Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Apostle by Chapter | Galatians Chapter 3

By Sam Nobles

The apostle Paul was deeply concerned about what was happening in the region of Galatia. As mentioned in past devotions, after he had shared the gospel message of Christ with the Galatians, false teachers began to infiltrate the church and complicate the gospel. They made out as if Paul’s gospel was not complete. They taught that addition to believing on Jesus Christ, one must show their commitment by keeping the Jewish law. In light of these happenings, the third chapter of Paul’s letter to the Galatians offers a shift from his personal experience with grace to doctrinal instruction concerning grace.

Examination (v.1-14)
The Law brings a curse, but blessing comes to Abraham's descendants through faith in Jesus Christ (v.1-10). It is good for a person to examine him or herself to confirm whether the Christian life is being lived out by the power of the flesh or by the power of the Spirit who gives life (v.11-14). Like Abraham, were you saved by faith; and are you now, like Abraham, walking by faith?[i]

Explanation (v.15-26)
The promise of the Spirit that was spoken to Abraham was to come through his Seed – singular, who is Jesus Christ (v.15-16).  The Jews were sure that the promise was for them because they were Abraham’s seeds. In their eyes, the Law as an amendment to the original promise; therefore, the Judaizers taught that if they would keep the Law, then the promise would be fulfilled. The Apostle Paul rebuttals that the Law is a separate matter that has nothing to do with the promise. The Law was a tutor to teach mankind that he was sinful and in need of a Savior, not to be that Savior (v.17-26).

Exhortation (v.27-29)
All who now enjoy the fulfillment of the promise are those who have received the Holy Spirit. These are all "sons of God through faith” in Christ Jesus (v.27-29). The Galatians were deluded into thinking that they could become Abraham's seed by keeping the law. Paul shows otherwise. Christ is the seed of Abraham; the inheritance promised to Abraham was fulfilled in Christ. When sinners believe on Him, they become one with Him. Thus they become Abraham's seed and, in Christ, they inherit all of God's blessings.[ii]

Scripture to Claim:
So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.(Galatians 3:24 ESV)

Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Study Series: Galatians: Exchange Legalism for True Spirituality, New edition (David C. Cook, 2010).
[1] Believer’s Bible Commentary, Second Edition, accessed May 16, 2017, https://www.christianbook.com/believers-bible-commentary-second-edition/william-macdonald/9780718076856/pd/076856.

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