Explore the Bible
September 16 2018
Galatians 3:1-14 (HCSB)
Galatians 3 is one of the more complicated chapters in all of Paul’s writings. Tackling this text is not easy but it is well worth it. We must remember Paul was in a battle for truth. In the passage the Judaizers false teachers were teaching that salvation was a mixture of Law and grace. In this chapter Paul gave several arguments to prove that God saves sinners through faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law. True life doesn’t come about by any work we can do but solely through the finished work of Christ on the cross.
First Paul argued from personal experience. He was firm and direct with the Galatians “You foolish Galatians! Who has hypnotized you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified?” (Gal. 3:1). They had fallen prey to the Judaizers. They had heard Paul preach Jesus and Him crucified with such power that it was almost like seeing Jesus actually on the cross. They placed their faith in Christ and were saved. But the Judaizers convinced them they needed to obey the Law.
Experience alone isn’t enough; it must be balanced with Scripture. Paul used the Old Testament to prove that salvation is by faith in Christ alone and not by the works of the Law. He said Abraham was saved by faith (Gal. 3:6-7). Through Abraham all Gentile nations would be blessed and the promise of salvation would come (Gal. 3:8-9). The true children of Abraham are not Jews by physical heritage but are the Jews and Gentiles who place their faith in Christ. Paul went on to say those who live under the Law were living under a curse (Gal. 3:10-12). Christ lifted the curse by becoming a curse for us on the cross so that we can have the promise of the Spirit through faith (Gal. 3:13-14).
Faith and legalism have different consequences; one leads to life and the other to death.
True life begins when we trust Christ as our Lord and Savior.