Galatians 3 states the difference between the law and faith in Christ.
The two topics are related but are NOT interchangeable, it’s almost like comparing a fully constructed building to the foundation and considering them exactly the same.
Without the law, we would have no understanding of Grace. The law was put into place to be our guide, it showed us right from wrong, and taught us to respect the people around us.
Without the law, it would’ve been very hard to recognize Christ and his sacrifice. But now that Christ has Died, and Rose again, we have outgrown the law.
I believe that Galatians 3 is referring to Mark Chapter 5 (also called the beatitudes). In the middle of the chapter, Jesus talks about the law, and how he came to fulfill it.
He then goes on to state, that when you hate someone, you’ve already killed them in your heart. Or if you look at a woman lustfully, you’ve committed adultery.
In times past our thought life wasn’t considered to be bad, we could think or feel what we want. But Jesus upped the ante. He demolished that belief, and that takes a massive change in mindset.
What goes on in our thought life is extremely important and transforms the rest of our lives. There is nothing we do that is hidden from God, and that is terrifying if you’re not following him.
Galatians 3: The Law and Faith in Christ
3 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses?
Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?
5 I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.Galatians 3:1-5
In Galatians 3:1-5 Paul is stating the same thing I said about Jesus. He’s upping the ante. The law gave us borders to protect us, it told us what was wrong, but didn’t really save us.
Instead, when Jesus came and died, we finally can reconnect with God, but reconnection means we have to be fully committed and ready to be changed.
God needs us to be Holy and Righteous because anything that isn’t will burn up in his presence.
As humans we try to do this a lot, we try to earn God’s love. Maybe we sinned and didn’t follow through on something. Instead of fixing the issue, we promise God that we’ll do something else, It’ll be more intricate and God will see how much we love him.
The problem with these promises is that they’re seldom kept, and most often God didn’t even ask for them. Paul tells us that in Galatians 3 the church was trying to make it’s own way, and that’s impossible.
Being righteous and holy is about doing what God has called us to do, and doing it right. When God calls you to do something, he will give you all the tools and skills needed to accomplish your goal.
Galatians 3: Abraham Believed And It Was Counted As Righteous
6 In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” 7 The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God.
8 What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would make the Gentiles right in his sight because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.
10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.”
11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”
13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.Galatians 3:6-14
The law was like a fence put around us. It helped guide us as we didn’t know how to live our lives. When we sinned the law told us what to do so we could be made right. However, the law wasn’t finite and didn’t fully eradicate sin from our lives.
For another analogy the law is like a set of training wheels. It was sent to help teach us to balance, but when Christ came he took the wheels off because we have learned what we need. And when we follow him, he’ll lead us to where we should be going.
Galatians 3 is showing us how God connected the ancient past with no hope, to the present where Jesus is the way.
Galatians 3: The Law and God’s Promise
15 Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. 16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ.
17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.
21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.Galatians 3:15-22
In Galatians 3 Paul keeps reminding us that the law was only for a set time and I’m thankful for that because I love bacon and shrimp.
But there’s a lot more than just eating restrictions. Look at why those laws were set in place and you’ll learn some really interesting facts. (It deserves it’s own post)
If we go back to the time of Adam & Eve, or Abraham, we see that God is setting humanity up for the Coming of Jesus. He told Mary that one of her descendants would crush the serpents head. And in Galatians 3, Paul reminds us that Abraham was given the promise of the child.
God’s law was instituted after these promises which means the law was a guidestone for the children of Israel. it kept them on the right path focused on God.
And it taught them about worship, righteousness, and many other things that I don’t even understand. The law was just like Paul says in a few verses. It was the guardian, and when we became old enough to understand, Jesus came died, rose again, and returned to heaven.
This is all part of Gods Mysterous Plan, to restore his relationship with humanity. We had no way to fix it, but God himself decided to do it.
Galatians 3: God’s Children through Faith
23 Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
24 Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25 And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.
26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. 28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.Galatians 3:23-29
I love Galatians 3:23-29 because it gives us a perfect metaphor for why the law came about. This entire post I’ve avoided refering to it, because I wanted to talk about it at the end.
When God created us and we sinned. We destroyed our relationship with him. We could not fix the issue, it was over and we all deserved hell.
But God in his infinite love setup a plan, but he needed to wait until the time was right, even if it was a few thousand years. So he made the promise of a child, and 400+ years later he sent the law.
The law points towards the promise, and the law was fulfilled when Jesus came and died.
It was like a guardian, because it kept us hedged in while we didn’t have full understanding of what our separation from God was. But now that the Holy Spirit lives in us, God can lead us into all truth. That’s what the meaning of Galatians 3 is, and It’s why Galatians 3 is one of my favorite verses in the bible.
I hope you enjoyed my latest blog post on Galatians 3. Don’t forget to comment and subscribe below if you’d like to see more content.