Paul’s opponents were no doubt stunned by his bold words in Galatians 3:10. They certainly did not think themselves to be under a curse; if anything, they expected to be blessed for their obedience. Yet, Paul is unequivocal: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them’” (NKJV).
“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Gal. 3:8, ESV). Paul writes that not only was the gospel preached to Abraham, but it was God who preached it; so, it must have been the true gospel. But when did God preach the gospel to Abraham? Paul’s quotation of Genesis 12:3 indicates he has in mind the covenant that God made [...]
Why do you think Paul first appeals to Abraham as he looks to the Scriptures to validate his gospel message? (Gal. 3:6).”
Abraham was a central figure in Judaism. Not only was he the father of the Jewish race, but Jews in Paul’s time also looked to him as the prototype of what a true Jew should be like. Many not only believed that his defining characteristic was his obedience but that God had declared Abraham righteous because of that obedience. [...]
So far, in his letter to the Galatians, Paul has defended his gospel of justification by faith by appealing to the agreement reached with the apostles in Jerusalem (Gal. 2:1–10) and to the personal experience of the Galatians themselves (Gal. 3:1–5). Beginning in Galatians 3:6, Paul now turns to the testimony of Scripture for the final and ultimate confirmation of his gospel. In fact, Galatians 3:6–4:31 is made up of progressive arguments rooted in Scripture.
What does Paul mean when he [...]
Read Galatians 3:1–5. Summarize below what Paul is saying to them. In what sense could we be in danger of falling into the same spiritual pitfall, of starting out right and then falling into legalism?
Several modern translations have tried to capture the sense of Paul’s words in verse 1 about the “foolish” Galatians. The actual word Paul uses in Greek is even stronger than that. The word is anoetoi, and it comes from the word for mind (nous). Literally, [...]
Read for This Week’s Study:
Gal. 3:1–14, Rom. 1:2, 4:3, Gen. 15:6, 12:1–3, Lev. 17:11, 2 Cor. 5:21.
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’” (Galatians 3:13, ESV).
A little boy had made a little boat, all painted and fixed up beautifully. One day someone stole his boat, and he was distressed. In passing a pawnshop one day he saw his boat. Happily he ran in to the pawnbroker and [...]
“The danger has been presented to me again and again of entertaining, as a people, false ideas of justification by faith. I have been shown for years that Satan would work in a special manner to confuse the mind on this point. The law of God has been largely dwelt upon and has been presented to congregations, almost as destitute of the knowledge of Jesus Christ and His relation to the law as was the offering of Cain. I have [...]
Rudy Micelli grew up in a musical Christian family in Brazil. He’s sung praises to God since he was a child. Often he would pretend to sing along with a favorite recording, and as he grew older, singing for God became his passion.
While studying some religion classes, Rudy took a class on cults. There Rudy’s teacher warned of many cults, including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. “Adventists perform blood rituals in their worship,” the teacher said. “They are dangerous and should [...]
One of the main accusations against Paul was that his gospel of justification by faith alone encouraged people to sin (see Rom. 3:8,6:1). No doubt the accusers reasoned that if people do not have to keep the law to be accepted by God, why should they be concerned with how they live?
How does Paul respond to the accusation that a doctrine of justification by faith alone encourages sinful behavior? Gal. 2:17, 18.
Paul responds to his opponents’ charges in the strongest terms possible: “God [...]
Paul makes it clear that faith absolutely is foundational to the Christian life. It is the means by which we lay hold of the promises we have in Christ. But what is faith exactly? What does it involve?
What do the following texts teach us about the origin of faith? Gen. 15:5, 6; John 3:14–16; 2 Cor. 5:14, 15; Gal. 5:6.
Genuine biblical faith is always a response to God. Faith is not some kind of feeling or attitude that humans one day decide to have because [...]