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Galatians 3 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

God Approves of Those Who Believe

You stupid people of Galatia! Who put you under an evil spell? Wasn’t Christ Jesus’ crucifixion clearly described to you? I want to learn only one thing from you. Did you receive the Spirit by your own efforts to follow the laws in the Scriptures or by believing what you heard? Are you that stupid? Did you begin in a spiritual way only to end up doing things in a human way? Did you suffer so much for nothing? I doubt that it was for nothing! Does God supply you with the Spirit and work miracles among you through your own efforts or through believing what you heard?

Abraham serves as an example. He believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God. You must understand that people who have faith are Abraham’s descendants. Scripture saw ahead of time that God would give his approval to non-Jewish people who have faith. So Scripture announced the Good News to Abraham ahead of time when it said, “Through you all the people of the world will be blessed.” So people who believe are blessed together with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 Certainly, there is a curse on all who rely on their own efforts because Scripture says, “Whoever doesn’t obey everything that is written in Moses’ Teachings is cursed.” 11 No one receives God’s approval by obeying the laws in Moses’ Teachings since, “The person who has God’s approval will live by faith.” 12 These laws have nothing to do with faith, but, “Whoever obeys laws will live because he obeys them.”

13 Christ paid the price to free us from the curse that the laws in Moses’ Teachings bring by becoming cursed instead of us. Scripture says, “Everyone who is hung on a tree is cursed.” 14 Christ paid the price so that the blessing promised to Abraham would come to all the people of the world through Jesus Christ and we would receive the promised Spirit through faith.

The Relationship between Law and Promise

15 Brothers and sisters, let me use an example from everyday life. No one can cancel a person’s will or add conditions to it once that will is put into effect. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. Scripture doesn’t say, “descendants,” referring to many, but “your descendant,” referring to one. That descendant is Christ. 17 This is what I mean: The laws given to Moses 430 years after God had already put his promise to Abraham into effect didn’t cancel the promise to Abraham. 18 If we have to gain the inheritance by following those laws, then it no longer comes to us because of the promise. However, God freely gave the inheritance to Abraham through a promise.

19 What, then, is the purpose of the laws given to Moses? They were added to identify what wrongdoing is. Moses’ laws did this until the descendant to whom the promise was given came.[a] It was put into effect through angels, using a mediator. 20 A mediator is not used when there is only one person involved, and God has acted on his own.

21 Does this mean, then, that the laws given to Moses contradict God’s promises? That’s unthinkable! If those laws could give us life, then certainly we would receive God’s approval because we obeyed them. 22 But Scripture states that the whole world is controlled by the power of sin. Therefore, a promise based on faith in Jesus Christ could be given to those who believe.

23 We were kept under control by Moses’ laws until this faith came. We were under their control until this faith which was about to come would be revealed.

24 Before Christ came, Moses’ laws served as our guardian. Christ came so that we could receive God’s approval by faith. 25 But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the control of a guardian. 26 You are all God’s children by believing in Christ Jesus. 27 Clearly, all of you who were baptized in Christ’s name have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There are neither Jews nor Greeks, slaves nor free people, males nor females. You are all the same in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants and heirs, as God promised.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 3:19 Or “Moses’ laws did this until the descendant referred to in the promise to Abraham came.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

Galatians 3 New International Version (NIV)

Faith or Works of the Law

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[a] Have you experienced[b] so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[c]

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[d] So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

The Law and the Promise

15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[i] meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 3:3 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
  2. Galatians 3:4 Or suffered
  3. Galatians 3:6 Gen. 15:6
  4. Galatians 3:8 Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18
  5. Galatians 3:10 Deut. 27:26
  6. Galatians 3:11 Hab. 2:4
  7. Galatians 3:12 Lev. 18:5
  8. Galatians 3:13 Deut. 21:23
  9. Galatians 3:16 Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 24:7
  10. Galatians 3:23 Or through the faithfulness of Jesus … 23 Before faith came
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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