Law or Grace: Galatians 3

Galatians 3: 1-14: Law or Grace

Paul condemns the Falsity of the fake Gospel
Paul presents the Father of faith righteousness
Paul indentifies the Frustration of living under Law

Galatians 3

1 You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough. 2-4Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you?

Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!

5-6Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you?

• How you are being made complete?

• What Paul teaches
1. Receive the Spirit by Faith
2. Begun and completed by God
3. God lavishly bless you with his presence
4. Trusting Him
5. Saved by grace. Sanctified by Grace

• What was being practiced
Working your heads off to please God
They could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God
Working out things you can never work out
Strenuous moral striving
Saved by grace. Sanctified by Grace and Law.

Paul presents the Father of faith righteousness

Galatians 3:5-6
Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God.

7-8Is it not obvious to you that persons who put their trust in Christ (not persons who put their trust in the law!) are like Abraham: children of faith? It was all laid out beforehand in Scripture that God would set things right with non-Jews by faith. Scripture anticipated this in the promise to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed in you.“

9-10So those now who live by faith are blessed along with Abraham, who lived by faith—this is no new doctrine! And that means that anyone who tries to live by his own effort, independent of God, is doomed to failure. Scripture backs this up: “Utterly cursed is every person who fails to carry out every detail written in the Book of the law.“

18For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

5 things we learn from Abraham

1. Abraham’s righteousness was based on belief.
2. It was a gift.
3. It was not base on law. For the law has yet to be given.
4. It was by grace and not his own effort
5. Those who want Abraham’s righteousness must believe like Abraham.

Paul indentifies the Frustration of living under Law

Galatians 3:11-12The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him. Doing things for God is the opposite of entering into what God does for you. Habakkuk had it right: “The person who believes God, is set right by God—and that’s the real life.” Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but only perpetuates itself in more and more rule-keeping, a fact observed in Scripture: “The one who does these things [rule-keeping] continues to live by them.”

Galatians3:13-14Christ redeemed us from that self-defeating, cursed life by absorbing it completely into himself. Do you remember the Scripture that says, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”? That is what happened when Jesus was nailed to the cross: He became a curse, and at the same time dissolved the curse. And now, because of that, the air is cleared and we can see that Abraham’s blessing is present and available for non-Jews, too. We are all able to receive God’s life, his Spirit, in and with us by believing—just the way Abraham received it.

Gal 3:18-20 The purpose of the law was to keep a sinful people in the way of salvation until Christ (the descendant) came, inheriting the promises and distributing them to us. Obviously this law was not a firsthand encounter with God. It was arranged by angelic messengers through a middleman, Moses. But if there is a middleman as there was at Sinai, then the people are not dealing directly with God, are they? But the original promise is the direct blessing of God, received by faith.

Gal 3:21-22 If such is the case, is the law, then, an anti-promise, a negation of God’s will for us? Not at all. Its purpose was to make obvious to everyone that we are, in ourselves, out of right relationship with God, and therefore to show us the futility of devising some religious system for getting by our own efforts what we can only get by waiting in faith for God to complete his promise..

Galatians 3:22 For if any kind of rule-keeping had power to create life in us, we would certainly have gotten it by this time.

23-24Until the time when we were mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God, we were carefully surrounded and protected by the Mosaic law. The law was like those Greek tutors, with which you are familiar, who escort children to school and protect them from danger or distraction, making sure the children will really get to the place they set out for.

Galatians 3:25-27 But now you have arrived at your destination: By faith in Christ you are in direct relationship with God. Your baptism in Christ was not just washing you up for a fresh start. It also involved dressing you in an adult faith wardrobe—Christ’s life, the fulfillment of God’s original promise
5 things about trying to live under the Law

1. Rule-keeping does not naturally evolve into living by faith, but into in more and more rule-keeping. v11-12

2. The Law was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. v19

3. It was given via angels and as such you were not in direct in contact with God v18-20

4. No one can sustain a relationship with God that way. v11-12

5. Doing things for God is the opposite of what God does for you. v11-12

1. Rule-keeping evolves into more and more rule-keeping

Isaiah 28
11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues
God will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said,
“This is the resting place, let the weary rest”;
and, “This is the place of repose”—
but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the LORD to them will become:
Do and do, do and do,
rule on rule, rule on rule;
a little here, a little there—
so that they will go and fall backward,
be injured and snared and captured.

2. The Law was added so that trespass will increase

Romans 7:8 Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”[b] 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

Romans 7
11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.
13Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

3. The law puts angels as barriers between us and God

Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!

When the evangelist Stephen rebuked the Jewish authorities “Who have received the Law by the disposition of ANGELS, and have not kept it” (Acts 7:53).

“The word spoken by ANGELS was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward.”Hebrews 2:2

Gal 3:19“Wherefore then serves the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by ANGELS in the hand of a mediator.”


Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

4. No one can sustain a relationship with God that way.

Romans 3:19 under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

2 Corinthians 5:21 “God made Him Who had no sin to be sin [offering] for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

5. Doing things for God is the opposite of what God does for you.

The Ministry of the Law
• Death
• letters on stone (10 commandments)
• the face of Moses
• condemns men
• radiance was fading away
• made dull
• a veil covers their hearts

The Ministry of the Spirit
• Life
• Human hearts
• Face of Christ
• righteousness
• more glorious
• becoming brighter and more beautiful
• the veil is taken away

The Law veils you from God
13 We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.

14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ.

What is the effect when Law is taken away?

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us. Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (The Message)

We are transformed by beholding Christ and not upholding the Law

Galatians 3:23

Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

The Mosaic Law vs. the Spirit

The Law demands of YOU
You shall Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind.
You shall not murder & You shall not steal
You shall not commit adultery.
You must forgive to be forgiven.
You must Love your neighbour as yourselves

The Spirit draws out Christ
We love Him because He first love us.
The devil comes to steal kill and destroy. Jesus have come to give life and life abundantly
Love your wife as Christ love the Church
Forgive one another as Christ God has forgiven you.
Love one another as I (Christ) loved you

We are no longer under Law!
Romans 8:4 we are taught that the righteous requirements of the law are “fulfilled in us.” All the righteous requirements of the law are not fulfilled by us, but fulfilled in us by Christ.

The Greek word “fulfill” is pleroo which means “to complete fully.” Christ completely fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the Old Covenant and gives that victory and new standing to us, His children.

We are forgiven by the justice of God and not the mercy of God.

To conclude …
1. We started with grace and must continue in grace.
2. We are blessed along with Abraham only if we share in his kind of faith.
3. When we try to please God with our efforts we are in fact in complete opposites of what God wants.
4. Jesus has finished fulfilling the law for us so that in Christ the law is fulfilled in us.


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