16/08/20 – Galatians 3:7-14


Galatians 3:7Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.


Know ye – or “Understand” or “Be aware”


they which are of faith – They who have received the Spirit by the hearing of faith according to the question Paul had asked in Galatians 3:5He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (Note that faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.Romans 10:17)

Paul here is referring to the Holy Spirit of adoption by whom we have been adopted into the family of God as His children.

Romans 8:15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Thus, “Did you receive the Spirit of adoption by the law or by faith?” asks Paul.


Then Paul stated that Abraham had received the Spirit by faith.

Galatians 3:6Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.).

Because Abraham’s faith is counted as righteousness, then all those who have that same faith are declared the righteous children of Abraham, not those who are of the law.

Romans 4:5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

And this was accounted also to others (including the Galatians) through that same exhibition of faith and not by works of the law.

Romans 4:13-1413For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if they which are of the law [be] heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:


The Galatian Jews would have claimed that Abraham was their father. Therefore, if Abraham received the Spirit by faith, then it is those who likewise received the Spirit by faith who could claim to be Abraham’s children. It was not through circumcision by the law that they received the Spirit, but faith in Him who justified the ungodly (Romans 4:5).

Romans 2:28-2928For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.


Galatians 3:8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.


Genesis 12:3And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.


scripturegraphe (a writing; thing written)


foreseeingproeido (to foresee) from pro (before;beforehand) and oida or eido (to see; to know) It is translated “know” 281 times in the NT. ginosko is also translated “know” (196 times in the NT). The difference seems to be that while oida/eido is more of a straight knowing, a knowledge, an awareness, ginosko includes understanding and perception. The scripture here is God’s word, so it may read, “And God, knowing beforehand that one day He would find it necessary to justify the heathen (Gentiles) through that same faith that He had required of Abraham …….”


God foreseeing things means that He “saw” (probably in a knowing sense) beforehand what was to happen.

In a way this may be equated with proginosko (beforehand knowing; foreknowing) which is the verb form of the noun prognosis (beforehand knowledge; foreknowledge – God’s perfect knowledge of the future).

The only difference is that each refers to a different word for “know”.

proginosko= pro (beforehand) ginsoko (to know)

proeido = pro (beforehand) eido (to know)

Probably proginosko has more understanding of the future knowledge.


preached before the gospelproeuaggelizomai (to announce or promise glad tidings beforehand) from pro (before; beforehand) and euaggelizo (to bring good news; to announce glad tidings) An anticipation of the future gospel.


God therefore preached to Abraham beforehand the gospel that would, in the future, include all nations and not just Israel. Abraham is called by God to become a great nation (Israel) yet God by His foreknowledge discerns that in the future He will reject Israel for a season because of their rebellion.

Romans 11:11-1211I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but [rather] through their fall salvation [is come] unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12Now if the fall of them [be] the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?


In a way this is similar to God providing a Saviour before Adam sinned because He foresaw (or foreknew) that one day Adam would sin. Adam’s sin did not catch God by surprise; God had the remedy in place beforehand because He foreknew that Adam would sin. Here in Galatians God foreknew Israel’s rebellion and the need for the gospel to go directly to the Gentiles one day, so His plan was always to bless the heathen with salvation who would be included as the spiritual children of Abraham. Not one bit of this caught God by surprise; His plan always included all events.


If Israel had been obedient, then they would have been God’s priesthood to the nations.

Exodus 19:5-65Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth [is] mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


Logically this would have led to those nations coming to join God’s people. The nations would then have become either God’s people (through obedience) or not God’s people (through rebellion). That would have been the purpose of such a priesthood. But because of Israel’s rebellion and subsequent rejection by God, the Gentiles would become what Israel had refused to be.

1 Peter 2:5 & 95Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

9But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:


When the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (pleromaRomans 11:25) then all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this [is] my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. (Romans 11:26-27)


Galatians 3:9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.


are blessedeulogeo (to praise; invoke blessings; ask God’s blessing on; cause to prosper; bestow blessings on) from eu (be well off; prosper) and logos (word; speech; words uttered; sayings) We get “eulogy” from this word.


they which be of faith – see “they which are of faith” of Vs 7 above; they are the same phrase in the Greek. They who have received the Spirit by the hearing of faith according to the question Paul had asked in Galatians 3:5.

This is similar to Vs 7 above (where those who are of faith were the children of Abraham) and here this same group of people (those who are of faith) are blessed along with Abraham because they are his spiritual children. The blessing is attached to being his children.


But what is the blessing? In this context, the blessing is to be accounted righteous as Abraham was; their faith will likewise be accounted to them for righteousness (see Galatians 3:6). This is also the meaning in “preached … the gospel” which was the blessing in “In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Vs 8 above)


Galatians 3:10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

The quote is from Deuteronomy 27:26aCursed [be] he that confirmeth not [all] the words of this law to do them.


the cursekatara (execration; imprecation; curse)


it is writtengrapho (see Vs 8 above)


Cursedepikataratos (accursed; execrable; exposed to divine vengeance; under God’s curse)


continueth – or “remains”


For as many as – The number of those who are of the works of the law (and therefore not by faith) is the same number as those who are under the curse. This is just a complicated way of saying that everyone who trusts in the law is under the curse of condemnation, and those who are not of the law are not under the curse. It is the law alone, therefore, that curses. One goes hand-in-hand with the other.

The curse also is not for those who have been under the law, but for only those who remain in or continue in the law.


And here is a key point. The curse applies to those who do not adhere to all the law (“all things which are written in the book of the law”). This is what the quote refers to. The OT law required full obedience. Those who were less than fully obedient were cursed. Only full obedience would suffice! One strike and you’re out!


If it could be possible to keep all the law, then it might be possible to not be cursed. The law condemns us for sin. If we therefore could avoid all sin all our lives, then the law would fail to condemn us; yet even then we would be under the curse of Adam’s sin, for the offence of one (Adam) [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation (Romans 5:18). Therefore it is impossible for anyone to escape the condemnation of Adam’s sin, even if he could escape the penalty of the law!


Even if you failed on just one point of the law, it would still condemn you. That is, zero tolerance!

James 2:10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of all.


Paul made it clear that anyone who trusted in their works of the law would be certainly found in debt. They could never do enough works to pay for their salvation.

Romans 4:4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

That is why Paul counterbalanced that debt with the option of righteousness by faith.

Romans 4:5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.


The only way to avoid such condemnation of the law was to avoid relying upon the works of the law. Avoiding condemnation could only be through being freed (through faith in Christ Jesus) from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-21[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.


Galatians 3:11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.


Habakkuk 2:4Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.


Paul has just said that “Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Vs 10 above) Paul is acknowledging that this requirement to do all the law was impossible to achieve, and therefore, trusting in the law would result in debt (Romans 4:4). Thus no man could be justified by the law in the sight of God (standing before God who is Judge) because the verdict would always be “in debt”. The law could not bless anyone, nor could it justify anyone before holy God.

Romans 3:28-3028Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. 29[Is he] the God of the Jews only? [is he] not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.


It is worth noting that faith does not render the law null and void, for it is by faith that we establish the purpose of the law, to be a schoolmaster to bring people to Christ.

Romans 3:31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Galatians 3:24-2524Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


The law was to reveal man’s sinfulness so that he would recognise the inability of the law to save and therefore throw himself upon the mercy of God.

Luke 18:13-1413And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as [his] eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me (propitiate me) a sinner. 14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified [rather] than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.


Therefore, once we are free from the law, our justification (righteousness) is by faith in Christ, and we shall continue to live according to that righteousness by faith.


Galatians 3:12And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.


Leviticus 18:4-54Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I [am] the Lord your God. 5Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I [am] the Lord.


Rather, “The law is not by faith”, but instead it is by works. In Leviticus 18:4-5, God commands His people to keep all His laws and live their lives according to them, and if they do live according to all God’s law, He promises them life. If you live according to the law, you must do all it requires you to do.

Romans 10:5For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.


But, as noted, it was impossible to live according to all the law; you only had to fail once and righteousness would be out of reach forever. Therefore man had to fall upon God’s mercy and confess that he had failed in God’s law. This was the purpose of the law, even in the OT. The law could not save, it could not forgive sin, it could only remind people of their need for something more than the law.

Hebrews 10:1-41For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3But in those [sacrifices there is] a remembrance again [made] of sins every year. 4For [it is] not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.


But what the law could not do, Christ came to do, that the righteousness of the law be fulfilled in us by Christ through His Spirit.

Romans 8:3-43For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


Galatians 3:13Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:


Deuteronomy 21:22-2322And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged [is] accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee [for] an inheritance.


hath redeemedexagorazo (to redeem by payment of a price to recover from the power of another; to ransom; buy off)


a treexulon (wood; that which is made of wood; beam; gibbet; cross; cudgel; stick; staff; tree)


for us – instead of us. Thus “on behalf of us”; thus “in our place” (vicarious)


This relates to Vs 10 above (For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.) where only perfection could avoid the curse. In the OT, only the perfect sacrifice, the unblemished lamb, could impute righteousness.

Exodus 12:5; 7; 125Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take [it] out from the sheep, or from the goats:

7And they shall take of the blood, and strike [it] on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it.

12For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I [am] the Lord.


Christ was made a curse for us, dying on the cross in our place. It is through this sacrifice that we are redeemed (ransomed; bought back from satan).

Hebrews 10:18-2018Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin. 19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; (where “new” means “freshly slaughtered”; “freshly killed”)

2 Corinthians 5:21For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.


Galatians 3:14That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


Christ was made a curse in order to redeem the Gentiles so that the blessing of Abraham (justification by faith) might come upon the Gentiles through His sacrifice on the cross. This was in order that we (the Gentiles as well as the Jews) might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith in quickening us (giving us new life) and adopting us as God’s children, and baptising us into the one body (of Christ) – 1 Corinthians 12:13.


That we (both Jew and Gentile) could be partakers together of the blessing of Abraham through Jesus Christ.


In one sense it seems to be saying that the OT law might have been sufficient for Israel until the Gentiles needed more, almost as if the fall of Israel meant a change in the gospel to accommodate the Gentiles, that in some way Christ had to be crucified in order to redeem the Gentiles. Yet the OT law could not in itself save them from even one sin; thus the need for the Day of Atonement to cover their sins each year. The law still looked forward to that day when the Lamb would be sacrificed once for all time.


But the law then was applied differently to the Gentiles who would be judged and punished even without the law to condemn them.

Note Romans 2:12-1612For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13(For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.


So I will read this as being that the blessing of Abraham had already been imputed to Israel by faith, and that the same blessing could come upon the Gentiles without the requirements of the law, but by faith alone in Christ. Paul is saying, then, that the knowledge of the blessing for the Jew might have come through the law. But for the Gentile the knowledge of the blessing in Christ came by faith alone in Christ alone apart from any works of the law. The Gentile did not obey the law as a type of salvation in Christ, as Israel had been required to do so in the OT. Yet it would still be God’s requirement for absolute holiness that would utterly condemn the Gentile. And the law defined the perfect holiness of God, an unattainable goal. Israel had grown up with the law, yet the Gentile now could be saved in spite of not being brought up with the law.


The law of Moses could largely be broken up into two groups: (a) the ritual or sacrificial law (sacrifices, cleansings – called “carnal ordinances” in Hebrews 9:10) and (b) the moral law (requirements demanded by God’s perfect holiness – Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God [am] holy. Leviticus 19:2) The ritual law (carnal ordinances) was limited to the OT.

Hebrews 9:9-109Which [was] a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10[Which stood] only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed [on them] until the time of reformation (that is, the new covenant of Christ).

But the moral law (defining God’s holiness) was never put aside. Sin remained sin no matter whether it was OT or NT, old covenant or new covenant, and likewise with the condemnation, the penalty for sin. God’s holiness was never diminished, nor was His requirement that we be holy as He is holy.


The Jew knew the law; the Gentile didn’t know the law. Ultimately, though, both Jew and Gentile would receive that blessing by faith regardless of whether they were Jews (coming from under law) or Gentiles (coming without the knowledge of the law). For both saved Jew and saved Gentile the law would be of no effect, especially for the Gentile who had no previous obligation to the law of Moses. This leads into the next passage where the inheritance was given to Abraham by promise of God, and not by the law. Thus the law, coming a long time after the promise, was subject to that promise, and not to the promise to the law. More on this next week.


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