3 Galatians, don’t act like fools! Has someone cast a spell over you? Did you miss the crucifixion of Jesus the Anointed that was reenacted right in front of your eyes? 2Â Tell me this: Did the Holy Spirit come upon you because you lived according to the law? Or was it because you heard His message of grace through faith? 3Â Are you so foolish? Do you think you can perfect something God’s Spirit started with any human effort? 4Â Have you suffered so greatly for nothing if it was indeed for nothing? 5Â You have experienced the Spirit He gave you in powerful ways. Miracle after miracle has occurred right before your eyes in this community, so tell me: did all this happen because you have kept certain provisions of God’s law, or was it because you heard the gospel and accepted it by faith?
Paul primarily focuses on the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Jesus as the foundation of the church and of a right relationship with God, but he also correlates this with the presence of the Spirit. If the Spirit is working among the outsiders, it shows that they aren’t really outsiders when it comes to membership in the people of God. Paul supports this by showing how the presence of the Spirit is none other than the fulfillment of the promises to Abraham. However, the Spirit only came through Abraham’s descendant, that is, the new covenant with God is mediated by Jesus and the Spirit, not the law.
6Â You remember Abraham. Scripture tells us, Abraham believed God and trusted in His promises, so God counted it to his favor as righteousness. 7Â Know this: people who trust in God are the true sons and daughters of Abraham. 8Â For it was foretold to us in the Scriptures that God would set the Gentile nations right by faith when He told Abraham, I will bless all nations through you. 9Â So those who have faith in Him are blessed along with Abraham, our faithful ancestor.
10Â Listen, whoever seeks to be righteous by following certain works of the law actually falls under the law’s curse. I’m giving it to you straight from Scripture because it is as true now as when it was written: Cursed is everyone who doesn’t live by and do all that is written in the law. 11Â Now it is absolutely clear that no one is made right with God through the law because the prophet Habakkuk told us, By faith the just will obtain life. 12Â The law is not the same thing as life formed by faith. In fact, you are warned against this when God says, The one who observes My laws will live by them. I am trying to tell you that 13Â the Anointed One, the Liberating King, has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. It was stated in the Scriptures, Everyone who hangs on a tree is cursed by God. 14Â This is what God had in mind all along: the blessing He gave to Abraham might extend to all nations through the Anointed One, Jesus; and we are the beneficiaries of this promise of the Spirit that comes only through faith.
15Â My dear brothers and sisters, here’s a real-life example I can give you: With a last will and testament, when all the property is accounted for, the document is signed, witnessed, and notarized; and afterward no one can make changes to it. 16Â In a similar way, God’s promises established a binding agreement with Abraham and his offspring. In the Scriptures, it is carefully stated, and to your descendant (meaning one), not and to your descendants (meaning many). Therefore, in these covenant promises, God was not referring to every son and daughter born into Abraham’s family but to the Anointed One to come. 17Â What this all means is that the law given to Israel comes along some 430 years after the promise made to Abraham; so it does not invalidate the covenant God previously agreed to or in any way do away with His promise. 18Â You see, if the law became the sole basis for the inheritance, then it would put God in the position of breaking a covenant because He had promised it to Abraham.
Throughout this argument, one critical question remains: why would God give the law if it would not bring His people into a right standing with Him? Couldn’t God have found a better way of doing this? It isn’t as if the law is a bad thing or a mistake that God needs to correct. It has a good purpose, but a limited one. It never supplants God’s promise to Abraham. Rather, the law keeps sin in check until the time is right for the saving justice that comes through faith in Jesus. The law serves as a tutor or a schoolmaster, revealing our great need for salvation and pointing everyone toward Jesus.
19Â Now you’re asking yourselves, So why did God give us the law? God commanded His heavenly messengers to deliver it into the hand of a mediator for this reason: to help us rein in our sins until the Offspring, about whom the promise was made in the first place, would come. 20Â A mediator represents more than one, but God is only one. 21Â So, you ask, does the law contradict God’s promise? Absolutely not! Never was there written a law that could lead to resurrection and life; if there had been, then surely we could have experienced saving righteousness through keeping the law. But we haven’t. 22Â Scripture has subjected the whole world to sin’s power so that the faithful obedience of Jesus the Anointed might extend God’s promises to everyone who has faith. 23Â Before faith came on the scene, the law did its best to keep us in line, restraining us until the faith that was to come was fully revealed. 24Â So then, the law was like a tutor, assigned to train us and point us to the Anointed, so that we will be acquitted of all wrong and made right by faith. 25Â But now that true faith has come, we have no need for a tutor. 26Â It is your faith in the Anointed Jesus that makes all of you children of God 27Â because all of you who have been initiated into the Anointed One through the ceremonial washing of baptism have put Him on. 28Â It makes no difference whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a freeman, a man or a woman, because in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King, you are all one. 29Â Since you belong to Him and are now subject to His power, you are the descendant of Abraham and the heir of God’s glory according to the promise.
4Â Listen. I am going to explain how this all works: When a minor inherits an estate from his parents, although he is the owner of everything, he is the same as a slave. 2Â Until the day set by his father, the minor is subject to the authorities or guardians whom his father put in charge. 3Â It is like that with us; there was a time when we were like children held under the elemental powers of this world. 4Â When the right time arrived, God sent His Son into this world (born of a woman, subject to the law) 5Â to free those who, just like Him, were subject to the law. Ultimately He wanted us all to be adopted as sons and daughters. 6Â Because you are now part of God’s family, He sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts; and the Spirit calls out, Abba, Father. 7Â You no longer have to live as a slave because you are a child of God. And since you are His child, God guarantees an inheritance is waiting for you.
Abba is an address spoken by children to their fathers expressing intimacy and respect.
8Â During the time before you knew God, you were slaves to powers that are not gods at all. 9Â But now, when you are just beginning to know the one True God actually, He is showing how completely He knows you how can you turn back to weak and worthless idols made by men, icons of these spiritual powers? Haven’t you endured enough bondage to these breathless idols? 10Â You are observing particular days, months, festival seasons, and years; 11Â you have me worried that I may have wasted my time laboring among you.
12Â Brothers and sisters, I have become one of you. Now it’s your turn become as I am. You have never wronged me. 13Â Do you remember the first time I preached the good news to you? I was sick, and 14Â I know my illness was a hardship to you, but you never drew back from me or scorned me. You cared for me as if I were a heavenly messenger of God, possibly as well as if I were the Anointed Jesus Himself! Don’t you remember? 15Â What has happened to your joy and blessing? I tell you, the place was so thick with love that if it were possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and handed them to me. 16Â And now, do I stand as your enemy because I tried to bless you with the truth? 17Â I’ll tell you what these false brothers and sisters are counting on: your attention. They are ravenous for it. They are not acting honorably or in your best interests. They want to keep you away from the good news we proclaim so they can have you all to themselves. 18Â Listen, there’s nothing wrong with zeal when you’re zealous for God’s good purpose. And what’s more, you don’t have to wait for me to be with you to seek the good. 19Â My dear children, I feel the pains of birth upon me again, and I will continue in labor for you until the Anointed One is formed completely in you. 20Â I wish I were there. This letter is really harsh, yet I am really perplexed by you.
21Â Now it’s your turn to instruct me. All of you who want to live by the rules of the law, are you really listening to and heeding what the law teaches? Listen to this: 22Â it’s recorded in the Scripture that Abraham was the father of two sons. One son was born to a slave woman, Hagar, and the other son was born to a free woman, Abraham’s wife, Sarah. 23Â The slave woman’s son was born through only natural means, but the free woman’s son was born through a promise from God. 24Â I’m using an allegory. Here’s the picture: these two women stand for two covenants. The first represents the covenant God made on Mount Sinai this is Hagar, who gives birth to children of slavery. 25Â Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and she stands for the Jerusalem we know now. She has lived in slavery along with her children. 26Â But there is a Jerusalem we know above. She is free, and she is our mother. 27Â Isaiah wrote,
Be glad, you who feel sterile and never gave birth! Raise a joyful shout, childless woman, who never went into labor! For the barren woman produces many children, more than the one who has a husband.
28Â So you see now, brothers and sisters, you are children of the promise like Isaac. 29Â The slave’s son, born through only what flesh could conceive, resented and persecuted the one born into the freedom of the Spirit. The slave’s son picked at Isaac, just as you are being picked at now. 30Â So what does the Scripture say? Throw out the slave and her son, for the slave’s son will never have a share of the inheritance coming to the son of the free woman. 31Â So, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but sons and daughters of the free.
- Galatians 3 (dailymannablog.wordpress.com)