The purpose of the law was to give to sin the character of transgression and prove man helpless to save himself — not to save man. Man is therefore shut up to faith in the work of Christ our Mediator, as the only avenue of escape from the penalty of a broken law, for Christ has borne the curse of the law for us and we become the children of God through Him, not by any works of our own.
1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:2-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:4-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:6-7 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:8 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:9-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:11-12 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:13 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:14-18 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:19-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:21-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:23-24 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:24-25 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:26 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:27-29 – J. Vernon McGee
Galatians 3:1-10 – Righteousness Based on Faith
The strong tendency of the Galatian Christians to depend upon ceremonies or upon legal obedience, in addition to their faith in Christ, elicits in this chapter a magnificent demonstration of the simplicity and sufficiency of faith alone.
Faith had underlain the commencement of their Christian life, Galatians 3:1-5. They had found peace with God through faith. Through faith they had received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. As they had begun, so let them finish!
Faith had been the means, too, of Abraham’s acceptance with God, Galatians 3:6-10. From the first the gospel of faith had been proclaimed to him by the divine Spirit. Long before he had become a Jew by the initial rite of Judaism, he had been a humble believer in God’s promise, on the basis of which he was reckoned righteous. Simple faith was the only condition that he had fulfilled, and the promise that all flesh should be blessed through him had been given when he was still a believing Gentile. Surely what had sufficed for the father of the faithful was good enough for his children! Let each reader see to it that he does not merely believe about Christ, but believes in Him, so as to be no longer under the curse, but within the blessing. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Galatians 3:11-19 – Inheritors of the Promise
We are not under ceremonial law, as contained in the precepts of Leviticus. Our Savior has perfectly fulfilled them on the behalf of the Jewish people, whom He represented from His birth until His death. The law of ordinances is then abrogated on their behalf; and we Gentiles have never been placed under its thrall. As to the curse that is uttered against every one, whether Jew or Gentile, that offends against the moral code declared in the Ten Commandments at Sinai, our Savior has redeemed us from that by becoming accursed for us. There is nothing for us to do but to trust in His finished work, and to enter upon the same heritage of blessed service as was unfolded to Abraham in Genesis 12:1-13.
The Mosaic dispensation was a parenthesis in God’s dealings with man. It was intended to produce conviction of sin. When God’s ideal is held up before us, we become conscious of our deformities and our sins, and are driven to Christ. Let us see to it that we are truly united to Him who is the predicted seed of Abraham; for as we stand in Him, we become heirs to all the wealth of promise which is contained in the ancient covenant, made to the father of all who believe. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Galatians 3:14—That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
“The promise of the Spirit” is the invariable term for the special Pentecostal gift; and this is to be equally received by faith as the forgiveness of sins and eternal life. To me this text once came as a perfect revelation. It was the clue to unravel perplexity, the point around which truth held long in solution suddenly crystallised. Before this verse spoke to my heart it had been my constant endeavor to feel the Spirit’s presence as the sign of my having received; but now it became clear that one might receive by simple faith God’s very richest communications, even though the emotion tarried long. The stages have been thus specified:–
There is such a blessing.—Yes; there can be no doubt of this; for it pleased the Father that the fulness of the Holy Spirit should dwell in Jesus, that He might communicate Him to each member of his Church.
It is for me.—At Pentecost Peter said, This promise is for as many as the Lord our God shall call.
I have not received.—It is very important to realize what your standing is. Paul’s first inquiry of the Ephesians was to ascertain this.
I would give anything if it might be mine.—Because of the life, and love, and power it would bring into your life, and the immense increase of power over others, there is no sacrifice you should be unwilling to make.
I do now in humble faith receive.—There may be no coronet of flame, nor rush of wind, nor flash of joy; but if we have put ourselves in the right attitude towards God, and opened our hearts to receive—He who taught us to hunger and thirst must have bestowed. —Our Daily Homily
Galatians 3:20-29 – The Law Leads to Christ
The Mosaic law was not designed to be the final code of the religious life, but to prepare the soil of the human heart to receive Jesus Christ in all the fullness of His salvation. It was the tutor of the Hebrew people, to enable them to become the religious teachers of mankind. It could not, therefore, take the place of the great covenant of grace, which had been initiated with Abraham before he had received the rite of circumcision, and when he thus stood for all who believe, whether Jew or Gentile. The mistake of those against whom Paul contended was that they treated as permanent a system which was temporary and parenthetic in its significance.
With many individuals now, as with the Hebrew race, there is often a period in which the conscience is confronted with the holy demands of God’s law, which men cannot keep; but when they discover the full grace of God in Christ, they no longer suffer at the hand of the schoolmaster, but become as children in the Father’s home. They put on Christ and stand accepted in the Beloved, and understand that they are in unity with all who believe. Theirs are all the promises that were made to Abraham, and as his spiritual children they claim their fulfillment. —Through the Bible Day by Day