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Galatians Chapter 3 

Memory verses for this week: 2 Pet 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  (Note.. this is my favorite verse in the bible.  David Parham)


Introduction:     Last week in Chapter Two, Paul told of his third trip to Jerusalem and how the Lord had given him a special direct revelation.   We mentioned that today, you and I have to study to get our knowledge of God’s Word.  Chapter 2 closed with a record of the sermon Paul brought to the churches of Antioch and Jerusalem. 


I.  The Gift of the Spirit is by Faith


Gal 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?

Gal 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?

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

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

When people do not know the truth, you understand why they live in a lifestyle that brings hurt and anguish.  But when a person knows the truth, the man or woman who refuses to follow the truth is truly foolish.  God does not give us the rules and commandments to hurt us, but rather to set us free to have the most happy and successful life we can.

John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 

1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

Paul asks them a good question in verse  2.  Did they receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or did it come by faith.   When you heard the Gospel and you believed unto salvation, was that the works of the law or of faith.  Of course it was by faith.  It was not by following some law of rituals.  When you are saved, you receive the Holy Spirit.  He comes and dwells inside you, and your body  becomes his temple.  Paul’s apostolic power came by faith through the Holy Spirit.

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:


II.  The Covenant of Abraham is by Faith

Gal 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?

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

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

Gal 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.

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

The promises that were made to Abraham and his seed were not by the works of the law, but by faith.     We have read in James how that by his act of willingness to offer Isaac, he was justified by his works.   

James 2:21  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:22  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

James 2:23  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

But 40 years prior to this, Abraham was saved and justified by faith.   Works came because of the faith, not in order to obtain salvation.

Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture?  Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

When we have faith, verse 9 says our relationship to Abraham is called “Blessed with faithful Abraham.”

J. Vernon McGee had this to say about Abraham.

If the covenant depended on Abraham’s faithfulness—perhaps on his saying his prayers every night—he might miss one night, and then the promise would be no good. So God was the One who did all the promising, and the covenant depended on God’s faithfulness.

Friend, over nineteen hundred years ago Jesus Christ went to the cross to pay for your sins and mine. God is not asking you to say your prayers or be a nice little Sunday school boy to be saved. He is asking you to trust His Son who died for you. He makes the contract. He is the One who makes the promise, the covenant, and He will save you. That is the new contract, friend. The old covenant He made with Abraham. Abraham believed God. He said, “amen,” to God. Abraham believed, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. God is still asking us to believe Him. Put your trust in Christ and you will be saved. What a glorious picture we have here. 


III.       God’s Law was Given to Show Man His Sinfulness

Gal 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.

Gal 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.

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

We know that the law brings us to the knowledge of our sinful condition.  It does not provide a way to become righteous, but it points out our sin.

Romans 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.  20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Verse 10 tells us that if a man continues under the law, he was cursed if he did not continue in all things written in the law.   To offend in one point of the law meant to be guilty of all.   Verse 11 makes it clear that no man is justified by the law, and that the just have to live by faith.   Verse 12 says that the law is not of faith at all.

James 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

 IV.  Christ is Our Redeemer

Gal 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:

Thank God that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.  By the sinless dying for the sinful, Jesus took the curse upon himself and died on Calvary that we might have the penalty for our sins paid.   I don’t think we many times realize how much Jesus did for us when he died to allow us entrance into the presence of God.  There is nothing we could do to earn that right.  No law written that would deliver us from the penalty of sin.  And no man has ever kept all of the law except one, and that was Jesus Christ.


Gal 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.

You might ask, “When was Christ made a curse for us?”  The answer is when he was crucified and died on Mt. Calvary.  Hanging between earth and heaven, Jesus built a bridge that sinful man might come to God.  He redeemed us from the curse of the law that the blessings of Abraham might come on us through Christ.

V.    The Law Did Not Effect the Promise

Gal 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.

Gal 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.

A human covenant (or will) cannot be changed by someone after it is signed.  The promises that were made to Abraham and his seed were made by God, and they will not be broken.    When God said I will bless your seed, he was making a promise of the one who would come to redeem sinful men, Jesus Christ.  And Christ came according to the Holy Scriptures and fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law.

Gal 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.

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

The law was given 430 years after the promise was made, and it cannot void the promise that God made to Abraham.  Verse 18 emphasizes the point that if the inheritance came by the law, then it wasn’t really by promise.   But we know and have read it many times, that the covenant was given to Abraham by promise.

In the King James Study Bible, they had this to say about the covenant.

3:17. The verse might be read as follows: “I say this: the law, which appeared 430 years later, cannot void the covenant earlier ratified by God, so as to make the promise ineffective.” Paul’s point is this: If a human will, once confirmed, cannot be altered (v. 15), how much less will the divine covenant be changed 430 years after its ratification by God. The Abrahamic covenant promised justification by faith. In the 430 years between the giving of this covenant and the law’s appearance, God justified man by faith. When the law appeared, it did not—indeed, it could not—void this principle of justification by faith. Had it done so, the law would have made God’s promise of no effect. 

VI.              The Purpose of the Law

Gal 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.

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

The law was added because of our transgressions.  God had to have a way to show how far away we in our sinful flesh have turned from His righteousness.  We know that we that are saved have a mediator that stands between us and God, and that is none other but Jesus Christ.  It is like he is our lawyer and attorney standing between our accusers and the judge.  And he can find mercy for us because of the blood he shed on Calvary.  Only that blood could take away our sin.

1 Timothy 2:5   For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 

Gal 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.

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.

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

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

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

We spoke last week of how the law was used as our schoolmaster to make us see our true position before the Father.  It did not and could not justify us, but by our faith in Jesus Christ, we are justified.  And after we have that faith, we are no longer under the rule of the law.  I mentioned last week when we were out visiting for the church that I am glad I didn’t live during the period known as the dispensation of the law.  I doubt if I’d have lived to be 20 years of age before they stoned me to death.  Praise God for His mercy and grace.


VII.  Only the Justified Believer is a Son of God

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

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

I enjoyed the comment our pastor made last week about how that every person has at least two fathers, and many have three.   Those include our physical (human) father, our father the devil when we were lost, and if saved, we now have a Heavenly Father.  We become the children of God by faith in Christ.  Jesus warned the scribes that they were not of the Heavenly Father or they would have believed on the one who was sent from God.

John 8:20  These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

John 8:21  Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

John 8:22  Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

John 8:23  And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

John 8:24  I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

……   John 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

John 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

John 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

John 8:45  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Gal 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.

Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

If you belong to Christ, you are one of Abraham’s seed.  We are made joint heirs with Christ when we are saved and become the sons of God.  Under grace, there is no difference in male or female, nor in Jew or Greek.  Praise God that we the gentiles can be saved just like the Jew.  Under the law, only the males were circumcised, and all Greek and bond men were compelled to follow this rule of circumcision.  But after Christ, only faith is required to be accepted and to become an heir according to the promise.

Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

Colossians 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,  21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh. 


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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