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1You Galatians, you’ve lost your heads!#3:1. The word used here is usually translated as “foolish”; however today that has become more of an epithet. Paul’s point is that they are not thinking—the word really means “mindless.” The same word is used again in verse 3. Who has put you under a spell? The death of Jesus Christ on a cross was clearly presented to you so you could see! 2So tell me—did you receive the Spirit by keeping the law or by placing your trust in what you heard? 3You really have lost your heads! You began living#3:3. Meaning, “You began your Christian lives.” in the Spirit. Do you really think you can now make yourselves perfect by your own human efforts#3:3. Or “by human means.”? 4Did you go through so much suffering for nothing? (It really wasn’t for nothing was it?) 5Let me ask you: does God#3:5. Literally, “the one.” give you the Spirit and do so many miracles among you because you keep the law, or is it because you trust in what you heard?
6It’s just like Abraham who “trusted God, and was considered to be right.”#3:6. Genesis 15:6. 7So you should acknowledge that those who trust in God are the children of Abraham. 8In Scripture it’s foreseen that God would make right the foreigners who trusted in him. The good news is revealed to Abraham beforehand with the words, “Through you all the nations will be blessed.” 9Consequently those who trust in God are blessed along with Abraham who trusted God. 10All those who rely on keeping the law#3:10. As a means of salvation. are under a curse, for as Scripture says, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t carefully obey everything that’s written in the book of the law.” 11Clearly nobody is made right with God by attempting to keep the law, for “Those who are made right will live by trusting God.”#3:11. Habakkuk 2:4. 12Obedience to the law has nothing to do with trusting God. Scripture only says, “You will live if you observe everything the law requires.”#3:12. Leviticus 18:5. 13Christ has rescued us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. As Scripture says, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”#3:13. Deut. 21:23.14so that through Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham could come to the foreigners as well, and we could receive the promise of the Spirit by trusting God.
15Brothers and sisters, here’s an example from daily life. If a contract is drawn up and agreed, signed and sealed, nobody can ignore it or add to it. 16Now the promises were given to Abraham, and to his son.#3:16. Literally, “seed.” It doesn’t say, “sons” as if plural, but singular: “and to your son,” meaning Christ. 17Let me explain. The law, coming four hundred and thirty years later, doesn’t cancel the previous covenant that God made, breaking the promise. 18If the inheritance is derived from obedience to the law, it no longer comes from the promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham by means of the promise.
19What was the point of the law, then? It was added to show what wrongdoing really is, until the son came to whom the promise had been made. The law was put in place by angels through the hand of a mediator. 20But a mediator isn’t needed when there’s only one person involved. And God is one!#3:20. The idea here is that the Old Testament law needed a mediator (Moses). But in the case of the promise this was made directly to Abraham, and according the argument that Paul is developing here, directly fulfilled that promise through Jesus Christ. In this way, says Paul, the promise and its fulfillment are superior to the law.
21So does the law work against God’s promises? Of course not! For if there was a law that could give life, then we could be made right by keeping it. 22But Scripture tells us that we all are prisoners of sin. The only way we can receive God’s promises is by trusting in Jesus Christ. 23Before we trusted in Jesus we remained in the custody of the law until this way of trusting was revealed. 24The law was our guardian until Christ came, so that we could be made right by trusting him. 25But now this way of trusting Jesus has come, we no longer need such a guardian. 26For you are all God’s children through your trust in Christ Jesus. 27All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There’s no longer Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female—you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s children, and you are heirs of the promise!