-Paul makes one of the best defenses for salvation by faith, both past (Old Testament dispensation) and present (New Testament dispensation) in all of Scripture here in chapter 3. His defense is, again, against the legalism and Judaizing that was infecting the churches of Galatia to which he calls them out for being foolish (Galatians 3:1, 3). The Spirit is the only One or thing that can give new birth to the believer, and He is the one who does the perfecting work as well (Galatians 3:3, 5, Philippians 2:13-13). No law can ever save a person; it only serves to show them where they are wrong and come short. This is the guardian (tutor, custodian) that served as a guide towards the righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:24-25). This is the valid point that Paul makes imperative here as he winds through his argument with the legalists. Abraham is the father of faith, as the gospel writer points out vividly, and was himself justified by his own faith in the promises of God primarily speaking as to the Offspring (singular) who is Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:16). Those of faith are the true sons of Abraham, both Jew and Gentile, slave or free, male or female (Galatians 3:7, 28). In him (Abraham, the man of faith), through his Offspring (Jesus Christ), the nations (the whole world) would be blessed (Genesis 12:3, Galatians 3:8). *Application* Salvation has always been a matter of faith as we can clearly see here in this passage. God cannot be pleased unless we exhibit life changing belief in Him for what He has done and what He is going to do (Hebrews 11:6). He is our hope and strength. Depend totally on His Word and His work. Jesus Christ has done it all. Enjoy His grace by simple trust.
-Paul now debunks the notion that works of the Law can save in precise language. He uses the Old Testament Scriptures for his apology (defense) using Deuteronomy 27:26 as a means of saying basically that everyone who has broken the Law is under a curse (Galatians 3:10). Because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), no one is justified before God on the basis of the Law for the “righteous shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11).” Christ Jesus redeemed us from the Law and its curse by becoming a curse for us, for “cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree (Deuteronomy 21:23).” Therefore, those who are IN Christ Jesus are the blessing of Abraham that they might receive the promised Holy Spirit through the means of faith (Galatians 3:14). This is a ratified covenant that nothing needs to be added to or taken away from (Galatians 3:15). This also does not nullify the previous covenant ratified by God with His children Israel; it simply “fulfills” the promise given ages ago (Matthew 5:17, Galatians 3:17-21). Therefore, the Law bound us up as prisoners under sin, but God through Jesus Christ has set us free from that bondage and makes us heirs according to the promise laid from the foundation of the world (Isaiah 61:1, Luke 4:18, Galatians 3:23-29, Hebrews 4:3). *Application* Do not let anyone ever tell you that you can work your way to Heaven and God’s good graces. This is simply an untrue and deceptive statement that contradicts biblical Christianity. It is no wonder Paul was so upset with this false teaching because it negates the gospel, which is to be received and applied by simple faith. This is contrary to our natural way of thinking because we feel like we need to “earn” everything in this world. This is because of the curse and its laborious effects. Don’t give into the lies of Satan. Trust God to be saved on and by His plan, not your own.
Verse to Memorize- Galatians 3:11