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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Galatians 3

Verse 1

GIFT OF SPIRIT BY FAITH - NOT

BY WORKS OF THE LAW

(Verses 1-5)

1) "0 foolish Galatians", (ho anoetoi Gallatin) "0 foolish ones, Galatians," of Galatia, --- foolish in lacking understanding, perception, or seeing the consequence of their turning aside from following Christ to the ceremonies of the Old Law of rituals and its burdens.

2) "Who hath bewitched you," (tis humos eboskanen) "who has bewitched you all," turned you aside to the folly of obtaining the Spirit or retaining the Spirit of Christ by circumcision of the flesh? Galatians 5:7. Who has charmed you like a snake, fascinated you toward baneful evil?

3) "That ye should not obey the truth," This clause is not in original of better manuscripts. The truth is that the Divine nature, the Spiritual birth comes to one by faith in Jesus Christ, not by law-bondage rituals of circumcision and feast days, or-even by fasting, Galatians 5:6.

4) "Before whose eyes," (hois kat’ ophthalmous) "to whom, before the eyes" of whom or before whose eyes, in their own experiences, Galatians 2:14.

5) "Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth," (lesous Christos proegraphe) "Jesus Christ was portrayed, or set forth, as reflected by a mirror;- as Paul had preached Him and many of them had believed and lived changed lives as children of God "by faith in Christ Jesus," Galatians 3:26.

6) "Crucified among you?" (estauromenos) "Having been crucified," or as having been crucified. Not only had the crucifixion and death of Christ been preached as a basis of their redemption, but it was also set forth that they should live as crucified with Him, separated, sanctified, or holy lives, 1 Corinthians 1:23; 1 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:20; Galatians 6:14.

Verse 2

1) "This only would I learn of you," (touto monon thelo mathein aph’ humon) "This only (do) I wish (deeply) to learn from you all;" answer this question for me and for yourselves whether or not you are "in the faith," the system of its teachings, 2 Corinthians 13:5.

2) "Received ye the Spirit by the Works of the Law," (eks ergon normou to pneuma elabete) "Did you all receive the Spirit by (out of) works of the law," as a reward for obedience to the law-? The Spirit, which is a pledge of your adoption and inheritance, did you really receive it as a result of circumcision or by any other deed of the law? Acts 2:38; Acts 15:8-9; Ephesians 1:13.

3) "Or by the hearing of faith?" (e eks akoes pisteos) "or out of (by) hearing of faith?" as the gift of God by faith, Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 10:16-17.

Verse 3

1 ) "Are ye so foolish," (houtos anoetoi este); "Are you all thus (this much) foolish?" Paul’s shocking question was in effect, "Can legal obedience complete something it did not even originate? If it can’t initiate or impart Spiritual life, how can it sustain Spiritual life?

2) "Having begun in the Spirit," (enarksamenoi pneumati) "Having begun (started out) in (the) Spirit," Galatians 4:6; Galatians 4:9. Conversion of the Galatians had occurred thru the power of the Holy Spirit. Were they now to expect the flesh-law ceremonies to keep them transformed.

3) "Are you now made perfect in the flesh?" (nun sarki epiteleisthe?) "Are you all now and hereafter being a perfected state in the flesh?" Hebrews 9:8-14; Galatians 4:23; Galatians 4:29; Philippians 3:3-6.

Verse 4

1 ) "Have ye suffered so many things in vain;- (tosauta epathete eike;) "Ye suffered so many things in vain? haven’t you?" if salvation were obtained or retained by media of obedience to the law, did you all not act imprudent, foolish in preaching, receiving Christ, which brought the persecution from the Jews?

2) "If it be yet in vain," (ei ge kai eike) "if indeed it be in vain." If it be true that you have gone back to the law, your former sufferings for the name of Christ was actually vain on your part! 2 John 1:8; 1 Corinthians 15:12-17.

Verse 5

1) "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit," (ho oun epichoregon humin to pneuma) "The one therefore supplying to you all the spirit," equipping you to service in a liberal manner, 2 Corinthians 3:8; 2 Corinthians 3:11.

2) "And worketh miracles among you " (kai energon dunameis en humin) "and working dynamic deeds (things) among you all;" This indicates that God supernaturally empowered and Imparted special strength and forces to various members of the churches of Galatia, while more numerous spiritual gifts existed, Acts 9:17-18; Acts 10:44.

3) "Doeth he it by the works of the law," (eks ergon nomou) "Is it out of (as a result of) works of law (the Mosaic law)?" Does God minister dynamic powers and supernatural forces through the operation of the Law of Moses, because you all keep the law rites?

4) "Or by the hearing of faith?" (e eks akoes pisteos); "or by (the) hearing of faith?" or does God impart these gifts and supernatural powers through faith, the hearing or obedience to Jesus Christ and the Gospel? It is as if Paul were challenging "draw your own conclusions" 2 Corinthians 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 3:17.

Verse 6

1) "Even as Abraham believed God," (kathos Abraam episteusen to theo) "Just as Abraham believed in God," When God preached the Gospel to him, Galatians 3:8; Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:3. The faith of the Galatians is likened to that of Abraham in that it had the same acceptance with God.

2) "And it was accounted to him for righteousness," (kai elogisthe auto eis dikaiosunen) "And it was reckoned, calculated, or computed and imputed to him for righteousness;" it was not his circumcision, family name, or riches, but his "faith" in the word of God and the God of the Word that was imputed-to make him right before and with God, Romans 4:5; Romans 4:9-10; Romans 4:22-25; James 2:23.

Verse 7

1 ) "Know ye therefore," (ginoskete ara) "You all recognize this," or the logical deduction is therefore as follows:

2) "That they which are of faith," (hoti hoi ek pisteos) "That the ones who are of faith;” who exist out of faith, who are "children of God by faith in Jesus Christ" (Galatians 3:26). The same are to reflect in their character and obedience to Christ, thru His church, in walking by faith that they are His heirs.

3) "The same are the children of Abraham," (houtoi huioi eisin Abraam) "These are the sons (heirs) of Abraham;" These exist as true heirs (holding inheritance rights) of Abraham! John 8:39; Romans 4:11-13; Romans 4:16.

The test of true heirship or an inheritance-setting and ruling with the Jewish people in the golden millennial age requires that one be at least:

a) a child of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

b) a follower and servant of Him in His church.

Such requires Salvation, baptism, and identity with Jesus Christ in His suffering in His church, John 3:3; John 3:6; Romans 6:5; 2 Timothy 2:12; Luke 22:30; Luke 19:12-27.

Verse 8

1 ) "And the Scripture foreseeing," (proidousa de he graphe) "And the Scripture, seeing beforehand;" or perceiving (giving perceptions) beforehand, the evidence of true prophecy, some of which "angels desired to look into," 1 Peter 1:12-13|.

2) "That God would justify the heathen through faith," (hoti ek pisteos dikaioi ta ethnee) "That the true trinitarian God would justify (account as righteous) the heathen gentiles, races, or nations, by or through faith," as certified by Acts 10:42|.

3) "Preached before the gospel to Abraham," (pro -euengelisato to Abraam) "preached good tidings (the gospel) before (before the law) to Abraham," Genesis 12:3; Genesis 15:18; Genesis 22:15-18|.

4) "Saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed," (hoti eneulogethesontai en soi panta ta ethne). "That in you will all the nations be blessed," Genesis 12:3; 2 Peter 1:21; Acts 3:25. The promise "in thee" refers to Abraham’s seed, the Messiah, who should come through His special genealogy, a promise renewed in Isaac, confirmed in Jacob, and extended thru David; Genesis 26:1-5; Genesis 28:10-16; 2 Samuel 7:4-16|.

Verse 9

1) "So then they which be of faith," (hoste hoi ek pisteos) "So (then) those out of flesh-the ones believing, having believed or trusted in Jesus Christ," those of you all trusting, depending on faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, is a fundamental condition to Divine acceptance, John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6; Galatians 3:26.

2) "Are blessed with faithful Abraham," (eulogountai sun to pisto Abraam) "are blessed in affinity with the believing Abraham," whose faith was counted for his righteousness, who obeyed and went out from the Ur of the Chaldees, not knowing whether he went, what might befall him, Hebrews 11:8-10. The term "Faithful" may mean trustworthy or trusting, deserving confidence, or exercising it. It is used here in the sense of exercising faith in addition to having previously been saved through faith.

Verse 10

LAW-WORKER UNDER LAW-CURSE (V. 10-12)

1) "For as many as are of the works of the law," (hosi gar eks ergon nomou eisin) "For as many as are out of (the) works of law," as many as are relying on their obedience to it to save them.

2) "Are under the curse;" (hupo kataran eisin) "are under a curse," a condemnation or sentence by that law. Romans 3:19; Galatians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 3:6.

3) "For it is written," (gegraptai gar) "For it has been written (already). This indicates Paul’s belief in the trustworthiness, accuracy, or truth of the Old Testament Scriptures, as follows:

4) "Accursed is everyone that," (hoti epikataratos pas) "That accursed (is) everyone," Deuteronomy 27:26; Jeremiah 11:3; Galatians 3:22.

5) "Continues not in all things." (hos ouk emmenei pasin tois) "continues not in all the things," Deuteronomy 28:15. This describes the consequences, moral consequences of sowing and reaping in one’s conduct, Psalms 119:21. The idea is if salvation, were by law-works none would be saved in this life.

6) "Which are written in the book of the law," (gegrammenois en to biblio tou nomou tou) "(which are) having been written in the roll-book of the law," which they claim to trust. Paul simply asserts that condemnations under the law, to avoid the curse, required perfect obedience, obedience in all things which no man before Christ ever reached; For all have sinned, 1 Kings 8:46; Romans 3:23.

7) "To do them," (poiesai auta) "To do them," repeatedly; they who did law-things lived by doing them. The law that condemned for imperfect obedience also pointed to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Redeemer, the true Sacrifice for sins on whom all were to depend, Galatians 3:24. All men are to recognize that they have sinned, are lost, and must trust in Jesus Christ-not deeds, forms, or ceremonies of the law to save them. Titus 3:5-7.

Verse 11

1 ) "But that no man is justified by the law," (hoti de en nomo oudeis dikaioutoi) "That now (indeed) no man is justified by law;" or "no man exists who has been justified by the law," else Jesus could not be the Savior of all, by faith, Galatians 2:16.

2) "In the sight of God, it is evident," (para to theo delon) "before God, it is clear,” apparent, or evident. God sees; God knows; and Paul saw this and knew it, for he -too had once while in sin tried to acquire salvation from sin and a guilty conscience by the deeds of the law; Romans 3:19-20.

3) "For, the just shall live by faith," (hoti ho dikaios ek pisteos zesetai) "Because the just (one) will live out of (by) faith;" One is not only justified, acquitted from condemnation by faith, but he is also to live by that spiritual gift of faith, 1 Corinthians 13:13; Hebrews 2:4; Romans 1:17; Hebrews 10:38.

Verse 12

1) "And the law is not of faith," (ho de nomos ouk estin ek pisteos) "Moreover the law is not (out) of faith;” The law said "do and live," but grace says "do not," but believe and live, or believe and be justified from soul guilt and condemnation, Romans 4:4-5; Romans 10:5-6; Romans 11:6.

2) "But, the man that doeth them," (All’ ho poiesas auta) "But the one doing them," the things of the law; daily do, so as daily to live, was the law part of condemnation designed to bring man to his daily senses that he needed a savior, could not save himself by law deeds, Leviticus 18:5.

3) "Shall live in them," (zesetai en autois) "He will live by them," by doing them or in doing them continually, progressively, without a break, Ezekiel 20:11; Ezekiel 20:13; Ezekiel 20:21; Luke 11:28; Romans 10:5. True religion is based on heart-felt trust in God, not in perfect outward fleshly obedience to laws, Hebrews 10:38.

Verse 13

1) "Christ hath redeemed us," (Christos hemas eksegorazen) "Christ redeemed us;" It is (on his part) a finished transaction. God the Father is satisfied in His crucifixion and full payment for the sins of all men, Romans 3:24.

2) "From the curse of the law," (ek tes kataras tou nomou) "out of the curse of the law;" which invoked the just wrath of an offended God upon the guilty, Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21. God made Him to be sin on our behalf - What Love! John 3:16.

3) "Being made a curse for us," (genomenos huper hemon katara) "Becoming a curse on our behalf," when he was "delivered for our offenses and raised again for-our justification," Romans 4:24-25; This He did when He became our scapegoat bearing our sins away, Leviticus 4:21; Leviticus 4:25; 1 Peter 2:24.

4) "For it is written", (hoti gegraptai) "Because it has been written;" Paul reiterates his faith in the literal accuracy and fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures.

5) "Cursed is everyone," (epikataratos pas ho) "accursed (is) everyone," Deuteronomy 21:23; Deuteronomy 27:26. The law of Moses did not permit a crucified person to hang on a tree even over night. He was to be buried, put away the very day that he was hanged.

6) "That hangeth on a tree," (kremamenos epi zulou) "hanging upon a tree;" The hanging of the obstinate law breaker was of Divine command, a just retribution for the willful ones who showed contempt or disregard for God’s laws, Numbers 25:4; 2 Samuel 21:6-9.

Verse 14

1) "That the blessings of Abraham," (hina he eulogia tou Abraam) "In order that the blessings of Abraham," the heritage available to all men, thru faith and obedience, that was seen in Abraham was made available to all in this Gentile age, thru Jesus Christ and His church, Acts 20:28; Ephesians 3:21.

2) "Might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ," (genetai en lesou Christou eis ta ethne) might be in Jesus Christ to all heathen, races, nations, or people;" this seems to involve not only Salvation but also rights to rule and reign over the promised land, extended to or including the church, called from among the Gentiles, as a people for His name’s sake, Acts 10:36; Matthew 4:12-21; Matthew 19:29.

3) "That we might receive the promise of the Spirit," (hina ten epangelion tou pneumatos lagomen) "in order that we might receive the promise of the Spirit," in the sense of the promise fulfilled through the Spirit, a promise of complete redemption from sin and restoration to God’s favor and the inheritance of the Land - grant promise God made to Abraham, into which the church by faith and obedient service is to partake, Genesis 15:18; Luke 22:30.

4) "Through faith," (diates pisteos) "through the faith," the system of faith, the body of Christian truth; It appears that not only natural Israel is to occupy the Abrahamic covenant Land -grant territorial promise in the millennial, Genesis 15:18, but also that the church of Jesus Christ, called from among the Gentiles may have jurisdictional reigning honors over the people of the Land as the twelve Apostles shall receive Christ’s fulfilled promise that they should sit on the twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Luke 22:30; Ephesians 3:21; Luke 10:12-27.

Verse 15

1) "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men," (adelphoi kata anthropon lego) "Brethren I speak according to the manner that men "speak," or using the language that even unregenerate men understand, using analogies.

2) "Though it be but a man’s covenant," (homos anthropou keburomenen diatheken) "Nevertheless, a covenant having been ratified of men," or -- in comparison with a covenant that has been ratified by men.

3) "Yet, if it be confirmed," (kekuromen) "Still if it be in a ratified state, or condition;" that is if has been ratified, confirmed, or certified, with solemn oath.

4) "No man disannulleth, or addeth thereto," (oudeis athetei e epidiatassetai) "No one sets it aside, ignores it, or makes additions to (it);" none legally dare alter it. Neither may men alter, take from, or add to the Word of God in any place beyond what it was meant to have said in its contextual setting, Proverbs 30:6; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Revelation 22:18-19.

If men do not alter covenants, disannul, or set them aside, would God do so? Would he set aside his own covenant? Paul asked.

Verse 16

1) "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made," (to de Abraam errethesan hai epangelliai kai to spermati autou) "Now, the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed," Genesis 13:15; Romans 11:26. This is generally termed the Abrahamic Covenant. God made this to Abraham and his seed, Genesis 13:3; Genesis 13:7; Genesis 15:7.

2) "He saith not," (ou legei) "It says not," of flesh-will-offspring of Abraham, either thru Ishmael or his six sons by Keturah, Genesis 25:2; Genesis 25:7. The promised redeemer was neither thru Hagar nor Keturah’s sons by Abraham, but Sarah.

3) "And to seeds, as of many;" (kai tois spermasin, hos epi pollon) "and to the seeds, as concerning many," as of the many offspring of Ishmael and Keturah’s six sons by Abraham, though salvation was offered to all, Acts 10:43; See also God’s offer and call to all the ends of the earth to look to Him, Isaiah 45:22.

4) "But as of one," (all’ hos eph’ henos) "but as concerning one;" As Abraham gave "all that he had to Isaac," (Genesis 25:5) the heir of promise, Hebrews 1:2, then gave gifts to sons of his concubines, so God gave His only begotten Son to Abraham and his line thru Sara, yet the Savior’s blessings extend to all believers, to every whosoever will, John 3:14-16.

5) "And to thy seed, which is Christ," (kai to spermati sou, hos estin Christos) "and to your seed, who is Christ," of the fleshly line of Abraham thru his son, Isaac; so that redemption to the whole world was provided by or thru one: First, thru the one son (Isaac) of Abraham and Sarah, and Second, thru the only begotten Son (the one) of God, Genesis 22:18; Romans 9:7; Romans 9:9.

Verse 17

THE LAW DID NOT ADD TO THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT OF FAITH

1) "And this I say," (touto de lego) "Even, and, or also this I assert," or affirm as I set it forth to you very clearly!

2) "That the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ," (diatheken prokekurmenen hupo tou theou) "(that) a covenant having been previously ratified of God," The term "in Christ" is not in the more reliable manuscripts. The covenant was confirmed or ratified long before the law of Moses was given, Romans 4:9-10; Romans 4:13-14.

3) "The law which was four hundred and thirty years -after, cannot disannul" (ho meta tetrakosia kai triakonta ete gegonos nomos ouk akuroi) "The law, four hundred and thirty years afterward, having come into being, does not disannul," Exodus 12:40-41. The last day of the 430th year of Israel’s wanderings and sojourneyings God led them out of Egyptian bondage, liberated them; by the passover they memorialized their deliverance by the blood, Exodus 12:42-51.

4) "That it should make the promise of none effect," (eis to katargesoi ten epangelian) "So as to abolish the promise;" The law emphasized the need of a Savior, a redeemer. It did not set aside, disannul or supplant the promise to Abraham, Romans 3:19-20; Galatians 3:19; Galatians 3:22; Galatians 3:24.

Verse 18

1) "For if the inheritance be of the law," (ei gar ek nomou he kleronomia) "For if the inheritance exists of, or has its origin in, the law;" note, the "inheritance" or heir setting involves more than salvation of the Soul. It also involves 1) The Natural seed of Abraham’s possession of the original land-grant promise to Abraham, Genesis 15:18; Genesis 15:2) A position of joint-heir reigning heritage over the Land by members of our Lord’s church, with the twelve apostles sitting in twelve throne positions of judgment, Luke 22:30; 2 Timothy 2:12.

2) "It is no more of promise," (ouketi eks epangelias) "It no more exists of promise," the promise made to Abraham, by faith. Neither salvation nor a right of inheritance reign, under Christ, over the Promised land territory is acquired through media of the law of Moses and its ceremonies and rites.

3) "But God gave it to Abraham by promise," (t6 de Abraam di epanglias kecharistai ho theos) "But God has given it to Abraham through promise," and His promises are sure, secure, and steadfast, 1 Kings 8:56; Hebrews 6:8; Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 11:11; Joshua 23:15; Genesis 17:1-8.

Verse 19

PURPOSE OF THE LAW TO POINT TO CHRIST

1) "Wherefore then serveth the law?" (ti oun ho nomos;) "why, therefore, have the law?" Paul then gave six reasons the law was given or purposes it served Galatians 3:19-25. (1) "Because of transgression," (2) to "conclude all under sin," (3) to last "till the seed should come" (4) to "shut man up" to faith as avenue of escape from sin, (5) "as a pedagogue-guide, (6) Since Christ came none is under the law-pedagogue longer.

2) "It was added because of transgression," (ton parabaseon charin prosetethe) "It was added by reason of the transgressions," a breach of Divine principles before the law was given. The law did not make Sin, but as a mirror it was given to measure, to reflect to man what sin was and how it was considered in the eyes of God, Romans 4:15; Romans 5:20; Romans 7:7; Romans 7:13.

3) "Till the seed should come to whom the promise was made," (achris an elthe to sperma ho epengeltai) "until the seed should come, to whom it has been promised; The "it" refers to the "heir-setting or inheritance," made in promise to Christ and His heirs, Galatians 4:4-5. The term "receive the adoption of sons," regers to the heir-setting of an inheritance, available and promised not only to natural Israel but also to the redeemed of Christ, in His church in this age, Hebrews 10:8-9. Christ took away, the law program of worship and service that He might establish the second, the church, Matthew 5:17-18; Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 3:21.

4) "And it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator," (diatageis di’ angellon en cheiri mesitou) "Being ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator," The term ordained means "sanctioned by angels," (1) in the annunciation of His begettal, (2) in the annunciation of His birth, (3) In the annunciation of His resurrection, and (4) In the annunciation of His return to earth, when He shall return as "King of kings and Lord of lords", (Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 2:9-14; Matthew 28:2-7; Acts 1:10-11). The "it" ordained by angels seems to indicate the promised inheritance that was delivered by angels came to pass in Christ, in due time, Galatians 4:4-5.

Verse 20

1) "Now a mediator is not a mediator of one," (hode mesites heneos ouk estin) "Now the mediator is (exists) not of one;" His work exists as an intercessor between two offended parties, where there is a division, to bring the division or divided parties into unity, into one accord, favor with one another, into harmony - Jesus Christ mediates between God who is holy and man who is unholy to bring them in harmony, 1 Timothy 2:4-5.

2) "But God is one," (ho de theos eis estin) "But the God is (exists as) one," one true God; He has no disharmony, discord in His nature, 1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6.

MEDIATION OF A PRINCE

During one of the journeys of Queen Victoria, a little boy was desirous of seeing her. He determined to go direct to the castle where she was residing, and ask to see her. He was stopped at the gate by the sentry, who demanded what he wanted. "I want to see the queen," he replied. The soldier laughed at the boy, and told him to be off immediately, or he would shoot him. The boy turned to go away, and gave vent to his grief in tears. He had not gone far when he was met by the Prince of Wales, who inquired why he was crying. "I want to see the queen," replied the boy, "and that soldier won’t let me." "Won’t he?" said the prince; "’then come along with me, and I’ll take you to the queen." He according took him by the hand, and led him towards the castle. On passing the sentinel, he, as usual, presented arms to the prince; and the boy became terrified, and ran away, fearing that the soldier was going to shoot him. The prince soon quieted his fears, and led him past the gates into the presence of her Majesty. The queen, upon being informed of what had taken place, laughed heartily, spoke kindly to her little visitor, and to his great delight dismissed him with a piece of money. As the prince presented the boy to the queen, so Christ presents us to His Father.

-Gray-Adams

Verse 21

1) "Is the law then against the promises of God?" (ho oun nomos kato ton epangellion (tou theou). "Is the law therefore against the promises of God?" The answer is "no." It was used to indict, to bring guilt to sinners and point to the need of the object of the promise, the coming of the Redeemer, Matthew 5:17; Romans 3:19-21; Romans 7:10; Romans 7:12.

2) "God forbid," (me genoito) "May it not be, become," or be considered as such. There was no conflict between the promise through Abraham and the law of Moses. Their purposes while different were not in conflict. The ’law with it’s ’specifics pointed in types and shadows to the need of the coming Sacrificial one.

3) "For if there had been a law given which could have given life," (ei gar edothe nomos he dunamenos zoopoiesai) "For if a law was given (existed) being able to make alive," to impart a possible condition, contrary to fact. The fact is that no such law was given, Galatians 2:16; Galatians 2:21. Life was forfeited by sin, restored by the righteousness of Christ imputed to believers, 2 Corinthians 5:21,

4) "Verily righteousness should have been by the law," (ontos ek nomon an en he dikaiosune) "Really (actually) righteousness would have been (existed) by law," by media of law, not by grace. The only life given by law was in the restricted sense that one who already had physical life was given length of days in relation to his keeping or breaking the law in capital punishment decrees that brought death under the law. For each of the ten commandments had a death penalty attached to the open breaking of it. Those who kept the law lived by it; Those who broke it died by it. These deeds of the law concerned physical life and capital punishment, death, not the means by which pardon for sin or eternal life was received or retained, Isaiah 45:22; Acts 10:43; Romans 11:6; Ezekiel 18:4-22; Genesis 9:6; Ezekiel 20:10-11. When life is offered by law keeping it is physical life extension. When death is threatened for sin under the law it is physical death by the law’s order of capital punishment.

Verse 22

1 ) "But the scripture hath concluded," (alla suekleisen he graphe) "But the scripture has shut up (shut out), in close affinity, close colleague, the same class," to convict all of sin, and each of sin-guilt, Deuteronomy 27:26; 1 Kings 8:46; Romans 3:19.

2) "All under sin," (ta panta hupo hamartian) "All mankind (without respect of persons) under sin," under the condemnation, classification of sin-creatures, all families of Abraham, after the flesh, as well as all human beings, Romans 3:9; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23.

3) "That the promise by faith of Jesus Christ," (hina he epangellia ek pisteos lesou Christou) "In order that the promise by faith of (in) Jesus Christ," or (Gk. ek) "out of the media of faith," of or in Jesus Christ, apparently referring to the Gift of faith, without which none can be saved, Hebrews 11:6; 1 Corinthians 13:13; John 1:11-12. Both Jesus Christ the object of Faith’s promise and the gift of faith have their source and fountainhead in Jesus Christ.

4) "Might be given to them that believe," (dothe tois pisteuousin) "might be given (doled out) to the ones believing, a) before the law, b) under the law, and c) after the law was fulfilled, abrogated in the sense of an approved program of worship and service, Acts 10:43; Romans 1:16; Galatians 3:26. As surely as God kept His promise to send His Son, so sure shall all who believe in His Son receive eternal life, John 10:27-29.

FULFILLING PROMISES

Sir William Napier one day met a poor child who was crying bitterly because she had broken her bowl. Having no money with him, he promised to meet her in the same place and the same hour next day, and give her money to buy another. Reaching home, he found an invitation to dine out with a gentleman whom he particularly wished to see; but he declined it on account of his pre-engagement with the child. "I could not disappoint her, she trusted me so implicitly," he said.

-Gray-Adams

Verse 23

1) "But before faith came," (pro tou de elthein ten pistin) "But before the faith came," the Christ-promised one and the system of faith, body of complete truth came, Galatians 4:4-5; Before the "Author and finisher of our faith" came, Hebrews 12:2, before the originator of our faith came, Hebrews 2:10.

2) "We were kept under the law," (hupo nomon ephroroumetha) "We were guarded under law," or kept under guard, law-guard, regarding standards and practices of right and wrong, all and each of which pointed to the need of the Redeemer.

3) "Shut up unto," (sugkleiomenoi eis) "being shut up with reference to," With view toward; men were kept, in ward, guarded, and guided by the law which both indicted them of sin and pointed to the Savior.

4) "The faith which should afterward be revealed," (ten mellousan pistin apokaluphthenai) "The faith (which was, existed already) being about to be revealed," referring to Christ the object of Faith, the person in whose promised coming Abraham believed, Romans 4:3-5; Hebrews 11:13; Hebrews 11:39-40; Luke 10:23-24; 1 John 2:7-8.

Verse 24

1) "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us," (hoste ho nomos paidagogos hemon gegonen) "So as a trainer of us the law has become," as a school director, master, pedagogue, one that leads, chastens, prods, and instructs the immature, as giving direction to the young child, Hebrews 9:9-10; Hebrews 9:13-14.

2) "Unto Christ," (eis Christon) "up to, unto, to point us unto, in the direction of and up to Jesus Christ," as the promised Redeemer, Acts 2:16; Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:17.

3) "That we might be justified by faith," (hina ek pisteos dikaiothomen) "in order that we might be justified out of faith," the source of faith, not out of the deeds of the law, Acts 13:38-39; Romans 4:5; Romans 5:1. This justification was not by media of rites and ceremonies of the law, nor is it obtained or retained by media of or thru ceremonies of baptism and the Lord’s Super thru the church, but by faith in Jesus Christ, Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 John 5:1.

RELATION 0F LAW AND THE GOSPEL

You never saw a woman sewing without a needle. She would come but poor speed if she only sewed with the thread. So, I think, when we’re dealing with sinners, we maun aye put in the needle of the law first; for the fact is they are sleepin’ sound, and they need to be awakened up wi’ something sharp. But when we’ve got the needle o’ the law fairly in, we may draw as lang a thread as you like o’ Gospel consolation after it.

-Flockhart

Verse 25

1) "But after that faith is come," (elthouses de tes pisteos) "But the faith having come," the Christ and the system of his teachings! The person for whom many people and prophets looked came, Luke 2:25-32; Luke 2:36-38 among whom here referenced were Simeon and Anna, Luke 10:23-24; Hebrews 11:1.

2) "We are no longer under a schoolmaster," (ouketi hupo paidagogen esmen) "We are not at all under a trainer," a pedagogue, schoolmaster, guide, or tutor. The burdens, shackles, and obstacles of the law of Moses no longer have disciplinary governing rights over anyone in social, civic, or religious life; The jurisdiction of the tutor ceased when the child became a responsible son, when the minor became an accountable adult, Romans 6:14-15.

Verse 26

1) "For ye are all the children of God," (pantes gar huiois theou este) "For all (you all) are sons of God," "you all exist, sons of God, heirs of God (now)," all members of churches of Galatia to whom the letter was directed, Galatians 1:2. Paul had received evidence, testamentary evidence, and circumstantial evidence, sufficient to witness these brethren of the Galatian churches were children of God, loved God, even though they had fallen into frustration over false teachers and teaching regarding the law of Moses, Galatians 1:6-9; Galatians 3:1-2.

2) "By faith in Christ Jesus," (dia tes pisteos en desou Christou) "Though the faith (the gift of faith, 1 Corinthians 3:13; John 1:12) in Christ Jesus," by means, instrument, or agency of the gift of faith, and the system of faith, in Christ Jesus, not in the origin or source of the law of Moses, or not by means, instruments, or agency of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Tithing, or any other act of worship or service to Christ or His church. Men are declared to be children of God by faith, not by baptism; Saved by grace thru faith, but not by grace thru baptism; to have a pure heart by faith, but not by baptism; and to be justified and have peace with God by faith, but not by or thru baptism as Protestant-Catholic related traditionalists hold. (See Galatians 3:26; Ephesians 2:8-9; Acts 15:9; Romans 3:25; Romans 5:1.

Verse 27

1) "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ," (hosoi gar eis Christou ebaptisthete) "For as many (of you all) as were baptized with reference to Christ (not the law)," The term "baptized into Christ", is used in the exact, distinct and definitive sense here that "baptized unto (Gk.) "into" Moses," was used in 1 Corinthians 10:3. As the children of Israel were "baptized (Gk. eis) Moses," in the cloud and in the sea means "with reference to," or acknowledging allegiance to his leadership not Pharaoh’s, even so Galatian brethren were declared to be children of God by faith in Christ Jesus for the reason that they had been baptized into Gk. eis meaning with reference to the leadership of the Christ they were following.

2) "Have put on Christ," (Christon enedusasthe) "You all put on (dressed up in, or imitated) Christ."

Baptism does not put away sin’s pollution, defilement, or condemnation, nor is it a means, instrument, or agency through which Spiritual life enters to regenerate an unbeliever or unsaved person 1 Peter 3:21.

It is a divine ordinance, ordained by the Lord, which He instructed His disciples to administer, in church capacity to a "made disciple," Matthew 28:18-20. Disciples, followers of Christ are to deny (dethrone) themselves and take up their crass-service voluntarily to follow Christ, Mark 8:34.

As surely as baptism did not make Jesus, whom we are to follow, the son of God, neither does it make His followers sons of God or initiate them into the family of God. As He was begotten of the Holy Spirit before He was baptized, so must every person be begotten of the Holy Spirit (born again) before he can follow Jesus in baptism.

The Gk. term (endusasthe) to dress up like, to put on, or identify, is used in the sense that a soldier puts on a uniform to identify him in his service, not to make him a soldier. His pledge of Allegiance to his Country makes him a soldier, not the uniform. The same is true concerning a nurse, or a policeman; It is prior qualifications and commitments of allegiance, not putting on of the uniform, that makes one a nurse or policeman. Even so those who are first children of God by faith are to make an outward commitment of allegiance to Christ in or by baptism.

Verse 28

1 ) "There is neither Jew nor Greek," (ouk eni loudaios oude hellen) "There cannot be (exist) neither Jew nor Greek," In Christ, in the new nature, the Divine nature, the sinless nature, that is not polluted by race-sin, John 3:6; 2 Peter 1:4. The Jew and Greek nature, do remain in them till death, however, after Salvation.

2) "There is neither bond nor free", (ouk eni doulos oude eleutheros) "There can not be (exist) a slave or a freeman;" this means in the new man, the new nature of the saved person - one saved person does not have a slave nature and another a free or liberated nature, but all without conflict have the same kind of divine nature, free, John 8:36.

3) "There is neither male nor female," (ouk eni Arsen kai thelu) "There can not be (exist) male and female," in the Divine nature. If one were a male or female, Slave or freeborn before Salvation, he would be the same, in the flesh after salvation, but the standing of all would be the same before God in the Spirit nature.

4) "For ye are all one in Christ Jesus," (pantes gar humeis eis este en Christo) "For you all are (exist) one in Christ Jesus," one in nature, Divine, Supernatural, Holy - in the new nature, obtained in the new-creature, new birth through faith in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 3:6; Ephesians 2:8-10; 1 John 5:1; John 1:11-12.

To argue that the new nature of oneness of believers erases all race, sex, and social service orders in society is a perversion of the meaning, intent, and design of this Scripture. And such a contention tends toward moral infidelity, nudism, fornication, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, disregards for Bible Standards of ordination of elders etc. The oneness of a new nature, redemption, and heirship with Christ it is simply affirmed, comes thru faith in the Christ of God’s promise to Abraham, not thru deeds of the Mosaic Law. Any other application of the passage removes it from context and makes it a pretext for error.

Verse 29

1 ) "And if ye be Christ’s," (ei de humeis Christou) "But if ye are (exist) of Christ, are Christ’s, " not belonging to or having allegiance to the Law of Moses. If you all of the Galatian churches, or followers of them, are first, children of God by Faith in Christ Jesus and Second, baptized into Christ, with reference to service in His church, Matthew 28:18-20; Ephesians 3:21.

2) "Then are ye Abraham’s seed," (ara tou Abraam sperma este) "Then you all are (exist as) a seed of Abraham," in the sense of believers in the Messiah, children of God, as he became while a heathen himself, when God preached the Gospel to him and he believed, Galatians 3:8-9; Romans 4:3; Romans 4:5.

3) "And heirs according to the promise," (kat’ epangellian kleronomoi) "and (you all are) heirs (have an heir-setting) according to promise;" Those who are Christ’s in the highest sense are not only those who are saved, at which point they become His children, born into the family of God, (Ephesians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 John 5:1), but let it be considered also that heirship (Gk. kleronomoi) an heir-setting to rule and reign with Christ in the Golden Millennial age of one thousand years seems to be extended not to all the redeemed in this age, any more than in the Abrahamic and law age, but more restrictedly to those who follow the Lord in baptism "put on Christ" in allegiance of service thru His church.

Reigning with Christ and over others seems to be dependent, conditioned, or contingent upon at least, church identity and service to Him thru the church in this age; He promised the twelve apostles of His church that they would occupy thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel in that day, and that others of His (His church) might rule, some over 5, 10, cities etc., based on fidelity to Him, Luke 22:30; Matthew 19:28; Luke 19:12-19; Mark 13:34-35; To the Corinth brethren Paul wrote "the world shall be judged by you all," 1 Corinthians 6:2.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Galatians 3". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/galatians-3.html. 1985.