Sunday, February 25, 2018

Galatians 3

A study of Galatians Chapter 3.

  • Galatians 3:1-4
  • Romans 10:13-17
  • Galatians 3:6-9
  • Genesis 15:3-6
  • Genesis 22:15-18
  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-4
  • Galatians 3:10-14
  • Deuteronomy 27:26
  • Deuteronomy 21:22-23
  • Galatians 3:15-18
  • Galatians 3:19-20
  • Exodus 20:18-19
  • Galatians 3:21-27
  • Galatians 3:28-29
  • Deuteronomy 30:19
Was the law a blessing or a curse?
  • It contained both blessings and curses...

Review of Galatians 2

  • Paul went to Jerusalem to meet with the leadership of the Christian movement to discuss:
  1. His call to preach to the Gentiles
  2. The debate on whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised
  • James, Peter and John were the leaders of the church at that time
  1. James, Jesus’ brother, was the bishop of Jerusalem
  • They agreed that Gentiles didn’t have to be circumcised
  • Paul and Barnabas then continued to Antioch
  • When Peter came to Antioch  he socialized and ate with the Gentiles
  • When some of James’ people came Peter didn’t want to be seen fellowshipping with the Gentiles
  1. Even though Peter had been the first one that God told to witness to a Gentile
  • Paul confronted Peter about this
  • We then discussed the conflict between Paul and James
  • This is seen to be the conflict between “grace vs the law” or “faith vs works”
  • Paul’s writings emphasize salvation by faith and James’ book emphasizes works of law
  1. Paul’s view is seen as salvation by grace alone
  2. James’ view is seen to be salvation that is dependent your obedience to the law
  • Scholars have proposed many explanations for the apparent contradiction
  • One view says that Paul wrote to the Gentiles whereas James wrote to the Jews
  1. This implies that Jews and Gentiles have different requirements to be saved
  • Another view says that the books are applicable at different dispensations or times
  1. Paul’s writings are applicable now
  2. James’ writings will be applicable during and after the rapture/tribulation
  • Another view says that they don’t contradict at all
  1. They were written for different purposes
  2. Paul is telling us how to get saved
  3. James is telling us how to live once we are saved
We’ll look at two more views at the end of this lesson, and revisit the subject as the conclusion of the book of Galatians.  

Galatians 3:1-4

Galatians 3:1-4
You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of  the Law, or by  hearing with faith?
3 Are you so foolish? Having begun  by the Spirit, are you now  being perfected by the flesh?
4 Did you  suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5So 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?
  • Did you receive salvation from works of the law or by believing?
  • If you got saved through grace why do you think you need the laws to stay saved?
  • No one has received the Holy Spirit by the works of the law
  • No matter how righteous you are you can’t be saved by your righteousness
  • And it won't keep you saved

Faith Cometh By Hearing

They received the Spirit by hearing with faith

Romans 10:13-17
14How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!”
 16However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “LORD, WHO HAS BELIEVED OUR REPORT?” 17So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ
  • “Word of Christ/God” here is not referring to the bible
  • This verse talks of the sequence of what needs to happen for you to be saved
  • In order to  believe you have to have heard the gospel
  • In order to  hear there needs to be a preacher
  • In order for one to  preach they need to have been sent
  • So hearing the gospel is what triggers your faith
  • You got saved by hearing the good news about Christ
  • If someone never hears the gospel they cannot be saved
Hearing the gospel is what saved you
  • To be saved, you have to believe
  • To believe you have to hear the gospel
You didn't receive the Spirit by:
  • Saying a prayer
  • Being baptized
  • Joining a church
  • Confessing your sins
  • Confessing Jesus in front of men
You received salvation because you heard the gospel and believed it
Salvation occurs as soon as you hear the gospel and believe that the gospel applies to you
  • Getting someone to pray “the prayer” is good, but that’s not what saves them
Many people who live in countries without evangelists say that Jesus Himself came and proclaimed the gospel to them
Example: African who Jesus appeared to

Galatians 3:6-9

Galatians 3:6-9
 6So 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.”d 9So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
  • Notice that those who rely on faith are blessed
  • What about those who rely on their works?
  • If you rely on your works you could be missing your blessing
God pronounced the gospel to Abraham.
  • Abraham was credited as being without sin because of his faith

Announced the good news in advance

  • What good news was announced to Abraham?
Genesis 15:3-6
3And Abram said, “Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” 4Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” 5And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” 6Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
  • Abraham was declared righteous because he believed in God
  • Abraham didn’t do any works to obtain his righteousness
  • All other nations were following other gods
  • Abraham’s Family was following other gods
  • Abraham was rewarded for choosing to follow God
  • All nations will be blessed because of Abraham
Genesis 22:15-18
15Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,17indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18“In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
  • Is the word “seed” singular or plural?
  • All nations of the earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed
  • Is this works?
This could be what James was referring to when he said Abraham’s works saved him
  • But this isn’t pertaining to salvation though
  • Abraham was already declared righteous 7 chapters ago
  • But this does say that Abraham was blessed because of his righteousness

Old Testament vs New Testament Blessings

In the Old Testament, they were blessed because of their righteousness
  • In the Old Testament your works were rewarded by physical blessings
  • In the New Testament our faith is rewarded by spiritual blessings
  • In the Old Testament you had to earn your blessings
  • In the New Testament your blessing is a gift that you don't deserve
The good news that was announced to Abraham was that Abraham would have many offspring and that all nations would be blessed through him.
  • Through Jesus all nations can be blessed

Angel of the Lord(?)

Who was talking to Abraham?
  • The Angel of the Lord
  • Who is the Angel of the Lord?
  • Jesus
We saw that the Angel of the Lord was the angel that accompanied the Children of Israel when they went through the wilderness

1 Corinthians 10:1-4
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
  • Christ accompanied the Israelites
  • Jesus was The Angel of the Lord
So not only was the good news announced to Abraham in advance, it was announced by Jesus Himself.
See the whole study on the subject here:  The Angel of the Lord

Galatians 3:10-14

Galatians 3:10-14
10For 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.”e 11Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”f 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”g 13Christ 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.”h 14He 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 righteous “live by faith”
  • Those under the law “live by the law”
  • The law was made to reveal sin
  • Those who rely on the law are not justified by God
  • They are justified by their works
  • We saw that those who rely on their faith are blessed
  • Now we see that those who rely on their works are cursed
  • Cursed because you're because you're being held to a standard that you can't meet

The Curse

To live under the law is to live under a curse

Deuteronomy 27:26
"Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"
  • If you broke a single law you were cursed
  • Therefore everyone who lived under the law was cursed
  • They could atone by sacrifices
This is the verse Paul is referring when he says “everyone who hangs on a tree is cursed”:

Deuteronomy 21:22-23
22 "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance.
  • Criminals were executed by being hung on trees
  • Someone is considered a criminal when they break the law
  • They are cursed because they are criminals
  • Not specifically because they are hanging on a tree
  • Criminals were the only ones who hang on trees (back then)
  • Jesus died the death of a criminal for us

Galatians 3:15-18

The Law and the Promise

Galatians 3:15-18
15Brothers 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. 16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”imeaning one person, who is Christ. 17What 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. 18For 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.
  • God’s promise to  Abraham didn't have conditions
  • Paul explains that Abraham’s seed wasn't the Jews
  • The ‘seed’ was Jesus
  • And therefore us through Jesus

The Promise

God couldn't just break the promise to Abraham’s seed
  • The law couldn't break the covenant God had already made
  • The law came 433 years after the promise
  • God made a promise to Abraham before the law existed
As Christians, we are qualified to receive the blessings of Abraham
  • Not following the law can’t disqualify you from the promise
  • Jesus’s death eliminated the need for us to satisfy the law in order to receive the blessings of God
  • It also allowed us to be heirs of Abraham which qualifies us for the promise

Galatians 3:19-20

Galatians 3:19-20
19Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.
  • The law was given because of our transgressions


Was it an Angel Who Gave Moses the Law?

Did God give Moses the law directly or through angels?
The Greek word translated as “angel” is aggellos
  • It literally means “messenger”
YLT (Young's Literal Translation) bible seems to be the only one to get this right
  • Moses is the “messenger”
  • “ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator”
  • Should be: “ordained by messengers by the agency of a mediator”
  • Meaning ordained by “messengers” acting as mediators
  • The messengers held the office of mediators
Moses was the “messenger” (aggellos) through whom the Jews received the Law.
  • It wasn’t an “angel” per se
Note that this is a correction to view we had in a previous study (It Was An Angel: It Wasn’t God)

Why Use a Mediator

Why did God use a mediator?  

Exodus 20:18-19
18  All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance.
19 Then they said to Moses, "Speak unto us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die."
  • Initially God gave the law directly to the people
  • Since the people were afraid of God, He used Moses as a mediator

Galatians 3:21-27

Galatians 3:21-27
21Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23Before the coming of this faith,j we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian [tutor / school teacher]  until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 

The Law Was Our Guardian

  • When a child receives an inheritance they are often given a guardian to steward the money until they come of age
  • The law was our guardian for our blessings
  • The guardian determines how you’re blessed
  • The guardian also has the authority to discipline you
  • Now that we are of age, We no longer have a guardian determining whether or not we get blessings
  • The Jews earned blessings based on whether they followed the law
  • Our blessings are now given by grace
  • We are no longer blessed based on whether we are bad or good
  • We receive salvation through faith by grace

Galatians 3:28-29

Galatians 3:28-29
28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  • All Christians are equal in God’s eyes
God only sees 3 groups of people
  1. Christians
  2. Lost Israelites/Jews
  3. Lost Gentiles
We can indeed qualify for the blessings of Abraham since we are now made righteous through Jesus.  

Who is a Jew?

There are many problems in determining who is a Hebrew/Israelite/Jew
All Israelites aren’t necessarily called Jews
  • The term Jew is from the tribe of Judah
  • The tribes of Judah, Benjamin and (some of) Levi are referred to as Jews
  • In 922 BC Israel split into 2 houses:
  • Israel in the North (10 tribes)
  • Judah in the South (2 tribes)
  • At one point the two houses became 1
  • So it’s unclear to me if “Jew” refers to all of the original 12 tribes or not
All of Abraham’s descendants aren’t Jews
  • Ishmael
  • Esau
Abraham wasn't Jewish
  • Abraham was a Hebrew
  • He's the patriarch of the Jews
  • Hebrew means a descendent of Eber
  • Eber was 6 generations before Abraham
  • Eber was 4 generations from Noah
  • There were many many Hebrews in Abraham’s time
  • He and his family are the only Hebrews who worshipped God
  • All the other Hebrews were pagans
  • Are they Jews or Gentiles?
  • Are they under the promise?


The purpose of the law was to show us that we were sinners and we needed a savior.
The system of rewards based on faith was not a new system created by Jesus or Paul.  It was put into place by God at the establishment of the Old Covenant with Abraham.  Because of Abraham’s faith, he was called righteous.
Some people try to use the law to earn favor with God.  They believe that because they follow the law God owes them a reward.   They see how people in the Old Testament were promised blessings for following the law and assume that God still operates this way.
 They ignore Paul's warning in Galatians 3:10 where he says: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse”.   Because the law says  "Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out."    You are cursed because you are choosing to gain merit based on your own righteousness.  You are choosing a standard you can never live up to.  
In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us
 1“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  
Jesus is saying that we'll be measured by our own standards.  This tells us that we have an influence on how we are judged.  Similar to how Paul says if someone thinks eating a certain food is sin then it is sin to them.
You have the choice whether you want to live under the law or whether you want to live under the grace of God.  That doesn’t mean that we don't do our best to follow the law, but it means that we don’t rely on the law for our salvation.  Jesus died so that we would no longer need to perform to attain salvation.  This is the good news that we have heard...all you need to do is believe that Jesus died and was resurrected as atonement for your sins.  You can choose the law or you can choose Jesus.   You can choose to accept Jesus’ gift or you can choose to try to earn your own righteousness through your works.

Deuteronomy 30:19
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life…”
...choose Jesus

Presenter: Michael Leadon


Galatians 3:1 to 3
Galatians 3:4-14
Galatians 3:14-16
Galatians 17-29


Law of God vs the Law of Moses

  • Paul and James were talking about 2 different laws
  • There is a “Law of God” and a “Law of Moses”
  • Paul meant that we don’t need to follow the Mosaic laws
  • James meant that we need to follow the Laws of God
The law of God is the 10 commandment and was written by God Himself.  
The other six hundred something laws are the “Law of Moses”.  
  • Jesus’ death abolished the “Law of Moses”
  • Jesus’ death didn’t eliminate the 10 commandments.
In many churches this is implied when:
  • We assume that it's a sin to murder, but it’s okay to eat shrimp
  • We assume that we are still supposed to follow the 10 commandments
… to be continued …


Paul called the Galatians “foolish”.  Is this appropriate?
Matthew 5:22
22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.
Luke 12:20
20“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’
1 Corinthians 15:35-36
 35But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?” 36You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

Angel of the Lord

Exodus 23:20-22
20“Behold, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way and to bring you into the place which I have prepared. 21“Be on your guard before him and obey his voice; do not be rebellious toward him, for he will not pardon your transgression, since My name is in him. 22“But if you truly obey his voice and do all that I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.
  • The Angel of the Lord has the ability to forgive sins
  • This is the angel that travelled ahead of the children of Israel


Hebrews 11:4-7
4By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks. 5By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God. 6And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. 7By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
  • Abel, Enoch,and Noah attained righteousness through faith
  • Enoch never died

What is Sheol?

Ancient Hebrews had a belief that all people went to Sheol when they died
  • Both the righteous and the unrighteous go to Sheol
  • Souls stayed in Sheol awaiting judgment on Judgment Day
  • In the Old Testament, Sheol is referenced as the permanent place for the dead
  • The New Testament refers to it as Hades
  • Sheol was not hell
  • Ancient Hebrews believed God would take the righteous out of Sheol
  • The Greek word gehenna is used in the New Testament for “hell”
  • There was a deeper part of Sheol called “the Abyss”
  • The Abyss is where the fallen angels are being held in bondage by Michael until Judgment Day
  • Note: so they aren’t the demons on earth today
  • Some think the demons today are the Spirit part of the half angel half human Nephilim of Genesis 6
Psalms 16:10
For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
  • David believed that God would rescue him from Sheol
Psalms 49:15
But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol, For He will receive me.

Abraham’s Bosom

During the 2nd Temple period (time between Old Testament and New Testament) the concept changed
  • “Abraham’s bosom” was a comfortable place in Sheol where the righteous await judgment
  • Ideas formed of righteous dead as being separated from unrighteous in the fires by a river or chasm
  • The righteous side was called  “Abraham’s bosom”
  • This is where Lazarus was in the story of Lazarus and the rich man
  • The souls of the righteous, at death, go directly into the Presence of God
Mark 12:26-27
26“But regarding the fact that the dead rise again, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the burning bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, and the God of Jacob’? 27“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken.”
  • Jesus also taught that the righteous were in Heaven with God


Deuteronomy 11:26-28
26  "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today;
28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.
  • Those living under the law who disobeyed the law were cursed by God
  • The specific sin He names is idolatry or following other gods


Deuteronomy 5:25 - 27
25‘Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer, then we will die. 26‘For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? 27‘Go near and hear all that the LORD our God says; then speak to us all that the LORD our God speaks to you, and we will hear and do it.’

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