Law or Faith? Galatians 3:1-18 | 2021-04-11
3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Law and the Promise
15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise;but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
Why don’t works save?
Spiritual truth is not physical truth.
Physical law where you can feel and touch- Spiritual truth is there even if cannot see it. We can’t necessarily prove it, science can’t necessarily prove it, nonetheless true! (II Corinthians 4:18)
5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Message Based Questions:
1. How would you react if God began a letter to our church like that? Can you think of any ways in which you try to please God by doing something other than focusing on Him and your relationship with Him?
2. The question is: Does salvation come through Christ alone or does it come through Christ and adherence to the law. How can we tell the difference between the religion-driven things that we do and those that are faith-driven?
3. What does Paul say about Abraham in verses 6-9? Why do you think he chose him as an example?
4. In 3:13, how does Jesus solve the problem presented by attempting to live by the law?Trying to be right with God (justified) by our own effort doesn’t work. Good intentions such as “I’ll do better next time” or “I’ll never do that again” usually end in failure. How can we break this cycle of failure?