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Galatians 3:1-14

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Grace Christian Huynh

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?”

Paul spoke to the Galatians who forgot what they should be very sure of which is the death and salvation of Jesus Christ. Foolish is an important word in this passage. Fools are people who are deceived and do not know they are being deceived. Their foolishness is exemplified when the redeeming crucifixion of Jesus Christ was evident to them.

2-5 “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 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?”

The many questions here are meant to help the Galatians realize how far away they’ve come from their initial strong faith. Twice, he contrasts law and faith. Paul further explains the differences of the law and faith.

6-9 “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 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. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”

Through Abraham came the Israelites, the children of God. Most of the other nations did not recognize God and worshipped other gods. However, the Gentiles were able to become the children of God by sharing the same faith as Abraham. God extended His promise of salvation to those who seek and wholeheartedly believe in Him.

10-12 “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. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.”

Paul makes the point that all of those who believe in the law are under the curse of the law. Everyone somehow breaks the law; everyone is a sinner. That is why everyone is cursed before knowing faith. The law condemns us and is not based on faith.

13-14 “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: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

Faith is what saved us from the condemnation of the law. The death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ is what saved us. Our faith not only saves us from the curse of the law, but also enables us to receive God in the person of the Holy Spirit into our bodies, who guides us and helps us maintain all of the laws. In the beginning of the passage in the second verse, Paul asked the Galatians whether they received the Holy Spirit by the law or by faith. It is very clear now what the answer to that question is.

The overall message of Paul is to wake the Galatians up and remind them of wonderful promise of God of faith and salvation and to remind them what is at stake because they are cursed by the law. The curse of the law is death, Jesus Christ became the curse in order to save us (3:13).

This message can apply to our lives as a reminder to not forget the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and that it is not by following the law and being a good person that saves us, but our faith and our reflection of that faith in our lives. Our faith enables us to receive the Holy Spirit who will help us live the life He wants for us.


Jay Christian Huynh

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?”

Despite witnessing the true preaching of Christ, the Galatians have failed to keep faith. These people were presented with Christ before their eyes, and yet their faith still had failed.

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

The Holy Spirit is received through having true faith, not by simply obeying God’s law. People can obey the Word of God, but if they do not have faith in the Word of God, they will not receive the Holy Spirit.

3-5 “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 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?”

The Galatians initially had strong faith, but had later declined in their faith. The miracles of God do not come because of the law’s existence, but because of the existence of faith within the person. A person who has not known the laws yet can still gain faith, which of course would later lead them to knowing and obeying the law.

6-7 “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”

Those who have faith in God are considered saved, or as part of the covenant that God had made with Abraham and his descendants. Only those who have true faith in the sacrifice of Christ will be redeemed from their sin.

8-9 “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. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”

Anyone, including Gentiles, could be saved in Christ through faith. Those who originally would not have been part of God’s chosen people could now, through the blood of Christ, join together with God’s chosen people to be saved as part of God’s covenant with 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.”

A person is condemned by reading the law, believing in its words, and do not obeying them. By reading the law, they are now aware of what is right and what is wrong, and so they now hold responsibility for their actions in obeying the Word of God.

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.”

Because of the curse put upon all by the law, no human can be innocent, but they can still be saved through their faith. Only Christ had lived a perfect life without any sin at all, therefore no human had lived a life without sinning. Since people can never reach a point in which they are no longer in violation of the law, humans can only be saved through true faith in God.

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

Although the law of God are not based upon faith, those who are faithful will always try to obey God’s law. Once a person gains true faith in God, that person would try to live by the law of God. Even if it would not be possible for humans to truly be sinless, this should not mean that people should not at least try to obey the law.

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:”

Violating the law causes sin, and since the curse of sin is death, the curse of law is death. By receiving this curse in our place, Jesus Christ had redeemed mankind from the death for their sins.

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.”

The reason Christ died was so that all people of the word, including the Gentiles, could have their curse removed through their true faith in Christ. As long as a person has faith in God and faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that person will be insured by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice no matter who that person is.

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