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Law or Faith

O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified. I want to learn only this from you: Did you receive the Spirit through the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Have you endured so many things for nothing, if indeed it was for nothing? Does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Even Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a] Therefore know that those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel in advance to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”[b] So then those who are of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under the curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the Book of the Law, to do them.”[c] 11 Now it is evident that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, for “The just shall live by faith.”[d] 12 But the law is not of faith, for “The man who does them shall live by them.”[e] 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”[f] 14 so that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Law and the Promise

15 Brothers, I am speaking in human terms: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is ratified, no one annuls or adds to it. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and his Seed. He does not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your Seed,”[g] meaning one, who is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not annul the covenant that was ratified by God in Christ, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance comes from the law, it no longer comes from the promise. But God gave it to Abraham through a promise.

19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, until the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. And it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator for only one party, but God is one.

Slaves and Sons

21 Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? God forbid! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, righteousness would indeed come through the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all things under sin, that the promise through faith in Jesus Christ[h] might be given to those who believe.

23 But before faith came, we were imprisoned under the law, kept for the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 So the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

26 You are all sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, and there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.