Studies Notes For Galatians

(Galatians 3)


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Galatians 3:1 –

Š      Is it wrong for Paul to use language that, to the world, indicates he doesn’t like these people (Psalms 139:21-22)?  It is not like he doesn’t care (Philippians 3:17-19).  Nor are these just his words (I Corinthians 2:9-13).

Š      Like the churches in the area of Galatia, when a person errs against God that makes you foolish (Deuteronomy 32:6, Proverbs 10:8, Proverbs 10:14, Jeremiah 4:22, Ezekiel 13:3, and Luke 24:25).

o   Fools are not right in the sight of God (Psalms 5:4-5).

o   Fools follow their own way (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 14:16, Proverbs 28:26, and Luke 12:15-21).

o   They often find sin “fun” (Proverbs 10:23; cf. Proverbs 14:9).

o   You have to forsake foolishness to live (Proverbs 9:6 and Proverbs 14:7).

o   Fools listen to error (Proverbs 15:14 and Jeremiah 5:21-31) and will not normally accept correction (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 1:22, Proverbs 17:10, Proverbs 18:2, and Proverbs 23:9).

o   Being a fool is the same as being brutish [stupid] (Psalms 92:6 and Jeremiah 10:8).

o   To be a fool is to be one who does not establish himself or herself upon the solid rock of truth (Matthew 7:21-27).

o   Consider something; what the Galatians did was equal to the comparison of being an atheist (Psalms 14:1 and Psalms 53:1). 

o   This does not mean there is no hope for a foolish person, for one can change (Titus 3:3).  However, fools often return to their folly (Proverbs 26:11; cf. Proverbs 13:19).

Š      Some have a problem with insulting terms citing/twisting verses such as Ephesians 4:15.  Let it be known that Scriptural teaching includes identifying the erring by terms that may seem offensive:

o   Jesus called men: “hypocrites”, “dog”, “swine” (Matthew 7:1-6), “little faith” (Matthew 8:26), “faithless and perverse” (Matthew 17:17), “Satan” (Matthew 16:21-23), “blind guides” (Matthew 23:16), “fools” (Matthew 23:17 and Luke 11:40), “hypocrites” (Matthew 23:23), exposed them for fakes (Matthew 23:26-28), “generation of vipers” (Matthew 23:33), called king Herod a “fox” (Luke 13:31-32), “of your father the devil” (John 8:44), “liar” (John 8:55), “damned” (Mark 16:15-16), etc.  Also remember that Jesus made a whip and drove out people in the temple (John 2:14-17).

o   John the baptizer called “religious men”: “generation of vipers” (Matthew 3:7 and Luke 3:7).

o   Paul called men: “child of devil” and then struck him blind (Acts 13:8-11), “ignorance” (Acts 17:22-30), “grievous wolves” (Acts 20:29), “ignorant” (Romans 10:1-3), rebuked Peter for not walking uprightly openly before all (Galatians 2:11-17), “foolish” (Galatians 3:1-3), “seducers” (II Timothy 3:13), etc.

o   The prophets of old: called the children of Israel “harlots” (Jeremiah 3:1) and “whores” (Ezekiel 16:28) for spiritual errors, “wild ass” (Hosea 8:8-9), brutish (Proverbs 12:1), “brutish and fools” (Psalms 94:8), etc.

Š      Someone had bewitched them [to fascinate (by false representations)] (II Kings 21:8-9, Ezekiel 13:4-12, Matthew 24:24, Acts 8:9, II Corinthians 11:3-4, II Corinthians 11:13-15, Ephesians 4:14, II Peter 2:18-19, and Revelation 2:20).

Š      Others had fascinated them to the point of being hindered by those individuals or that individual from obeying the truth (Isaiah 3:12, Isaiah 9:16, Jeremiah 23:32, Lamentations 2:14, Matthew 15:1-14, Titus 1:10-14, and II Peter 2:1-2).

Š      Even though they had seen, with their own eyes, our Lord; they were able to be swayed (John 12:35-43; cf. II Corinthians 5:7).


Galatians 3:2 –

Š      They had not received the Holy Spirit by the works of the Law of Moses, but through obedience to the Gospel of Christ (Acts 2:38).  This was accomplished through the laying on of an Apostle’s hands (Acts 8:12-17, and Acts 19:1-7).

Š      The only other way the Spirit was given was through Holy Spirit baptism.  Only two accounts of this in the Scriptures (Acts 1:5-8; cf. Acts 2:1-4, and Acts 10:44-11:18).  This ceased early in the first century (Ephesians 4:5; cf. I Peter 3:20-21).

Š      The Holy Spirit was a seal to prove salvation in the first century (Ephesians 1:13-14, Hebrews 2:3-4, and Hebrews 6:4-6).  This ties to miracles (I Corinthians 12:1-13:13), as we will see in this context (Galatians 3:5).


Galatians 3:3 –

Š      Again, as addressed in Galatians 3:1, they are acting foolishly.  Such a statement is indicative of God’s people if they sin (Numbers 12:11, I Samuel 13:13, and II Samuel 24:10).

Š      Having begun in the Spirit (Romans 8:1-9).

Š      A difference between being “in the Spirit” and walking according to the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25).

Š      The flesh is not profitable (John 6:63, Romans 8:13, Romans 13:14, II Corinthians 4:16-18, and I Peter 2:11).


Galatians 3:4 –

Š      They had suffered to be Christians.  Such is certainly expected (Psalms 37:12, Matthew 5:10-12, Luke 6:22-23, Luke 21:16-17, John 15:18-21, John 16:1-3, Acts 5:40-41, Acts 7:51-8:4, Acts 14:22, II Corinthians 4:8-12, II Thessalonians 1:3-4, II Timothy 2:12, II Timothy 3:11-12, James 1:2, I Peter 3:14-18, I Peter 4:12-16, and Revelation 2:10).

Š      Were they just going to let that be in vain (Hebrews 10:35-36 and II John 1:8)?

Š      Remember, if you fall, the good you’ve done means nothing (Ezekiel 18:24 and II Peter 2:20-22).

Š      “If it be yet in vain” is a statement wherein Paul implies some hope that these in error may possibly be recovered (Galatians 4:9-12, Galatians 4:19, Galatians 5:1, and Galatians 5:10).


Galatians 3:5 –

Š      The point made in Galatians 3:2-3 (see notes there) is now expanded.

Š      The gift of the Holy Spirit was, undeniably, in connection with the performance of miracles (Romans 15:18-19).

Š      Miracles were performed to confirm the word of God and the messenger speaking it (Mark 16:15-20 and Acts 2:22).

Š      The Spirit was given to them, not by the works of the Law, but because of their faith in Christ (Ephesians 1:15-20).


Galatians 3:6 –

Š      Not by works of the Law, even as Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:1-6, Romans 4:1-3, Romans 4:9-10, Romans 4:16-22).

Š      This is NOT God saying that Abraham was saved by faith only (James 2:21-24).


Galatians 3:7 –

Š      Under Christ, one could not claim to be of Abraham just based on his physical seed (John 8:39 and Romans 9:6-8).

Š      Circumcision of the flesh does not make one a child of Abraham in Christ either (Romans 4:11).

Š      If ye are in Christ you are a child of Abraham (Galatians 3:26-29).


Galatians 3:8 –

Š      “The Scripture” is personified (cf. John 7:42 and Romans 9:17).

o   Remember, Jesus is the word (John 1:1-5, John 1:14, and I John 5:7).  Thus, personifying the “Scripture” makes sense.

Š      Foresight of justification of the heathen (Ephesians 1:1-4; cf. Acts 15:15-18).

Š      The good news to Abraham…  “In thee shall all nations be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3, Genesis 18:18, and Genesis 22:1-18).


Galatians 3:9 –

Š      Jesus coming into the world was through Abraham’s seed (Hebrews 2:9-18).

Š      Therefore, we are blessed with Abraham because of the same promise – Christ (Romans 5:6-10 and Hebrews 9:15-17).


Galatians 3:10 –

Š      Being under the works of the Law puts one under the curse of the Law (Deuteronomy 11:26-32, Deuteronomy 29:19-29, Jeremiah 13:10-14, and Hebrews 10:28).

Š      Salvation was not offered through the Law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39, Romans 3:19-20, and Galatians 2:16).

Š      Salvation is offered through Christ (Romans 5:19-20 and Hebrews 4:14-16).

Š      Whether the Law of Moses or the Law of Christ, you cannot just keep part of any law you are under (Leviticus 26:14-16, Numbers 15:38-40, Deuteronomy 27:26, and James 2:10-12).

o   Think of how many reach to the Law of Moses for mechanical instrumental music (cf. Psalms 150:1-6).

§  Do they also practice sacrifices (Deuteronomy 15:19-21, I Kings 8:62-63, and Psalms 20:3)?

§  Do they keep the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36)?

o   Think of the Jews in the first century that reached to the Law for circumcision (Acts 15:1).

§  Yet, they refused to look at Christ as the promised Savior which the Law foretold (Jeremiah 33:14-16)

§  Yet, they refused to accept that the Savior was also for the Gentiles as the Law foretold (Isaiah 11:1-10).

§  Yet, though reaching for circumcision to be bound, they did not keep the Law themselves (Galatians 6:12-13).


Galatians 3:11 –

Š      Again, as we just addressed in verse 10, the Law of Moses cannot justify (Acts 13:38-39).

Š      Note the phrase: “in the sight of God”.  Consider that, what is pleasing in God’s sight is often different than what is pleasing in the sight of men (Proverbs 16:25 and Isaiah 55:8-9).

Š      Justification comes through Christ (Romans 3:24, I Corinthians 6:9-11, and Titus 3:7).

Š      The just do not live by the Law of Moses, but by faith in Christ (Romans 1:16-17 and Hebrews 10:38).


Galatians 3:12 –

Š      The Law of Moses and the faith we have in Christ are not the same things (Romans 7:4).

Š      The Law of Moses was carnal (Romans 7:5 and Romans 8:3).  Whereas we walk by faith (II Corinthians 5:7) and have no confidence in the flesh (Philippians 3:3).

Š      The righteousness of the Law was just about action (Leviticus 18:5 and Romans 10:5).

Š      Sadly, those who wanted to cling to the Law failed to acknowledge that the Law of Moses said it was temporary (Deuteronomy 18:13-19, Jeremiah 31:31-34, and Acts 3:20-26).


Galatians 3:13 –

Š      Redemption [bought; paid for] by Christ (Matthew 20:28, Matthew 26:28, Romans 3:24, I Corinthians 1:30, I Corinthians 6:20, Ephesians 1:5-7, Colossians 1:12-14, I Timothy 2:5-6, Titus 2:11-14, Hebrews 9:11-12, and I Peter 1:18-20).

Š      Redeemed from the Law that was against us (Colossians 2:8-14).

Š      The language of “being a curse for us” does NOT mean that Jesus took on our sins (Hebrews 7:26-27, Hebrews 9:28, and I John 3:5).  He was the sacrifice, not the scapegoat (Ephesians 5:2).

Š      What “being a curse for us” does mean is that Jesus was condemned to death (Luke 24:20) for us to be saved (I Peter 2:21-24).

Š      “…cursed is every one that hangeth on the tree” (Deuteronomy 21:22-23).


Galatians 3:14 –

Š      The blessing of Abraham on the Gentiles has already been addressed in this chapter, though not in exact wording (Galatians 3:8).

Š      Accepting Gentiles into the body of Christ was a problem for many Jews (Acts 13:42-51). 

o   Sadly (I Timothy 2:4), even for some Jewish Christians it was hard to accept what they had always been taught about the Gentiles being saved (Acts 11:1-3 and Galatians 2:11-14).

o   We should note however that some Jewish Christians rejoiced in this rather than refusing to accept it (Acts 21:17-19).

Š      The fact is though, Gentiles could/can be saved in Christ (Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:38-39; cf. Ephesians 2:11-13, Romans 3:29, Romans 9:24, and Romans 10:11).

Š      Again, the language of the promise of the Spirit through faith for emphasis of the same points Paul has been making (Galatians 3:3-5).


Galatians 3:15 –

Š      The phrase “I speak after the manner of men”, was used in the epistle to the congregation in Rome by Paul (Romans 6:19).

o   He was trying to reason with them using a carnal example (i.e. II Samuel 12:1-6, Mark 13:34-37, and Luke 15:1-32).

o   Teaching involves reasoning from the Scriptures (Acts 17:2).

o   Sometimes this means we have to reason with men on their level (Romans 3:5).

o   This did not mean Paul was not inspired.  He was led by God in His reasoning with them (John 16:13, I Corinthians 2:9-13, I Corinthians 7:6-9; 7:39-40, I Corinthians 14:37, and II Timothy 3:16-17).

Š      His point is, even if a covenant is of men, once confirmed [ratified; authoritive] it cannot be set aside or supplemented.  Even the covenants of men are supposed to be upheld (Romans 1:31-32).

o   The Testament of Christ had been confirmed; put in place (Hebrews 9:15-17).

o   You cannot serve Christ and cling to the Law of Moses (Galatians 5:4).

o   Jesus said to obey Him (Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 6:46, Luke 11:28, John 14:15, John 14:21-24, John 15:10-14, Hebrews 5:8-9, I John 2:1-6, I John 5:2-3, II John 9, and Revelation 22:14).


Galatians 3:16 –

Š      To Abraham and his seed the promise was made (Genesis 12:1-7 and Genesis 22:17-18).

Š      Not of many, but one, the seed would bring Christ (Matthew 1:1).


Galatians 3:17 –

Š      The phrase “this I say” should not be understood as an undermining of the authority of the statement (cf. I Corinthians 7:10).

Š      The covenant is the promises to Abraham (Genesis 17:7).

Š      The 430 years was the time in Egypt (Exodus 12:40-41 and Acts 7:1-7).

Š      The Law of Moses was given AFTER they came out of Egypt (Exodus 19:25ff.).

Š      The Law of Moses did not make the promise to Abraham of none effect (Numbers 23:19, I Samuel 15:29, Hebrews 6:13-20, and Titus 1:2).  *More on the purpose of the Law in verse 19.


Galatians 3:18 –

Š      The promise was not made under or in accordance with the Law to require fulfillment of the Law (Romans 4:13-16).

Š      Between God and Abraham was a promise (Psalms 105:42 and Luke 1:54-77).


Galatians 3:19 –

Š      The Law was added because of transgressions to prevent further transgressions till the promise was fulfilled (Deuteronomy 4:8-9 and I Timothy 1:8-10).

Š      The Law was supposed to be a barrier between Israel and the Gentiles (Ephesians 2:11-17) to keep the Gentiles from influencing the Israelites (Deuteronomy 7:1-12).

Š      This was unique to and for Israel (Psalms 147:19-20 and Romans 3:1-2).

Š      Ordained by angels (Acts 7:53 and Hebrews 2:2).

Š      Moses was the mediator under the Law of Moses (Exodus 20:19, Deuteronomy 5:1-5, Deuteronomy 9:25, and Psalms 106:23).


Galatians 3:20 –

Š      Outside of verses 19-20, the word translated here as mediator [“go-between”; Strong’s #3316] appears in the following verses: I Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 8:6, Hebrews 9:15, and Hebrews 12:24.  Those other verses tell us that Jesus is our mediator.

Š      There is one God (Malachi 2:10, Mark 12:32, Romans 3:30, I Corinthians 8:6, Ephesians 4:6, and James 2:19) in three persons (I John 5:7).

o   There is God the Father (Ephesians 5:20 and Philippians 2:11).

o   There is God the Son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1-5 and Romans 9:1-5).

o   There is God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-5).


Galatians 3:21 –

Š      The Law is not against, but inline with, the promises (Matthew 5:17 and Romans 3:31; cf. Galatians 4:4-5).

Š      The Law is fulfilled in us being saved and being spiritual (Romans 8:4).

Š      This point had to be made since some challenged that life in Christ and the preaching of the New Testament doctrine of our Lord was contrary to the Law of Moses (Acts 6:7-14, Acts 18:11-13, and Acts 21:27-28).


Galatians 3:22 –

Š      In the Law of Moses all were under sin (Romans 3:9-23).

o   Under both covenants this statement did not literally mean all were sinners.  To sin, one had to actually transgress the law (I John 3:4).

o   Sin was not inherited (Ezekiel 18:4; 20).

Š      The reason, which has ben taken away through Christ, is that the Law of Moses did not offer the ability for sins to be remitted (Hebrews 10:1-23).

Š      The statement of “given to them that believe” will contextually be explained to be more than faith only (cf. James 2:14-26).


Galatians 3:23 –

Š      “Faith” or “the faith” is a systematic term in reference to the New Testament and obedience to Christ (Acts 6:7, Acts 14:22, Acts 24:24, Romans 14:1, I Corinthians 16:13, II Corinthians 13:5, Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:23, Colossians 2:7, I Timothy 1:2, I Timothy 4:1, I Timothy 6:10, and Jude 1:3).

Š      The Jews were “shut up” or “enclosed” (Acts 15:7-11 and Galatians 4:3) in the Law until the Gospel of Christ came into effect (Colossians 2:8-14).

Š      Under the Law this also meant that they were held in the bondage of sin (Romans 6:14).  Freedom came through Christ (John 8:31-32).


Galatians 3:24 –

Š      The Law of Moses was a tutor (Romans 7:7).

Š      People were able to learn under the Law (Deuteronomy 4:10, Psalms 19:7, Psalms 119:9, Psalms 119:130, and Proverbs 1:1-4).

Š      Justification came through Christ, the New Testament (Romans 3:24, Romans 3:28, Romans 4:24-5:1, and Galatians 2:16).  Again, such could not occur through the Law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39 and Romans 3:20).


Galatians 3:25 –

Š      No longer under the Law of Moses (Romans 7:4-6).


Galatians 3:26 –

Š      “Ye”, that is members of the churches of Christ in Galatia (Galatians 1:1-4), are all children of God through the system of faith in Christ (John 1:6-17, John 20:17, II Corinthians 6:14-18, and I John 3:1-3).


Galatians 3:27 –

Š      Those who have been baptized which is required to be a Christian (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Acts 2:37-40, Acts 8:12-13, Acts 8:25-39, Acts 9:1-18, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 16:13-15, Acts 16:18-34, Acts 18:8, Acts 19:1-7, Acts 22:16, and I Peter 3:20-21).

Š      Baptism puts one into Christ (Romans 6:3-6 and I Corinthians 12:12-13).

Š      Remember though, baptism may put you into Christ, but there are many things you must do before being baptized (Romans 10:17, Matthew 13:19, Romans 8:24, Acts 3:19, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 14:24-33, Romans 10:9-10, etc.).


Galatians 3:28 –

Š      No race, sex, or other separation as far as one being in Christ and saved (Romans 1:16, Romans 3:29-30, Romans 9:24, Romans 10:12-13, and Colossians 3:10-11).

Š      That does not mean that there are not different roles based upon the differences between males and females (I Corinthians 11:3, I Corinthians 14:34-35, I Timothy 2:11-12, and I Timothy 3:1-14).

Š      All one, unified (John 17:20-23, I Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:1-4, Philippians 2:1-2, Philippians 3:16, and I Peter 3:8).


Galatians 3:29 –

Š      The phrase “if ye be Christ’s” infers you belong to Christ (cf. I Corinthians 3:23).  We [faithful Christians] certainly do belong to Jesus (Matthew 16:24-27, Romans 14:7-8, I Corinthians 6:20, Galatians 2:20, Galatians 5:24, and Colossians 3:1-4).

Š      Then are ye Abraham’s seed (Romans 9:7-8).

Š      Heirs (Romans 8:17 and Galatians 4:7).     




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