Author: Ron Graham
—Simply Bible Readings
Blessed by Faith, not Cursed by Law
¶“1 You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Your eyes were opened to see Jesus Christ as crucified. 2 Let me just ask you this: did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or was it by hearing [the gospel] with faith? 3 Are you so stupid? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain —if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who gives the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or is it by hearing with faith?” (Galatians 3:1-5)
¶“6'Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.' 7So you should know that people of faith are the sons of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith. It records the gospel preached beforehand to Abraham: 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' 9So people of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer.” (Galatians 3:6-9)
¶“10All who rely on works of law are under a curse. As it is written, 'Everyone is cursed who fails to abide by all things the Book of the Law commands to be done.' 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law. Instead, 'The righteous shall live by faith.' 12But the law is not of faith. Rather, 'The one who does the works shall live by them.'”(Galatians 3:10-12)
¶“13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. As it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.' 14He did this so the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus. He wanted us to receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Galatians 3:13-14)
God’s Promise to Abraham
¶“ 15Brethren, I say that even in human affairs nobody annuls or adds to a man-made covenant [a person’s last will and testament] once it has been ratified. 16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his seed. It does not say, 'And to seeds' as though it meant the many. It refers to one alone, 'And to your seed,' meaning Christ. 17I say this: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God. The law does not void the promise [to Abraham]. 18For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise! But God gave it to Abraham by a promise” (Galatians 3:15-18)
¶“19So what was the law for? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made. The law was put in place through angels by a mediator. 20Now a mediator implies more than one, but God is one. 21 Am I saying that God’s law is contrary to God’s promises? Certainly not! For if a life-giving law [of faith] had been given, then righteousness would indeed be gained by the law” (Galatians 3:19-21).
¶“22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin. So the promise by faith in Jesus Christ is given to believers. 23Before faith came, we were held prisoners under the law. We were imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24So the law was our schoolmaster until Christ came, so we could be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:22-25).
¶“26You are all sons of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as were immersed into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. You are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed —heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).