Galatians Chapter 3
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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.
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Matthew Henry's Galatians Chapter 3 Bible commentary...
The Galatians reproved for departing from the great doctrine of justification alone, through faith in Christ. (1-5) This doctrine established from the example of Abraham. (6-9) From the tenor of the law and the severity of its curse. (10-14) From the covenant of promises, which the law could not disannul. (15-18) The law was a school master to lead them to Christ. (19-25) Under the gospel state true believers are all one in Christ. (26-29)1-5 Several things made the folly of the Galatian Christians worse. They had the doctrine of the cross preached, and the Lord's supper administered among them, in both which Christ crucified, and the nature of his sufferings, had been fully and clearly set forth. Had they been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, by the ministration of the law, or on account of any works done by them in obedience thereto? Was it not by their hearing and embracing the doctrine of faith in Christ alone for justification? Which of these had God owned with tokens of his favour and acceptance? It was not by the first, but the last. And those must be very unwise, who suffer themselves to be turned away from the ministry and doctrine which have been blessed to their spiritual advantage. Alas, that men should turn from the all-important doctrine of Christ crucified, to listen to useless distinctions, mere moral preaching, or wild fancies! The god of this world, by various men and means, has blinded men's eyes, lest they should learn to trust in a crucified Saviour. We may boldly demand where the fruits of the Holy Spirit are most evidently brought forth? whether among those who preach justification by the works of the law, or those who preach the doctrine of faith? Assuredly among the latter.
6-14 The apostle proves the doctrine he had blamed the Galatians for rejecting; namely, that of justification by faith without the works of the law. This he does from the example of Abraham, whose faith fastened upon the word and promise of God, and upon his believing he was owned and accepted of God as a righteous man. The Scripture is said to foresee, because the Holy Spirit that indited the Scripture did foresee. Through faith in the promise of God he was blessed; and it is only in the same way that others obtain this privilege. Let us then study the object, nature, and effects of Abraham's faith; for who can in any other way escape the curse of the holy law? The curse is against all sinners, therefore against all men; for all have sinned, and are become guilty before God: and if, as transgressors of the law, we are under its curse, it must be vain to look for justification by it. Those only are just or righteous who are freed from death and wrath, and restored into a state of life in the favour of God; and it is only through faith that persons become righteous. Thus we see that justification by faith is no new doctrine, but was taught in the church of God, long before the times of the gospel. It is, in truth, the only way wherein any sinners ever were, or can be justified. Though deliverance is not to be expected from the law, there is a way open to escape the curse, and regain the favour of God, namely, through faith in Christ. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law; being made sin, or a sin-offering, for us, he was made a curse for us; not separated from God, but laid for a time under the Divine punishment. The heavy sufferings of the Son of God, more loudly warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come, than all the curses of the law; for how can God spare any man who remains under sin, seeing that he spared not his own Son, when our sins were charged upon him? Yet at the same time, Christ, as from the cross, freely invites sinners to take refuge in him.
15-18 The covenant God made with Abraham, was not done away by the giving the law to Moses. The covenant was made with Abraham and his Seed. It is still in force; Christ abideth for ever in his person, and his spiritual seed, who are his by faith. By this we learn the difference between the promises of the law and those of the gospel. The promises of the law are made to the person of every man; the promises of the gospel are first made to Christ, then by him to those who are by faith ingrafted into Christ. Rightly to divide the word of truth, a great difference must be put between the promise and the law, as to the inward affections, and the whole practice of life. When the promise is mingled with the law, it is made nothing but the law. Let Christ be always before our eyes, as a sure argument for the defence of faith, against dependence on human righteousness.
19-22 If that promise was enough for salvation, wherefore then serveth the law? The Israelites, though chosen to be God's peculiar people, were sinners as well as others. The law was not intended to discover a way of justification, different from that made known by the promise, but to lead men to see their need of the promise, by showing the sinfulness of sin, and to point to Christ, through whom alone they could be pardoned and justified. The promise was given by God himself; the law was given by the ministry of angels, and the hand of a mediator, even Moses. Hence the law could not be designed to set aside the promise. A mediator, as the very term signifies, is a friend that comes between two parties, and is not to act merely with and for one of them. The great design of the law was, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ, might be given to those that believe; that, being convinced of their guilt, and the insufficiency of the law to effect a righteousness for them, they might be persuaded to believe on Christ, and so obtain the benefit of the promise. And it is not possible that the holy, just, and good law of God, the standard of duty to all, should be contrary to the gospel of Christ. It tends every way to promote it.
23-25 The law did not teach a living, saving knowledge; but, by its rites and ceremonies, especially by its sacrifices, it pointed to Christ, that they might be justified by faith. And thus it was, as the word properly signifies, a servant, to lead to Christ, as children are led to school by servants who have the care of them, that they might be more fully taught by Him the true way of justification and salvation, which is only by faith in Christ. And the vastly greater advantage of the gospel state is shown, under which we enjoy a clearer discovery of Divine grace and mercy than the Jews of old. Most men continue shut up as in a dark dungeon, in love with their sins, being blinded and lulled asleep by Satan, through wordly pleasures, interests, and pursuits. But the awakened sinner discovers his dreadful condition. Then he feels that the mercy and grace of God form his only hope. And the terrors of the law are often used by the convincing Spirit, to show the sinner his need of Christ, to bring him to rely on his sufferings and merits, that he may be justified by faith. Then the law, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, becomes his loved rule of duty, and his standard for daily self-examination. In this use of it he learns to depend more simply on the Saviour.
26-29 Real Christians enjoy great privileges under the gospel; and are no longer accounted servants, but sons; not now kept at such a distance, and under such restraints as the Jews were. Having accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and relying on him alone for justification and salvation, they become the sons of God. But no outward forms or profession can secure these blessings; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. In baptism we put on Christ; therein we profess to be his disciples. Being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into his death, that as he died and rose again, so we should die unto sin, and walk in newness and holiness of life. The putting on of Christ according to the gospel, consists not in outward imitation, but in a new birth, an entire change. He who makes believers to be heirs, will provide for them. Therefore our care must be to do the duties that belong to us, and all other cares we must cast upon God. And our special care must be for heaven; the things of this life are but trifles. The city of God in heaven, is the portion or child's part. Seek to be sure of that above all things.
Comments for Galatians Chapter 3...
Chris Lambe's Galatians Chapter 3 comment about verse 14 on 4/26/2013, 5:35pm...
The Blessing of Abraham was clearly To Be The Father of The Faithful... and produce The Son (Christ) through His line. The Promise is Christ Himself. He is The Son of Promise. This is Our blessing now. To Be In Christ by Faith and not the law.
Joseph ryder's Galatians Chapter 3 comment on 4/17/2013, 11:39am...
some denominations have used Galatians 3 28 as giving woman right to teach or preach. Paul said no and in first chapter tells of his authority comes from Christ not man, now he said God knows I lie not, How could the meaning be used for woman ministers to teach making Paul a liar
Bro. Daniel FC's Galatians Chapter 3 comment on 3/29/2013, 4:46pm...
Comments on Galatians Chapter 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.” I think the whole chapter presents many challenges in understanding correctly our relationship with God and our fellow human beings. If understood incorrectly it can lead to unnecessary pain and suffering, despair, even destruction. Here is what I mean (true story): A young family, with two children; the wife, a musically talented lady in her upper twenty’s, the daughter of a minister of a “particular” church, and the husband, a little older but not wiser. At one point, the young husband feeling “freed from the Law” commits adultery. And of course, since there was no breaking of the Law, (the law being “nailed to the cross”), he did not feel guilty, and didn’t make much of it. But when his wife found out, she decided to divorce him: not because he broke the seventh commandment, but because of “infidelity”… When she told me what happened, and her plans to divorce, I was shocked. I tried my hardest to convince her not to do it. I talked to her about forgiveness in Christ, I asked her to consider the future of her kids without their dad, but to no avail. I finally mentioned God’s commandment found in Matthew 19:6 which says: “… What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” When she heard that, she said: “Brother Daniel, I can’t keep the Law! I’ve got to go through with the divorce; I don’t want to be under the curse of the Law, there’s nothing worse than that! But God will take care of me and the kids…” So, here they were: four people, saved and “free from the curse of the Law”, and very much cursed by the misinterpretation of one bible verse. Now, is this what the Apostle Paul is teaching in verse 10? Absolutely not! Here, in order to build his case against circumcision, the apostle is quoting the text from Deuteronomy 28:15. “… IF THOU WILT NOT HEARKEN UNTO THE VOICE OF THE LORD THY GOD, TO OBSERVE TO DO ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS AND HIS STATUTES WHICH I COMMAND THEE THIS DAY; THAT ALL THESE CURSES SHALL COME UPON THEE, AND OVERTAKE THEE:” And from verse 16 to verse 68, God pronounces 53 curses against those WHO WILL NOT “observe all his commandments and his statutes”: Thus, (Paul) is implying that if you want to be circumcised in order to be “right with God”, then you need to keep the rest of the “Sacrificial and Ceremonial Laws”. A short overview of the Laws given to the people of Israel by God looks like this: 1. Religious Laws: A) Moral, B) Regarding Tithes and Offerings, C) Sacrificial, D) Ceremonial, A) Moral: a) The Ten Commandments (TTC) b) TTC Expanded B) Tithes and a) The Tenth Offerings, b) First fruits, c) Miscellaneous offerings, C) Sacrificial: a) Sin offerings, b) Peace offerings, c) Burnt offerings, d) Continual offerings, e) Drink offerings, f) Altars, g) Miscellaneous furniture, D) Ceremonial: a) Regarding the Levite priests, b) Regarding the people, c) The First Born, d) The Covenant of circumcision, e) Regarding the Temple/Tabernacle, f) The Feasts, etc. 2. Civil Laws: relating to the rights of the people, the conduct and relations between members of the family and of the community, including the king. 3. Criminal Laws: Same as above Now, the SACRIFICIAL AND CEREMONIAL LAWS make up the body of Law which Apostle Paul calls “the schoolmaster” which pointed to Christ: Galatians 3:24 “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Today we have no use for circumcision, sin offerings, burnt offerings or any Ceremonial Laws: We have Christ; the Type met the Anti-type. After the Roman Conquest, the Jewish CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAWS had no “teeth”, and they were subject to the Roman Laws. No one could implement any of them, except with the approval of the Roman Governor, including Christ’s crucifixion. So, today the only valid Laws remaining are: The Moral Laws, including the Ten Commandments which Apostle James calls “The Royal Law” (James 2:8), and Laws regarding the Tithes and Offerings. In support of this Apostle Paul makes the following statements in Romans Chapter 7: (7) “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. (12) WHEREFORE THE LAW IS HOLY, AND THE COMMANDMENT HOLY, AND JUST, AND GOOD. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (22) FOR I DELIGHT IN THE LAW OF GOD AFTER THE INWARD MAN: (25) … SO THEN WITH THE MIND I MYSELF SERVE THE LAW OF GOD;” Amen.
R. D. Mattock's Galatians Chapter 3 comment on 3/24/2013, 12:24pm...
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: The Beautiful exchange. Jesus took our curse so that we could be blessed, so that we might become the righteousness of God. No one can curse what God has blessed.
Marilin's Galatians Chapter 3 comment about verse 20 on 3/20/2013, 5:36pm...
The mediator came up with the promised seed Christ Jesus in mind to be that mediator. Since Jesus was basically going to be the very God in flesh,... the point had to be made That God is One so therefore Jesus is not going to be a mediator in the truest sense of the word as he was not going to be a third person between man and God. But God working out His mystery of salvation through Jesus Christ who was the expressed image/flesh that house the spirit of God cannot separate the spirit of God from God.
Austyn's Galatians Chapter 3 comment on 2/16/2013, 6:07pm...
Verse 28 makes it clear that, no one has anything over anybody else. Praise God that we are all one in His Son Jesus Christ!
Peace williams's Galatians Chapter 3 comment on 11/11/2012, 5:31am...
I think Paul’s expostulation with Peter of justification of faith, teaches me to obey the truth, not to be like foolish Galatians.
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