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07: The Road to Faith in Galatians 3 – Discussion Questions — 3 Comments

  1. Sir, I am facing a difficulty in understanding the entire chapter of the letter to Galatians. I would like to have your explanation.

  2. Denzeer, first of all I would like for you to know that I am not the writer of the “discussion questions.’ Neither am I an employee of the church or a Bible worker but just a layman with a certain understanding of Paul’s letters.

    As one looks through the comments on last quarter’s lessons it becomes quite clear that there are widely differing views as to what the book of Galatians is about. Many of the comments discuss which law Paul was referring to, the moral law of the Ten Commandments or the ceremonial law of Moses. My view is much different. To me Paul is discussing the relationship of law in the Christian’s life regardless of which law is involved. Even though circumcision was the specific problem Paul was addressing, it was because the Galatians were trying to be justified by doing it rather than simply obtaining justification by having faith in the free gift of salvation from our Redeemer. In other words they were attempting to work their way to Heaven.

    Paul was not a “no law” person as one can easily see from all that he says about doing good works. The problem that he faced with the Jews was over how we are saved, not over whether we should do law or not. Concerning this issue Paul devotes the first half of his letter to the Romans arguing that we are justified by faith alone without the involvement of the works of the law. And in Ephesians he states, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph 2:8-9 NKJV). Galatians, as far as I am concerned, deals with the same problem.

    We can see the point that Paul was trying to make by several statements he makes throughout the book, many in the form of concluding statements. Paul first states the problem in a couple of statements in the beginning of his letter which includes chapter three:

    I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel (Gal 1:6 NKJV).

    But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, “If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified” (Gal 2:14-16 NKJV).

    O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? (Gal 3:1-3 NKJV)

    Paul then goes on to argue his point:

    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." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them." (Gal 3:10-12 NKJV)

    Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe (Gal 3:21-22 NKJV)

    You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith (Gal 5:4-5 NKJV)

    If we would only keep Paul’s letter to the Galatians in the context of the problem Paul faced throughout his entire ministry concerning the process of salvation by those who wanted to be saved on the basis of doing some law we would see that this letter of his fits right in with the rest of his other letters dealing with that subject. We would also see that it is a rebuttal to the argument for doing some law in order to obtain salvation, no matter what law that may be.

  3. When our wants die, or our selfishness, called "dying daily" in His word, which is the act of repentance, Christ then keeps the law, which is His character, in us, and works through us using our hands and feet to serve others. "Not I, but Christ." Any act which we are tempted to do, as Peter did in succumbing to peer pressure and old habits of pride, take Christ's will out of the equation.


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