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Galatians 3:15-29Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

15 Brothers, I’m using a human illustration.[a] No one sets aside or makes additions to even a human covenant[b] that has been ratified. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed,[c] who is Christ. 17 And I say this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not revoke a covenant that was previously ratified by God[d] and cancel the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is from the law, it is no longer from the promise; but God granted it to Abraham through the promise.

The Purpose of the Law

19 Why then was the law given? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise was made would come. The law was put into effect through angels by means of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not for just one person, but God is one. 21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law. 22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power,[e] so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed. 24 The law, then, was our guardian[f] until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith. 25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Sons and Heirs

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment. 28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise.

Footnotes:

  1. Galatians 3:15 Lit I speak according to man
  2. Galatians 3:15 Or will, or testament
  3. Galatians 3:16 Gn 12:7; 13:15; 17:8; 24:7
  4. Galatians 3:17 Other mss add in Christ
  5. Galatians 3:22 Lit under sin
  6. Galatians 3:24 The word translated guardian in vv. 24-25 is different from the word in Gl 4:2. In our culture, we do not have a slave who takes a child to and from school, protecting the child from harm or corruption. In Gk the word paidogogos described such a slave. This slave was not a teacher.

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