Galatians, Chapter 3
© Copyright 1998 Darroll Evans-all rights reserved

Galatians, Chapter 3

Galatians 3:1 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?

“Foolish” means dimwitted!

Those who turn to another gospel are biblically dimwitted!

Many Church attendees are dimwitted!

“Bewitched” speaks of false representation by use of false praise.

Much of what appears to be the Church has been bewitched by what appears to be grace, but is nothing but human salesmanship.

The Galatians had been talked into believing a false gospel.

Glib speech has built many large buildings with a "Church" sign on the front door.

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Paul had just one question for the Galatians.

Paul begins this verse by telling the Galatians that he is resolved to have them understand only one thing.

Paul bases his entire point on a single question.

That question has only one answer.

Was God’s Spirit given to them because they obeyed the Law, or did they rely on faith? 

Faith is of faith!

It is never of works.

Works may be the result of faith, BUT they never result in faith.

Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

”Foolish” speaks of the dimwitted and sensual. 

It refers to past unconverted thinking!

"Made perfect" speaks of bringing to completion.

We begin our walk with Christ by the Spirit.

We cannot complete that walk or grow in things of the Spirit through sensual unconverted means.

Many Christians admit that they were saved by grace, BUT they feel that they must continue their walk with Christ by following man-made rules and regulations.

They were saved by grace, but they think that to continue with Christ they must do what is socially acceptable without regard to what Christ says is acceptable.

Are you so foolish that having begun in the Holy Spirit, you seek maturity in the flesh?

The flesh did not save you, and it will not lead you to spiritual maturity!

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Galatians 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

"In Vain" means without purpose. 

Do we experience the things of Christ with no purpose? 

In America, our suffering is minimal.

In other nations it is extreme.

If we leave the things of the Spirit to take up the carnal, His death is, in our lives, without purpose, because in doing at we deny Him.  

Galatians 3:5 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?

“Miracles” indicate an abundance of power, rights, qualifications, and ability.

God gives us “dunamis” power to deal with life and the human sin nature (read Romans 6 & 7).

The word “among” should have been translated “in.”

This verses deal with our freedom from the letter of the law.

Please keep in mind that we are a people of law. 

Some laws are obvious and some are not.

However we need things in our daily lives that bring order.

Grace and faith bring order to our lives.

What brings order into your life? 

Is tt may the letter of the law, or the spirit of the law?

If you follow the letter, you will constantly be coming into conflict. 

If you live by the spirit, you will enjoy a loving freedom that only Christ Jesus can give.

Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Paul began this section (chapter 3) beings by saying, "O foolish Galatians."

It may sound as if Paul is scolding the Galatians, but it is my opinion that he is just trying to get their attention.

Then he asks, "Who deceived you?

Who talked you into disobeying the truth? 

Paul presented their position to them so that they may see the error in which they are living.

It was due to his love for them that he told them of their shortcomings.

The Galatians heard how Jesus Christ was crucified.

They knew the price Christ Jesus paid to gain their freedom.

And yet, some of them walked away from the gospel of grace and into the bondage of legalism.

Paul preached the crucified Christ to all who would listen and to quite a few who would not.

Then Paul asks them to consider the obvious, "Did you receive the Spirit through the Law, or by faith? 

They knew the answer, and he knew that they knew.

Their salvation came through the beckoning of the Holy Spirit just as every Christian's journey through grace begins.

Paul asked, "Are you are so irrational that having begun in the Spirit, you now suppose that you may be completed in the flesh?"

Good question! 

Unfortunately, that is exactly what the Galatians were trying to do.

Many today attempt the same thing.

Paul made it plain to the Galatians, "Has your suffering been in vain---is it without purpose?" 

The Galatians had suffered from the same persecutions as many other early Christians.

Now they were at a crossroads. 

If they turned to salvation by works, suffering for the sake of Christ would have been wasted motion, and they had no salvation.

Paul continues (let me put it in my paraphrase), "Did your power to deal with life come by way of the Law, or was it through the Spirit?" 

Again, the answer is obvious.

The law was not given to bring spiritual power.

The Law was instituted solely to point out sin. 

The only valid use of the Ten Commandments is to point out sin!

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Abraham simply believed, or placed his trust in God, and the result was righteousness.

Things have not changed.

If we put our trust in God, the result will be righteousness.

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

Faith implies a deep conviction.

Those who live by faith are the "children," the spiritual offspring of Abraham.

Galatians 3:8 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.

“Justify” indicates a condition of innocence.

The Greek comes from a legal term indicating a judicial sentence of absolute innocence.

We are justified in Christ!

Heathen (Gr. ethnee-eqnh) and nations (Gr. ethnee-eqnh) are identical and plural. 

The Greek text indicates that in Abram/Abraham all Gentiles would be blessed.

The Hebrew Scripture reference (Genesis 12:3) also indicates that all Gentiles (heathen/nations) shall be blessed.

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Let's go back to look again at Abraham.

Abram believed what God said.

He trusted God.

Today, we must believe God the Son! 

Abram’s demonstrated trust was attributed to him as righteousness.

His name was then changed to Abraham to signify God's work within him.

The seed (offspring) of Abraham comes in two forms. 

One is the offspring of Abraham due to physical procreation.

Today, we call them Jews.

The other offspring is by way of the Spirit.

Today, we call them Christians. 

Paul verifies that those who are offspring by way of faith, the Spirit, are the true sons of Abraham.

You may be wondering why I am not including Arabs. 

That group is so mixed over the centuries that many of today’s Arabs are not decedents of Abraham. 

Just because Arabs claim to be descendents of Abraham, does not mean they are.

It is my opinion that Muhammad was not a descendent of Abraham or Ishmael, but was one of many descendants of others in that area.

Many times in the Old Testament, the Hebrew word translated "nations" is GOYIM. It means unbelieving GENTILES! 

The Bible foretold that God would be declaring the "nations" (Gentiles) to be righteous through faith.

Today, we are declared righteous in the same manner as Abram/Abraham.

Christians trust in God and His Messiah, Jesus. 

Long ago God declared the gospel to Abraham.

God said, "In you shall all Gentiles be blessed."

Those of the faith, regardless of physical birth, are blessed as offspring of faithful Abraham.

As Saul's name was changed to Paul when he encountered God the Son, Abram's name was changed to Abraham, and Jacob's name was also changed to Israel when they encountered God. 

Christianity is not man in search of God. 

Christianity is God in search of man.

Did Jacob go to God?

Or, did God come to Jacob?

Jesus, God the Son, has come to us. In doing that, He has declared us to be spiritual Israelites/Hebrews (not Jews). 

The Church has NOT replaced the Jews. 

The blindness that has come upon the Jews is temporary!

Gentile, by physical birth Christians are living in a parenthetical aside.

The word translated "Hebrew" comes from the Hebrew word Ibry or Ivry.

It indicates one who crossed over. 

Have you crossed over from death to life? 

If so, you have gone from bondage of sin and death to the freedom of salvation.

As a Christian, you have crossed over!

Galatians 3:10 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.

“Under” speaks of living with.

If we place our faith in the Law (no matter how wonderful the Law is) the Law condemns us.

But, if we place our faith in the Lawgiver, He shall redeem us from that condemnation. 

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

No person is justified before God by means of the Law. 

If you attempt to stand before God in judgment and declare your innocence based on the Law---your defense shall fail!  The just shall live by faith---not by the Law!

Again we must ask, “By Whose faith shall the just live? And, what does “live mean?” 

We do not live by our faith!

We live by the faith of Christ Jesus imputed to us!

A study of the following verses will indicate that our faith will not justify us before God the Father! 

Only the faith of Christ Jesus can accomplish that!

Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Gal 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Gal 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Phil 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

But how does the faith of Christ Jesus work?

Christ died in faith that if he took our sins, all that he died for would come to Him!

Prior to our call to Christ, we were dead in trespasses and sins!

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

Following our calling to Christ via the Holy Spirit, life forevermore was given to us so that we may serve the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in righteousness!

That is true life!

Galatians 3:12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

The Law is to be respected but it was not give to bring us salvation. 

The just shall live by faith, and the Law is not a work of faith. 

Paul declared that all the works of the Law are under the curse, because those under the law are subject to the whole law. 

The law is a package deal.

You either live by the complete law, or you die.

There is no middle ground.  

The law cannot justify us because that is not what the law does.

The truth is that the just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). 

The term "live" (in Habakkuk 2:4) does not refer to just physical life or day to day existence.

It refers to life in the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ.

Here, Paul makes a statement with which many would disagree.

Paul says that the law is not of faith, but if anyone does fulfill the law, he/she shall live.

Paul knew that none could fulfill the Law.

If you don't know it, let me be the first to tell you.

As much as you may want to, as much as you try to, you cannot fulfill the requirements of the law.

However, Paul says, "The man that does them shall live in them." 

Isn’t that a contradiction?

If you could carry them out perfectly, you would gain salvation.

But, only one man has ever done that. And they crucified Him!

In addition, by Faith, Jesus did all the things in the Law.

Galatians 3:13 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:

This verse goes beyond marvelous!

"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law!" 

There are two parts we will consider.

There is the curse, and the blessing.

Christ redeemed us from the curse and that only leaves the blessing!

He took the curse that rightfully belongs to us.

All He left was the blessing!

“Tree” indicates anything made of wood.

It may be a beam, a yoke---or a cross.

What is redemption?

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Col 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Redemption does not come through any works of rules and/or regulations of any kind!

Redemption is the direct result of the shedding of blood by the Savior of the world, Christ Jesus!

Due to His call and His shedding of blood on the cross, you have been redeemed!

You have been forgiven! 

And, you are blessed!

Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Blessing speaks of adoration. 

Here is where I must part company with some Teachers of the Word.

Some teach that we, as Gentiles by physical birth, have no part in the covenant of Abraham. 

If we don't, how could Paul tell us we do?

Re-read verse 14!

It says that certain things happened so that the "blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."

The Greek text says that blessings were birthed through, or came into being through Christ Jesus.

He was crucified so that the blessings of the grace of God given to Abraham may also be given to Gentiles.

Galatians 3:15 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.

This verse can only be understood as it relates to a human will.

When a person makes a will, that will is normally recorded at the county Courthouse.

Unless the person who made the will decides to change, the will cannot be changed.

I fully realize that under today’s legal tactics wills are challenged in court by unscrupulous lawyers.

That is not normal!

It is normal to let the will stand after the testator has died.

Christ died on the cross to validate His will, the New Testament! 

“Covenant” denotes a contract.

God’s contract with us was signed in His Son’s blood.

That contract shall not be changed.

We can’t and God will not change it.

Galatians 3:16 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.

Far too many “supposed” Christians want to live under the law of the Old Testament, the Old Covenant!

Christians are New Testament people!

God’s promises were made to Christ Jesus.

We gain access to those promises because we have been baptized into Christ!

Rom 6:3-4
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

That is why we live by His faith.

The promise was to a Abraham’s single seed, Christ.

Galatians 3:17 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.

The covenant does not alter the promise.

Time is not a challenge to the effectiveness of the promise or the covenant.  

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Do you realize that all gifts are free? 

The Father told the Son, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen (Heb. Goyim/Gentiles) for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Psalm 2:8). 

We are that Gift---from Father to Son. 

Galatians 3:19 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.

The question is, “Why have the law?”

The answer is, “The Law was given to point out sin!”

Read the Ten Commandments!

You will not find the word “salvation” anywhere in the Law!

Rom 3:20b for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

For the first approximately 2 ½ millennia of Human existence there was no Law.

Abram was called by God to experience justification by faith!

He did not “do” anything except believe God!

We come to God because we are called to experience justification by faith!

We do not “do” anything except believe God!

There are NO works in salvation!

Rom 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Abram did not follow the Law, because there was no Law to follow!

The most important word in this verse is "till."

The Law points to sin in our lives till the Truth, Christ Jesus, comes alive in our hearts. 

When Christ is manifest in our lives, the Law no longer leads us.

From that point the Spirit leads us.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

This section presents a modulation from the covenant to Christ's role as a Mediator.

It is His job to restore peace and friendship.

Let me present the problem: mediation indicates two opposing sides being reconciled!

A mediator is not a mediator of one!

The mediator does not represent just one side he represents both sides in an attempt to bring them together.

However, God is One and Christ Jesus is God the Son!

How cane God the Son mediate with God the Father?

In explaining that we must go back to Acts to find out what kind of reconciliation is being put into place during the mediation.

Acts 3:21 [Christ Jesus] Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

The word translated “restitution” (Gr. apokatastaseoos-apokatastasewV) tell us that Christ’s reconciliation is a completely one sided reconciliation!

Christ’s mediation is perfect because it depends on God’s perfect grace and not man’s fickle whims!

Christ’s mediation brings last peace between God and man!    

Humans may try all sorts of peacemaking efforts, but they will not work. 

The Jews and Muslims have been brought to the peace-table by many, but all such efforts are in vain. 

Until the hearts of the Muslims are changed, there can be no peace with Jews or Christians. 

The Koran forbids Muslims from making friends, living in peace with Jews or Christians. 

Consequently, Muslims hate Jews and Christians, and any peace that is not based in Christ will be base on their efforts to subdue and dominate.

Christ Jesus became a mediator between God and man of a better agreement.

The work of grace took front stage in God's plan. 

Hebrews 8:6 “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.”

Galatians 3:21 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.

Does the Law work against the promises? 

Absolutely not!

The Law works until the promises are manifest in our lives. 

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Again, we come face to face with an embarrassing phrase, "faith OF Jesus Christ!"

God's Promises were never based on Law.

They are rooted in grace.

And, the grace of the Father is rooted in the faith of the Son.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Prior to {the} faith coming into our lives, the Law was our guide to a proper life-style.

The definite article found in the Greek but not used in the English points to the faith OF Christ Jesus!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

We are justified by faith, the faith of Christ Jesus!

We are never justified by the law!

The law may affect the outside, but true change comes from the inside!

Tat is why the Holy Spirit dwells within us!

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

How can the Law bring us to Christ? 

Jesus told his generation, "If you had known me, you should have known my Father also" (John 8:19). 

The reverse is also true.

If they had known the Father, they would have known the Son.

But, they did not know the Father or the Son (John 8:19).

If they had believed the first commandment, they would have accepted Jesus as the Messiah, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:37).

The Jews of Jesus’ earthly day loved tradition.

What do you love?

Jesus made it plain that the law was of limited duration and limited use!

The law was the “schoolmaster” (Gr. paidagoogos-paidagwgoV), guardian, or trainer to bring the Jews to Christ!

After coming to Christ the Jews had no further use for the Law!

Gentiles were never under the Law!

The Ten were given to Israel!

It was used to bring Israel to Christ so that they may be JUSTIFIED BY FAITH!

I know that we just read this verse, but let’s look at it again!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

I have often said the dead men don’t make decisions!

Those who are dead in trespasses and sin (Eph 2:1) cannot decide to follow Christ!

We are justified by means of the imputed faith OF Christ Jesus!

Galatians 3:25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Before the coming of faith, men (Israel) lived under the Law. 

Did you know that the English word "faith" is only found twice in the Old Testament? 

It is found in Deuteronomy 32:20 where it says there is no faith in the children.

It is also found in Habakkuk 2:4 where it says, "The just shall live by his faith."

The Greek word most often translated faith (cariV) is found only 24 times in the synoptic gospels.

But, it appears over 300 times in the entire New Testament. 

Most often, it is found in Paul’s letters.

After faith is imputed to us, we no longer need the Law!

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Many say they have faith, but act like heathen.


Because they are heathen! 

People who believe something act on that belief.

Many Church attendees are not followers of Christ.

We are children of God “by faith in Christ Jesus”, which is ours through the imputed faith OF Christ Jesus! 

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Have you been baptized into Christ?

Have you "put on" Christ? 

Does living in Christ, by faith, feel so good that you have no desire to renounce Him?

When you are in Christ Jesus, you are safe forevermore, because you are in Christ Jesus!

Galatians 3:28 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.

Through the faith of Jesus Christ, we have become sons of God.

The ones who have been baptized into Christ have become a part of body of Christ.  

There is true unity in Christ Jesus. True Christians are all one in Christ Jesus. 

In Him there is no Jew or Greek, and no male or female.

God is One!

The true Church is to be one!

At this point, we will end the commentary on chapter 3.

Verse 29 will begin the next chapter.

When you get to chapter 4 you will understand the reasoning.

Chapter 4
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