Galatians, Part IV [11-28-10]


Part IV

Chapter 3:6–18




Galatians 3:2-3) [KJV] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

3) [KJV] Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

QUESTION: What important Gospel principle is being taught here?

ANSWER: Paul is telling us that we mature in our spiritual walk the very same way we started our spiritual walk; i.e., were born again.

QUESTION: Paul writes quite often about the idea of “in the Spirit,” “by the Spirit,” of the “Spirit,” etc.; he also writes about the idea of “in the flesh,” “by the flesh,” “of the flesh,” etc. What does this passage show regarding these thoughts?

ANSWER: Draw a line between the phrases of verse 2 that connect with the phrases of verse 3:

Verse 2:                                              Verse 3:

“by doing what the Law requires”           “You began by God’s Spirit”

“by hearing the gospel and believing it” “do you now want to finish by your own power”

NOTE: When we believe what God says we’re walking by faith/in the Spirit; when we attempt to gain God’s approval by trying harder we’re walking in the flesh/by our own power.

Galatians 3:5) [GNB] Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you because you do what the Law requires or because you hear the gospel and believe it?

QUESTION: What is Paul getting at in verse 5?

ANSWER: In verses 2-3 he points out that they were saved by hearing, and believing, the Gospel; now, in this verse, he points out that everything that God had done in their church was also a result of hearing, and believing the Gospel. Everything, from the moment of their salvation to the arrival of these false teachers, that God had done had been the result of their believing what God was saying. Why would that truth now change?


On To This Week’s Lesson:

Galatians 3:6-7) [GNB] Consider the experience of Abraham; as the scripture says, “He believed God, and because of his faith God accepted him as righteous.”

7) [GNB] You should realize, then, that the real descendants of Abraham are the people who have faith. 

Genesis 15:6) [GNB] Abram put his trust in the LORD, and because of this the LORD was pleased with him and accepted him.

(BBE) And he had faith in the Lord, and it was put to his account as righteousness.

(GW) Then Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD regarded that faith to be his approval of Abram.

(MSG) And he believed! Believed GOD! God declared him “Set-Right-with-God.”

QUESTION: What is Paul now pointing out to the Galatian believers?

ANSWER: Justification by faith alone didn’t start with the New Testament Church; it started with Abraham, the father of all who believe.

Romans 4:16) [GNB] And so the promise was based on faith, in order that the promise should be guaranteed as God’s free gift to all of Abraham’s descendants—not just to those who obey the Law, but also to those who believe as Abraham did. For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all;

Romans 4:22-25) [GNB] That is why Abraham, through faith, “was accepted as righteous by God.”

23) [GNB] The words “he was accepted as righteous” were not written for him alone.

24) [GNB] They were written also for us who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death.

25) [GNB] Because of our sins he was given over to die, and he was raised to life in order to put us right with God.

QUESTION: Who, besides Abraham, did God have in mind when the Scripture said, “God declared him ‘Set-Right-with-God.’” (MSG)?

ANSWER: You! Me!

Galatians 3:8-9) [GNB] The scripture predicted that God would put the Gentiles right with himself through faith. And so the scripture announced the Good News to Abraham: “Through you God will bless all people.”

9) [GNB] Abraham believed and was blessed; so all who believe are blessed as he was.

QUESTION: Why did God enter into covenant with Abraham?

ANSWER: Obviously, God wanted Abraham’s descendents to be a nation who would serve Him. God would utilize that nation to bring into the world a Redeemer. However, His bigger plan was spiritual in nature. This Redeemer wasn’t sent to free Israel from its enemies; He was sent to save “whosoever will” come to Him. He sent Christ, His Son, to make a people fit for Heaven, by removing their sins and declaring them right-with-Him.

Galatians 3:10-14) [GNB] Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, “Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God’s curse” [Deut. 27:26].

11) [GNB] Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live” [Hab. 2:4]. 

12) [GNB] But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, “Whoever does everything the Law requires will live” [Lev. 18:5].

13) [GNB] But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, “Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God’s curse” [Deut. 21:23].

14) [GNB] Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God.

QUESTION: How can we quickly sum these 5 verses up?

ANSWER: 1) You can’t get right with God through the Law because the moment you begin to walk under the Law you are cursed because you can’t keep it perfectly.

2) God’s people walk by faith and discover true life in that relationship with God.

3) Jesus became a curse by hanging on the cross so that we could escape the curse and be saved.

Galatians 3:15) [GNB] My friends, I am going to use an everyday example: when two people agree on a matter and sign an agreement, no one can break it or add anything to it.

QUESTION: If you sign a contract to buy a house, a car, or a TV, are the terms of that contract binding?

ANSWER: Yes! Neither party can decide independently that they want to change the terms. The terms can only be changed upon the agreement of both parties, and that agreement then amends the original contract.


Galatians 3:16-17) [GNB] Now, God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural “descendants,” meaning many people, but the singular “descendant,” meaning one person only, namely, Christ.

17) [GNB] What I mean is that God made a covenant with Abraham and promised to keep it. The Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, cannot break that covenant and cancel God’s promise.

QUESTION: If you sign a contract to buy a house, a car, or a TV, are the terms of that contract binding?

ANSWER: Yes! Neither party can decide independently that they want to change the agreement. The agreement can only be changed if both parties agree; then that new agreement becomes an amendment to the original contract.

QUESTION: What does this have to do with Law and Grace?

ANSWER: God entered into covenant/contract with Abraham. That covenant was based on: 1) Abraham leaving his father’s house; 2) and God doing the rest. Abraham did what the covenant of promise required of him; it’s now up to God to do the rest. GOD HAS NO INTEREST IN AMENDING THE COVENANT/CONTRACT!


Galatians 3:18) [GNB] For if God’s gift depends on the Law, then it no longer depends on his promise. However, it was because of his promise that God gave that gift to Abraham.

QUESTION: Was the Law intended to replace the covenant/contract?

ANSWER: No! The Law was intended to show us all that we are lost, and that we must depend on God’s promise to save us.

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church