Add parallel Print Page Options

Believers Are Abraham’s Children

O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I just want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?[a]

Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now trying to reach the goal by the flesh? Did you experience so many things for nothing, if it were indeed for nothing? So then, does the one who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the law? Or does he do it by your believing what you hear— in the same way as Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness”?[b]

Understand, then, that those who believe are the children of Abraham. Foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, Scripture proclaimed the gospel in advance to Abraham, saying, “In you, all nations will be blessed.”[c] So then, those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

The Difference Between Law and Gospel

10 In fact, those who rely on the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the book of the law.”[d] 11 Clearly no one is declared righteous before God by the law, because “The righteous will live by faith.”[e] 12 The law does not say “by faith.” Instead it says, “The one who does these things will live by them.”[f]

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. As it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”[g] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that we would receive the promised Spirit through faith.

The Promise Came First

15 Brothers, I am speaking in human terms. When someone has established a last will and testament, no one nullifies it or adds to it. 16 The promises God spoke referred to Abraham and to his seed. It doesn’t say, “And to seeds,” as if it were referring to many, but, as referring to one, “And to your seed,”[h] who is Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: The law, which came into being 430 years after the covenant established earlier by God in Christ,[i] does not annul that covenant, with the result that it invalidates the promise. 18 In fact, if the inheritance is by the law, it is no longer by the promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham by a promise.

The Law as Chaperone

19 Then what about the law? It was added for the purpose of revealing transgressions, until the Seed[j] to whom the promise referred had come. It was transmitted through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not needed for one party, but God is one.

21 Then is the law against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given that could give life, certainly righteousness would have been derived from the law. 22 But Scripture imprisoned all things under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ would be given to those who believe. 23 But before this faith came, we were held in custody under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 So the law was our chaperone[k] until Christ, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a chaperone.[l]

Sons of God Through Faith

26 In fact, you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 Indeed, as many of you as were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. 28 There is not Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, for you are all one and the same in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants[m] and heirs according to the promise.


  1. Galatians 3:2 Or by the message that creates faith?
  2. Galatians 3:6 Genesis 15:6
  3. Galatians 3:8 Genesis 12:3; 18:18
  4. Galatians 3:10 Deuteronomy 27:26
  5. Galatians 3:11 Habakkuk 2:4
  6. Galatians 3:12 Leviticus 18:5
  7. Galatians 3:13 Deuteronomy 21:23
  8. Galatians 3:16 Or descendant. The literal seed is retained in the translation to help readers trace the line of the promised Savior from Eve through Abraham and David to Jesus, the promised Seed of the Woman. Genesis 12:7
  9. Galatians 3:17 Some witnesses to the text omit in Christ.
  10. Galatians 3:19 Or Descendant; Genesis 12:7
  11. Galatians 3:24 The Greek term for chaperone referred to a man who was to supervise, discipline, and watch out for a boy.
  12. Galatians 3:25 Or custodian
  13. Galatians 3:29 Or seed