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Tuesday, November 28th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Galatians 3

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Bewitched ; fascinated, deluded.

Set forth , crucified among you ; or, set forth among you as crucified. Men who hope to be saved in any other way than through faith in Christ, are grossly deceived. Acts 4:10-12 .

Verse 2

This only would I learn of you ; as much as to say, The answer to this question will abundantly convict you of your folly.

The Spirit ; the Holy Spirit, in his sanctifying and miraculous influences.

By the works of the law ; through the efficacy of your observance of the Jewish law, to which you are now turning.

By the hearing of faith ; by obeying the message of the gospel, which offers you salvation through faith in Christ. The answer is plain: It was not through the works of the law, but through the hearing of faith, that they had received the Holy Spirit; why then turn away from the latter to the former?

Verse 3

In the Spirit ; the Holy Spirit, as the minister of a spiritual dispensation.

By the flesh ; by the observance of the outward ceremonial law.

Verse 4

Suffered so many things ; on account of their professed attachment to Christ.

If it be yet in vain ; as it would be, if they should forsake the gospel for the Jewish ceremonial law.

Verse 5

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit ; God, who bestows upon you the Holy Spirit.

By the works of the law , or by the hearing of faith? supply the answer, He does it by the hearing of faith, not by the works of the law. The effects of the gospel are conclusive evidence that is from God.

Verse 7

Children of Abraham ; like him in spirit, and justified in the same way, not by works, but by faith.

Verse 8

Foreseeing ; the Holy Ghost foreseeing, and in the Scriptures foretelling, that God would justify Gentiles as he did Abraham.

In thee ; as the spiritual father of all that believe. Genesis 12:3 ; Genesis 18:18 ; Genesis 22:18 . Thus the glad tidings were announced to Abraham that God would bless and save the Gentiles through such faith as he exercised. The promises of God to Abraham and his seed were of spiritual blessings, justification by faith, and eternal life through Jesus Christ; not to believing Jews only, but to all who should believe, of all nations, in all ages.

Verse 9

Blessed with faithful Abraham ; accepted of God in the same way.

Verse 10

Of the works of the law ; are seeking justification by it.

Under the curse ; because they have not perfectly obeyed the law.

Verse 11

The just shall live by faith ; does not promise justification by faith, but by works.

But ; that is, but its language is.

Shall live in them ; by doing them. The law knows nothing of grace, but demands absolute obedience as its only condition of justification. Justification by faith and not by works is a doctrine taught in the Old Testament as well as in the New.

Verse 12

The law is not of faith ; does not promise justification by faith, but by works.

But ; that is, but its language is.

Shall live in them ; by doing them. The law knows nothing of grace, but demands absolute obedience as its only condition of justification.

Verse 13

The curse of the law ; the punishment which it threatens against transgressors.

Made a curse ; treated as accursed, in suffering for our sake the accursed death of the cross. Deuteronomy 21:23 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21 , "made him to be sin for us."

Verse 14

The blessing of Abraham ; that which God promised to him and to all believers, justification through faith.

Verse 15

After the manner of men ; as they view and treat a covenant that has been ratified.

Verse 16

His seed ; Christ, as the head of his church; and through him, all believers, who constitute his body.

He saith not , And to seeds , as of many ; he does not make the promise to Abraham’s seeds, as if he were speaking of the many individual children of Abraham; in other words, were making the promise to each one of the many who are his children by outward descent.

But as of one , And to thy seed ; he makes the promise, as speaking of one, to one seed of Abraham.

Which is Christ ; that is, this one seed that receives the promise is Christ, and in him all believers, who constitute his body.

Verse 17

The covenant ; with Abraham and his seed.

In Christ ; as the promised seed.

The law ; given to Moses. The covenant of God with Abraham was made and confirmed in Christ; and the laws which were afterwards given, were not designed to alter it or change its conditions, but to lead men to comply with them, and thus obtain its blessings.

Verse 18

The inheritance ; of the spiritual blessings promised to Abraham and his seed.

By promise ; that the blessing should come, through Christ, to all who believe on him. As this promise was made and ratified long before the law was given, its blessings could not come from obedience to law.

Verse 19

Wherefore then serveth the law? why was it added? Because of transgressions ; the Jews were so prone to forsake God, worship idols, and commit all sorts of abominations, that the law was added to restrain them-to preserve among them the knowledge and worship of Jehovah, show them the desert of sin, their need of Christ and the nature of his salvation, and point them to him as the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.

Ordained by angels ; given through the ministry of angels.

In the hand of a mediator ; namely, Moses. compare Exodus 20:19 ; Deuteronomy 5:5 ; Deuteronomy 5:27 .

Verse 20

Of one ; one party.

Is one ; one party, the other party being man.

Verse 21

Is the law then against the promises? was it designed to open another way of life, or in any degree to conflict with the promises? Certainly not, but to aid in their accomplishment.

Verse 22

Hath concluded ; declared all to be shut up under sin and condemnation, so that there is no way of escape except by faith in Christ.

Verse 23

Before faith came ; before Christ, the object of faith, came; or before the way of life through him was clearly revealed.

Verse 24

The law was our schoolmaster ; showing us our lost and guilty condition, and thus constraining us to come to Christ for salvation. In the ceremonial law, and in the whole Mosaic economy, God had a gracious design; and by it he produced, on all who rightly observed it, gracious effects: not by leading them to expect salvation by their ceremonial observances, but in leading them, through faith in Christ to become Abraham’s seed, and thus receive the blessing.

Verse 25

No longer under a schoolmaster ; having believed on Christ, he had adopted them as his children and given them in the gospel all needed instruction, so that they had no further need of the ritual observances of the law.

Verse 27

Baptized into Christ ; become united to him by faith, and according to his will openly professed to be his disciples.

Have put on Christ ; taken him as their leader, and professed to come under the controlling influence of his Spirit.

Verse 28

One in Christ Jesus ; possessed of one character; accepted in one way; belonging to one family; under one head, Christ; and equally entitled to all the blessings of salvation through him.

Verse 29

Christ’s ; united to Christ by believing on him.

Abraham’s seed ; for the one seed of Abraham to whom the promise was made is Christ, verse Galatians 3:16 . All, then, that are united to Christ by faith are, in and through him, Abraham’s seed, and heirs of the promises made to Abraham. The rich spiritual blessings which God in his covenant with Abraham promised him and his seed, do not come by natural descent; they are not affected by age, rank, sex, or outward condition; but are the fruits of grace, given for Christ’s sake to all who by believing on him become children of Abraham in the sense of the covenant, and thus possess the character and sustain the relation of those to whom the promises were made.

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Galatians 3". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/galatians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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