Law or Faith
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before
your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly exhibited as crucified! 2The
only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by
doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3Are
you so foolish? Having started with the Spirit, are you now ending with the
flesh? 4Did you experience so much for
nothing?--if it really was for nothing. 5Well
then, does Goda supply you with the Spirit and work
miracles among you by your doing the works of the law, or by your believing
what you heard?
6 Just as Abraham "believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness," 7so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you." 9For this reason, those who believe are blessed with Abraham who believed.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law." 11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for "The one who is righteous will live by faith."b 12But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, "Whoever does the works of the lawc will live by them." 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us--for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"-- 14in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The Promise to Abraham
15 Brothers and sisters,d I give an example from daily life: once a person's wille has been ratified, no one adds to it or annuls it. 16Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring;f it does not say, "And to offsprings,"g as of many; but it says, "And to your offspring,"h that is, to one person, who is Christ. 17My point is this: the law, which came four hundred thirty years later, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.
The Purpose of the Law
19 Why then the law? It was added
because of transgressions, until the offspringi would come
to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a
mediator. 20Now a mediator involves more than
one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law then opposed to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could make alive, then righteousness would indeed come through the law. 22But the scripture has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christj might be given to those who believe.
23 Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. 24Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, 26for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. 27As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring,k heirs according to the promise.