God’s Renewing Word of New Life in the Spirit
Galatians 3:1-14: Paul continues his discussion of what it means to be saved by faith (see 2:15-21 from yesterday’s reading). In today’s reading, Paul argues that those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse because no one can follow it perfectly. Jesus took the place of all people and died under a curse so that all who believe in him would be freed from the curse of the Law.
Law or Faith
1You foolish Galatians! Who put a spell on you? Before your very eyes you had a clear description of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross! 2Tell me this one thing: did you receive God’s Spirit by doing what the Law requires or by hearing the gospel and believing it? 3How can you be so foolish! You began by God’s Spirit; do you now want to finish by your own power? 4Did all your experience mean nothing at all? Surely it meant something! 5Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the gospel and believe it?
6 Consider the experience of Abraham; as the scripture says, “He believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.” 7 You should realize, then, that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have faith. 8 The scripture predicted that God would put the Gentiles right with himself through faith. And so the scripture announced the Good News to Abraham: “Through you God will bless all people.” 9Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believe are blessed as he was.
10 Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, “Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God’s curse!” 11 Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live.” 12 But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, “Whoever does everything the Law requires will live.”
13 But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God’s curse.” 14Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God.
Today’s Key Verse: Galatians 3:11
It is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live.”
According to Paul, who are the descendants of Abraham (verse 7)? In verses 10-13, Paul cites references from Habakkuk 2:4 when he says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live,” and from Deuteronomy 27:26 when he says that “Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings.” What is the blessing that such redemption brings (verse 14)?
Lord Jesus, you have redeemed me from the curse that the Law brings by becoming a curse for me. Thank you for the blessing of God’s promised Spirit and that, through faith, I have been put right with God and shall live. Amen.
Galatians 3:15—4:7: Paul discusses the purpose of the Law.