 ; and by spiritual graces, Galatians 3:14 , Galatians 4:5 Galatians 4:6 , Ephesians 1:13 ), or by the hearing of faith?" The apostle in this chapter, I. Reproves the Galatians for their folly, in suffering themselves to be drawn away from the faith of the gospel, and endeavours, from several considerations, to impress them with a sense of it. Resources » Matthew Henry's Commentary » Galatians. At that point he is superseded by Joshua, the type of Jesus, who leads the true Israel into their inheritance. All Rights Reserved. Difference of sex makes no difference in Christian privileges. The means of salvation and the means of sanctification is a Person, not a system of works, but a Person, and that Person is the Lord Jesus Christ. with--together with. All rights reserved. The curse of its non-fulfilment affects the Gentiles through the Jews; for the law represents that righteousness which God requires of all, and which, since the Jews failed to fulfil, the Gentiles are equally unable to fulfil. First, Paul stresses the gullibility of the Galatians. He is the good news. 5. in the Spirit--Not merely was Christ crucified "graphically set forth" in my preaching, but also "the Spirit" confirmed the word preached, by imparting His spiritual gifts. The promises of the law are made to the person of every man; the promises of the gospel are first made to Christ, then by him to those who are by faith ingrafted into Christ. THE LOWER: THE HIGHER: 1-2. Had it not there for centuries rung in the ear, and fastened on the conscience, the joyful sound, "grace for grace," would not have been the watchword of the New Testament. This accords with Galatians 3:23 Galatians 3:24 , Romans 4:15 . [ESTIUS]. God’s good news is for everyone. It is wonderful to have a soft, tender heart before God. The conclusion understood is, Therefore a mediator cannot appertain to God; and consequently, the law, with its inseparable appendage of a mediator, cannot be the normal way of dealing of God, the one, and unchangeable God, who dealt with Abraham by direct promise, as a sovereign, not as one forming a compact with another party, with conditions and a mediator attached thereto. And our special care must be for heaven; the things of this life are but trifles. Rightly to divide the word of truth, a great difference must be put between the promise and the law, as to the inward affections, and the whole practice of life. What did Paul say about racial, class, and gender barriers with regard to the congregations of Christ? The conclusion is, Therefore the inheritance is not of, or from the law ( Romans 4:14 ). Christ alone can, by baptizing with His Spirit, make the inward grace correspond to the outward sign. For the "promise" was substantially the Gospel by anticipation. It was not by the first, but the last. 11. Christ is to you the toga virilis (the Roman garment of the full-grown man, assumed when ceasing to be a child) [BENGEL]. He asked them to remember how they received the Holy Spirit and from whom. The law did not teach a living, saving knowledge; but, by its rites and ceremonies, especially by its sacrifices, it pointed to Christ, that they might be justified by faith. God supplies unto you the Spirit as the result of faith, not works, just as Abraham obtained justification by faith, not by works ( Galatians 3:6 Galatians 3:8 Galatians 3:16 , Galatians 4:22 Galatians 4:26 Galatians 4:28 ). The blessing of justification was to Abraham by faith in the promise, not by works. Having begun in the Spirit. STUDY FOUR: FAITH VERSUS LAW: GALATIANS 3:1-14 A. PAUL REBUKES THE GALATIANS A. (10-14) From the covenant of promises, which the law could not disannul. Thus the Gospel, in its essential germ, is older than the law though the full development of the former is subsequent to the latter. "And if ye be Christ's, ye are Abraham's SEED, heirs according to the promise.". but a man's covenant--whose purpose it is far less important to maintain. 11. by the law--Greek, "IN the law." 2.0.20.12.28. Compare Galatians 3:8 , "Scripture," for "the God of the Scripture." In Galatians 3, Paul makes an intricate exegetical argument about the priority of God’s promise to Abraham and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ, and about the provisional function of the law in relation to God’s promise. He speaks of these miracles as a matter of unquestioned notoriety among those addressed; an undesigned proof of their genuineness (compare 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 ). is the word heard again and again in the Old Testament. As Christ was "crucified," so ye ought to have been by faith "crucified with Christ," and so "dead to the law" ( Galatians 2:19 Galatians 2:20 ). Matthew Henry's Commentary – Galatians . whether among those who preach justification by the works of the law, or those who preach the doctrine of faith? (3) Foolish. "Children" (literally, infants) need such tutoring ( Galatians 4:3 ). written--( Deuteronomy 21:23 ). Just as Paul dealt with the error of Peter in chapter 2, so he sets forth in the first verse of chapter 3 why the faith of the Galatians faltered: “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?” Here we find several issues emphasized which require a very direct approach by the Apostle Paul. Not merely accursed (in the concrete), but a curse in the abstract, bearing the universal curse of the whole human race. "The Spirit from without, kindles within us some spark of faith Whereby we lay hold of Christ, and even of the Spirit Himself, that He may dwell within us" [FLACIUS]. O foolish Galatians! Galatians chapter 3. The great design of the law was, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to those that believe; that, being convinced of their guilt, and the insufficiency of the law to effect a righteousness for them, they might be persuaded to believe on Christ, and so obtain the benefit of the promise. So to those who follow Abraham, the father of the faithful, the blessing, that is, justification, comes purely by faith in Him who is the subject of the promise. Being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into his death, that as he died and rose again, so we should die unto sin, and walk in newness and holiness of life. (Galatians 3:2-1) Show answer 11. Galatians 3:29, KJV: "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from the ministry and doctrine which have been blessed to their spiritual advantage. If that promise was enough for salvation, wherefore then serveth the law? Since verses 23-29 bring this argument to its climax, it will be helpful to review briefly the groundwork Paul … Continue reading "Commentary on Galatians 3:23-29" But as He promises the blessing in the faithful use of the means, the Church has rightly presumed, in charity, that such is the case, nothing appearing to the contrary. The covenant God made with Abraham, was not done away by the giving the law to Moses. "Curse," an execration. if it be confirmed--when once it hath been ratified. of In the giving of the law, the "angels" were representatives of God; Moses, as mediator, represented the people. His spiritual seed derive their birth from the travail of His soul, being born again of His word, which is the incorruptible seed ( John 1:12 , Romans 9:8 , 1 Peter 1:23 ). PERFECT obedience is required by the words, "in all things." children--Greek, "sons" ( Galatians 3:29 ). Here Jacob received the promise of the blessing, for which God had called Abraham out of Ur, repeated for the last time, on the last night of his sojourn in the land of promise. addeth--None addeth new conditions "making" the covenant "of none effect" ( Galatians 3:17 ). (19-25) Under the gospel state true believers are all one in Christ. The Israelites, though chosen to be God's peculiar people, were sinners as well as others. Paul also continues to write with great urgency. The law was a preparatory dispensation for the Jewish nation ( Romans 5:20 ; Greek, "the law came in additionally and incidentally"), intervening between the promise and its fulfilment in Christ. cannot--Greek, "doth not disannul." 3. Galatians 3:10 , "As many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse," refers plainly, not to the Jews only, but to all, even Gentiles (as the Galatians), who seek justification by the law. It was Paul’s greatest concern that they had been misled into believing … And--Greek, "Moreover." So Matthew, writing for Jews, quotes it as "said," or "spoken"; Mark and Luke, writing for Gentiles, as "written" ( Matthew 1:22 , 1:2 , Luke 2:22 Luke 2:23 ) [TOWNSON]. 27. baptized into Christ--( Romans 6:3 ). 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles amo… God justifieth the Jews, too, "by faith, not by works." Compare the phrase, Psalms 78:50 , Margin; Psalms 31:8 . But the awakened sinner discovers his dreadful condition. There is no distinction into male and female. Who has bewitched you [a]that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed [b]among you as crucified? When the promise is mingled with the law, it is made nothing but the law. Commentary on Galatians chapter 3. And it is not possible that the holy, just, and good law of God, the standard of duty to all, should be contrary to the gospel of Christ. hearing of faith--Faith consists not in working, but in receiving ( Romans 10:16 Romans 10:17 ). Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law; being made sin, or a sin-offering, for us, he was made a curse for us; not separated from God, but laid for a time under the Divine punishment. But one new "seed" of a righteous succession could be found. Let us then study the object, nature, and effects of Abraham's faith; for who can in any other way escape the curse of the holy law? 15. The intent of "Christ becoming a curse for us"; "To the end that upon the Gentiles the blessing of Abraham (that is, promised to Abraham, namely, justification by faith) might come in Christ Jesus" (compare Galatians 3:8 ). The laws teach God’s holy standards to people. promises--plural, because the same promise was often repeated ( Genesis 12:3 Genesis 12:7 , Genesis 15:5 Genesis 15:18 , 17:7 , 22:18 ), and because it involved many things; earthly blessings to the literal children of Abraham in Canaan, and spiritual and heavenly blessings to his spiritual children; but both promised to Christ, "the Seed" and representative Head of the literal and spiritual Israel alike. 4 Have you suffered so [c]many things in vain—if indeed it wasin vain? I hear with my own ears that I cannot be saved except by the blood and death of Christ. This proves that baptism, where it answers to its ideal, is not a mere empty sign, but a means of spiritual transference from the state of legal condemnation to that of living union with Christ, and of sonship through Him in relation to God ( Romans 13:14 ). This is a sign of spiritual immaturity, even as a baby will stick anything into its mouth. . that ministereth--or "supplieth," God ( 2 Corinthians 9:10 ). This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. iii. unto--"with a view to the faith," &c. We were, in a manner, morally forced to it, so that there remained to us no refuge but faith. Compare Romans 2:28 , Philippians 3:3 , Hebrews 9:10 . CHAPTER. . Compare John 8:56 , Hebrews 4:2 . Had they been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, by the ministration of the law, or on account of any works done by them in obedience thereto? redeemed us--bought us off from our former bondage ( Galatians 4:5 ), and "from the curse" under which all lie who trust to the law and the works of the law for justification. added--to the original covenant of promise. There is in this sonship by faith in Christ, no class privileged above another, as the Jews under the law had been above the Gentiles ( Romans 10:12 , 1 Corinthians 12:13 , Colossians 3:11 ). The law leads us to Christ, and there its office ceases. one . The*Jewish laws are not bad. Paul ( Romans 3:30 ) infers the same truth from the ONENESS of God (compare Ephesians 4:4-6 ). [NEANDER]. . Galatians 3 NIV - Faith or Works of the Law - You foolish - Bible Gateway. The apostle in this chapter, I. Reproves the Galatians for their folly, in suffering themselves to be drawn away from the faith of the gospel, and endeavours, from several considerations, to impress them with a sense of it. Color Scheme . Hence the law could not be designed to set aside the promise. The argument is, By baptism ye have put on Christ; and therefore, He being the Son of God, ye become sons by adoption, by virtue of His Sonship by generation. Abrupt exclamation, as he breaks away impatiently from those who would involve us again in the curse of the law, by seeking justification in it, to "Christ," who "has redeemed us from its curse." Let Christ be always before our eyes, as a sure argument for the defence of faith, against dependence on human righteousness. But--as the law cannot give life or righteousness [ALFORD]. So 2 Corinthians 5:21 , "Sin for us," not sinful, but bearing the whole sin of our race, regarded as one vast aggregate of sin. Though deliverance is not to be expected from the law, there is a way open to escape the curse, and regain the favour of God, namely, through faith in Christ. The law was not intended to discover a way of justification, different from that made known by the promise, but to lead men to see their need of the promise, by showing the sinfulness of sin, and to point to Christ, through whom alone they could be pardoned and justified. Through faith in the promise of God he was blessed; and it is only in the same way that others obtain this privilege. Having begun your Christianity in the Spirit, that is, in the divine life that proceeds from faith, are ye seeking after something higher still (the perfecting of your Christianity) in the sensuous and the earthly, which cannot possibly elevate the inner life of the Spirit, namely, outward ceremonies? Here he resumes the thought in Galatians 3:2 . To orient ourselves to the issues which underlie chapters 3 and 4 of this epistle, let us consider these. On the day following the last repetition of the promise orally ( Genesis 46:1-6 ), at Beer-sheba, Israel passed into Egypt. No one has a legal claim to sit upon it but Himself, He being the only living direct representative ( Ezekiel 21:27 ). a curse for us--Having become what we were, in our behalf, "a curse," that we might cease to be a curse. The written letter was needed SO as PERMANENTLY to convict man of disobedience to God's command. This is not inconsistent with Galatians 3:15 , "No man addeth thereto"; for there the kind of addition meant, and therefore denied, is one that would add new conditions, inconsistent with the grace of the covenant of promise. This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. It was to Christ in him, as in his grandfather Abraham, and his father Isaac, not to him or them as persons, the promise was spoken. Have ye suffered so many things--namely, persecution from Jews and from unbelieving fellow countrymen, incited by the Jews, at the time of your conversion. Present indicative. Click here Sign in. ordained--Greek, "constituted" or "disposed." But no outward forms or profession can secure these blessings; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Hence, Paul wonders they could be so misled in this case. The unity of God involves the unity of the people of God, and also His dealing directly without intervention of a mediator. 1. that ye should not obey the truth--omitted in the oldest manuscripts. The "us" refers primarily to the Jews, to whom the law principally appertained, in contrast to "the Gentiles" ( Galatians 3:14 ; compare Galatians 4:3 Galatians 4:4 ). come--(Compare "faith came," Galatians 3:23 ). God forbid." The "covenant" here is one of free grace, a promise afterwards carried into effect in the Gospel. 3. begun--the Christian life ( Philippians 1:6 ). 13. View Galatians 3 in the note window.. 1: O thoughtless Galatians - He breaks in upon them with a beautiful abruptness.Who hath bewitched you - Thus to contradict both your own reason and experience. life--The law, as an externally prescribed rule, can never internally impart spiritual life to men naturally dead in sin, and change the disposition. Did someone put a hex on you? 1. in vain--fruitlessly, needlessly, since ye might have avoided them by professing Judaism [GROTIUS]. God makes a covenant, but it is one of promise; whereas the law is a covenant of works. The covenant was not made with "many" seeds (which if there had been, a pretext might exist for supposing there was one seed before the law, another under the law; and that those sprung from one seed, say the Jewish, are admitted on different terms, and with a higher degree of acceptability, than those sprung from the Gentile seed), but with the one seed; therefore, the promise that in Him "all the families of the earth shall be blessed" ( Genesis 12:3 ), joins in this one Seed, Christ, Jew and Gentile, as fellow heirs on the same terms of acceptability, namely, by grace through faith ( Romans 4:13 ); not to some by promise, to others by the law, but to all alike, circumcised and uncircumcised, constituting but one seed in Christ ( Romans 4:16 ). "Sin, sin! 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