3 1 He rebuketh them, for suffering themselves to be drawn from the grace of free justification in Christ, most lively set out unto them. 6 He bringeth in Abraham’s example, 10 declaring the effects, 21 and causes of the giving of the Law.
1 [a]O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, to whom Jesus Christ before was described in your [b]sight, and among you crucified?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the [c]Spirit by the works of the Law, or by the hearing of [d]faith preached?
3 [e]Are ye so foolish, that after ye have begun in the Spirit, ye would now be made perfect by the [f]flesh?
4 [g]Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if so be it be even in vain.
5 [h]He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it through the works of the Law, or by the hearing of faith preached?
6 [i]Yea rather as [j]Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.
7 [k]Know ye therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 [l]For the Scripture foreseeing, that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, [m]In thee shall all the Gentiles be [n]blessed.
9 [o]So then they which be of faith, are blessed with [p]faithful Abraham.
10 [q]For as many as are of the works of the Law, are under the curse: [r]For it is written, Cursed is every man that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the Law, to do them.
11 [s]And that no man is justified by the Law in the sight of God, it is evident: for the just shall live by faith.
12 [t]And the Law is not of faith: but the man that shall do those things, shall live in them.
13 [u]Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, made a curse for us, ([v]for it is written, [w]Cursed is everyone that hangeth on tree.)
14 [x]That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 [y]Brethren, I speak as [z]men do: though it be but a man’s covenant, when it is [aa]confirmed, yet no man doth abrogate it, or addeth anything thereto,
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to the seeds, as speaking of many: but, And to thy seed, as of one, [ab]which is [ac]Christ.
17 [ad]And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed afore of God [ae]in respect of Christ, the [af]Law which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 [ag]For if the [ah]inheritance be of the Law, it is no more by the promise, but God gave it freely unto Abraham by promise.
19 [ai]Wherefore then serveth the Law? It was added because of the [aj]transgressions, [ak]till the seed came, unto the which the promise was made: [al]and it was [am]ordained by [an]Angels in the hand of a Mediator.
20 Now a Mediator is not a Mediator of one: [ao]but God is one.
21 [ap]Is the Law then against the promises of God? God forbid: For if there had been a Law given which could have given life, surely righteousness should have been by the Law.
22 But the [aq]Scripture hath concluded [ar]all under sin, that the [as]promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given to them that believe.
23 [at]But before faith came, we were kept under the Law, as under a garrison, and shut up unto [au]that faith, which should afterward be revealed.
24 Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be made righteous by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 [av]For ye are all the sons of God by faith, in Christ Jesus.
27 [aw]For all ye that are [ax]baptized into Christ, have [ay]put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Grecian: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female: for ye are all [az]one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs by promise.
Galatians 3:1The third reason or argument taken of those gifts of the holy Ghost, wherewith they were endued from heaven after they had heard and believed the Gospel by Paul’s ministry: which seeing they were so evident to all men’s eyes, that they were as it were lively images, wherein they might behold the truth of the doctrine of the Gospel, no less than if they had beheld with their eyes Christ himself crucified, in whose only death they ought to have their trust, he marvelleth how it could be that they could be so bewitched by the false apostles.
Galatians 3:1Christ was laid before you, so notably and so plainly, that you had his lively image as it were represented before your eyes, as if he had been crucified before you.
Galatians 3:2Those spiritual graces and gifts, which were a seal as it were to the Galatians, that the Gospel which was preached to them was true.
Galatians 3:3The fourth argument mixed with [the former] and it is double, If the Law is to be joined with faith, this were not to go forward, but backward, seeing that those spiritual gifts which were bestowed upon you, are more excellent than any that could proceed from yourselves. And moreover, it should follow, that the Law is better than Christ, because it should perfect and bring to end that which Christ began only.
Galatians 3:3By the (flesh) he meaneth the ceremonies of the Law, against which he setteth the Spirit, that is, the spiritual working of the Gospel.
Galatians 3:4An exhortation by manner of upbraiding, that they do not in vain suffer so many conflicts.
Galatians 3:5He repeateth the third argument which was taken of the effects, because he had interlaced certain other arguments by the way.
Galatians 3:6The first argument which is of great force, and hath three grounds, The first, That Abraham was justified by faith, to wit, by free imputation of righteousness according to the promise apprehended by faith, as Moses doth most plainly witness.
Galatians 3:7The second, that the sons of Abraham must be esteemed and accounted of by faith.
Galatians 3:8The third, that all people that believe, are without exception, comprehended in the promise of the blessing.
Galatians 3:8A proof of the first and second grounds, out of the words of Moses.
Galatians 3:8Blessing in this place, signifieth the free promise by faith.
Galatians 3:9The conclusion of the fifth argument: Therefore as Abraham is blessed by faith, so are all his children (that is to say, all the Gentiles that believe) blessed, that is to say, freely justified.
Galatians 3:9With faithful Abraham, and not by faithful Abraham, to give us to understand that the blessing cometh not from Abraham, but from him, by whom Abraham and all his posterity is blessed.
Galatians 3:10The sixth argument, the conclusion whereof is also in the former verse taken of contraries, thus, They are accursed which are of the works of the Law, that is to say, which value their [righteousness] by the performance of the Law. Therefore they are blessed which are of faith, that is, they which have righteousness by faith.
Galatians 3:10A proof of the former sentence or proposition: and the proposition of this argument is this: Cursed is he that fulfilleth not the whole Law.
Galatians 3:11The second proposition with the conclusion: But no man fulfilleth the Law. Therefore no man is justified by the Law, or else, which seek righteousness by the works of the Law. And there is annexed also this manner of proof of the second proposition, to wit, Righteousness and life are attributed to faith, Therefore no man fulfilleth the Law.
Galatians 3:12Here is a reason shown of the former consequence: Because the law promiseth life to all that keep it, and therefore if it be kept, it justifieth and giveth life. But the Scripture attributing righteousness and life to faith, taketh it from the Law, seeing that faith justifieth by imputation, and the Law by the performing of the work.
Galatians 3:13A preventing of an objection: How then can they be blessed, whom the Law pronounceth to be accursed? Because Christ sustained the curse which the Law laid upon us, that we might be quit from it.
Galatians 3:13Christ was accursed for us, because he bare the curse that was due to us, to make us partakers of his righteousness.
Galatians 3:14A conclusion of all that was said before in the handling of the fifth and sixth reasons, to wit, that both the Gentiles are made partakers of the free blessing of Abraham in Christ, and also that the Jews themselves, of whose number the Apostle counteth himself to be, cannot obtain that promised grace of the Gospel, which he calleth the Spirit, but only by faith. And the Apostle doth severally apply the conclusion, both to the one and the other, preparing himself a way, to the next argument, whereby he declareth, that the one only seed of Abraham, which is made of all peoples can no otherwise be joined and grow up together, but by faith in Christ.
Galatians 3:15He putteth forth two general [rules] before the next argument, which is the seventh in order: That one is, that it is not lawful to break covenants and contracts which are justly made and according to Law amongst men, neither may anything be added unto them: The other is, that God did so make a covenant with Abraham, that he would gather together his children which consist both of Jews and Gentiles into one body (as appeareth by that which hath been said before.) For he did not say, that he would be the God of Abraham and of his seeds, (which things notwithstanding should have been said, if he had many and divers seeds, as the Gentiles apart and the Jews apart,) but that he would be the God of Abraham, and of his seed, as of one.
Galatians 3:15I will use an example which is common among you, that you may be ashamed you give not so much to God’s covenants, as you do to man’s.
Galatians 3:16He putteth forth the sum of the seventh argument, to wit, that both the Jews and the Gentiles grow together into one body of the seed of Abraham, in Christ only, so that all are one in Christ, as it is afterward declared, verse 21.
Galatians 3:16Paul speaketh not of Christ’s person, but of two peoples, which grew together in one, in Christ.
Galatians 3:17The eighth argument taken of comparison, thus: If a man’s covenant (being authentical) be firm and strong, much more God’s covenant. Therefore the Law was not given to abrogate the promise made to Abraham, which had respect to Christ, that is to say, the end whereof did hang of Christ.
Galatians 3:17An enlarging of that argument, thus: Moreover and besides that the promise is of itself firm and strong, it was also confirmed with the prescription of long time, to wit, of 430 years, so that it could in no wise be broken.
Galatians 3:18An objection: We grant that the promise was not abrogated by the covenant of the Law, and therefore we join the Law with the promise. Nay, saith the Apostle, these two cannot stand together, to wit, that the inheritance should both be given by the Law and also by promise, for the promise is free: whereby it followeth, that the Law was not given to justify, for by that means the promise should be broken.
Galatians 3:18By this word (inheritance) is meant the right of the seed, which is, that God should be our God, that is to say, that by virtue of the covenant that was made with faithful Abraham, we that be faithful, might by that means be blessed of God as well as he.
Galatians 3:19An objection which riseth of the former answer: If the inheritance be not by the Law (at the least in part) then why was the Law given, after that the promise was made? Therefore saith the Apostle, to reprove men of sin, and so teach them to look unto Christ, in whom at length that promise of saving all people together should be fulfilled, and not that the Law was given to justify men.
Galatians 3:19That men might understand, by discovering of their sins, by the only grace of God, which he revealed to Abraham, and that in Christ.
Galatians 3:19Until the partition wall was broken down, and that full seed sprang up, framed of two peoples, both of Jews and Gentiles: for by this word Seed, we may not understand, Christ alone by himself, but coupled and joined together with his body.
Galatians 3:19A confirmation of the former answer taken from the manner and form of giving the Law: for it was given by Angels, striking a great terror into all, and by Moses a Mediator coming between. Now they that are one, need no Mediator, but they that are twain at the least, and that are at variance one with another. Therefore the Law itself and the Mediator, were witnesses of the wrath of God, and not that God would by this means reconcile men to himself, and abolish the promise, or add the Law unto the promise.
Galatians 3:20A taking away of an objection, lest any man might say, that sometimes by consent of the parties which have made a covenant, something is added to the covenant, or the former covenants are broken. This, saith the Apostle, cometh to pass in God, who is always one, and the selfsame, and like himself.
Galatians 3:21The conclusion uttered by a manner of asking a question, and it is the same that was uttered before, verse 17, but proceeding of another rule: so that the argument is new, and is this: God is always like unto himself: Therefore the Law was not given to abolish the promises. But it should abolish them if it gave life, for by that means it should justify, and therefore it should abolish that justification which was promised to Abraham and to his seed by faith. Nay it was rather given to bring to light the guiltiness of all men, to the end that all believers fleeing to Christ promised, might be freely justified in him.
Galatians 3:22In every one of these words, there lieth an argument against the merits of works, for all these words, promise, faith, Christ, might be given, to believers, are against merits, and not one of them can stand with deserving works.
Galatians 3:23Now there followeth another handling of the second part of this Epistle: the state whereof is this: Although the Law (that is, the whole government of God’s house according to the Law) [does] not justify, is it therefore to be abolished, seeing that Abraham himself was circumcised, and his posterity held still the use of Moses’ Law? Paul affirmeth that it ought to be abolished, because it was instituted for that end and purpose, that is should be as it were a schoolmaster and keeper to the people of God, until the promise appeared in deed, that is to say, Christ, and the Gospel manifestly published with great efficacy of the Spirit.
Galatians 3:23The cause why we were kept under the Law, is set down here.
Galatians 3:26Because age changeth not the condition of servants, he addeth that we are free by condition, and therefore, seeing we are out of our childhood, we have no more need of a keeper and Schoolmaster.
Galatians 3:27Using a general particle, lest the Jews at the least should not think themselves bound with the band of the Law, he pronounceth that Baptism is common to all believers, because it is a pledge of our delivery in Christ, as well to the Jews as to the Grecians, that by this means all may be truly one in Christ, that is to say, that promised seed to Abraham and inheritors of everlasting life.
Galatians 3:27He setteth Baptism secretly against circumcision, which the false apostles so much bragged of.
Galatians 3:27The Church must put on Christ, as it were a garment, and be covered with him, that it may be thoroughly holy, and without blame.
Galatians 3:28You are all as one: and so in this great knot and conjunction signified.
Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.
Bible Gateway Plus
Enrich your faith and grow in spiritual maturity with the incredible Bible study and devotional books listed below. Try it for 30 days FREE. Cancel at any time.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Upgrade to remove banner ads and unlock new features!
You've successfully created your account! For the ultimate Bible Gateway experience, consider upgrading Bible Gateway Plus to get the most out of your new account. For just a few dollars each month, a Bible Gateway Plus upgrade gives you:
• A complete digital Bible study library integrated with your Bible Gateway account, with no expensive software to install.
• Access to 40+ study & reference books including the NIV Study Bible, the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary, and the MacArthur Study Bible.
• Special during April only: full access to the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible
• An ad-free Bible Gateway experience.
• A risk-free, 30-day trial—you can cancel any time.