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1Galatians 3 — AMP THE BLESSINGS OF ABRAHAM 1 O YOU poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians! Who has fascinated or bewitched or cast a spell over you, unto whom--right before your very eyes--Jesus Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified? 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the [Holy] Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing [the message of the Gospel] and believing [it]? [Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith?] 3 Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun [your new life spiritually] with the [Holy] Spirit, are you now reaching perfection [by dependence] on the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things and experienced so much all for nothing (to no purpose)--if it really is to no purpose and in vain? 5 Then does He Who supplies you with His marvelous [Holy] Spirit and works powerfully and miraculously among you do so on [the grounds of your doing] what the Law demands, or because of your believing in and adhering to and trusting in and relying on the message that you heard? 6 Thus Abraham believed in and adhered to and trusted in and relied on God, and it was reckoned and placed to his account and credited as righteousness (as conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action). [Gen. 15:6.] 7 Know and understand that it is [really] the people [who live] by faith who are [the true] sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify (declare righteous, put in right standing with Himself) the Gentiles in consequence of faith, proclaimed the Gospel [foretelling the glad tidings of a Savior long beforehand] to Abraham in the promise, saying, In you shall all the nations [of the earth] be blessed. [Gen. 12:3.] 9 So then, those who are people of faith are blessed and made happy and favored by God [as partners in fellowship] with the believing and trusting Abraham. 10 And all who depend on the Law [who are seeking to be justified by obedience to the Law of rituals] are under a curse and doomed to disappointment and destruction, for it is written in the Scriptures, Cursed (accursed, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment) be everyone who does not continue to abide (live and remain) by all the precepts and commands written in the Book of the Law and to practice them. [Deut. 27:26.] 11 Now it is evident that no person is justified (declared righteous and brought into right standing with God) through the Law, for the Scripture says, The man in right standing with God [the just, the righteous] shall live by and out of faith and he who through and by faith is declared righteous and in right standing with God shall live. [Hab. 2:4.] 12 But the Law does not rest on faith [does not require faith, has nothing to do with faith], for it itself says, He who does them [the things prescribed by the Law] shall live by them [not by faith]. [Lev. 18:5.]


13 Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified); [Deut. 21:23.] 14 To the end that through [their receiving] Christ Jesus, the blessing [promised] to Abraham might come upon the Gentiles, so that we through faith might [all] receive [the realization of] the promise of the [Holy] Spirit. 15 To speak in terms of human relations, brethren, [if] even a man makes a last will and testament (a merely human covenant), no one sets it aside or makes it void or adds to it when once it has been drawn up and signed (ratified, confirmed). 16 Now the promises (covenants, agreements) were decreed and made to Abraham and his Seed (his Offspring, his Heir). He [God] does not say, And to seeds (descendants, heirs), as if referring to many persons, but, And to your Seed (your Descendant, your Heir), obviously referring to one individual, Who is [none other than] Christ (the Messiah). [Gen. 13:15; 17:8.] 17 This is my argument: The Law, which began 430 years after the covenant [concerning the coming Messiah], does not and cannot annul the covenant previously established (ratified) by God, so as to abolish the promise and make it void. [Exod. 12:40.] 18 For if the inheritance [of the promise depends on observing] the Law [as these false teachers would like you to believe], it no longer [depends] on the promise; however, God gave it to Abraham [as a free gift solely] by virtue of His promise. 19 What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man]. 20 Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party [there can be no mediator with just one person]. Yet God is [only] one Person [and He was the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both]. 21 Is the Law then contrary and opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! For if a Law had been given which could confer [spiritual] life, then righteousness and right standing with God would certainly have come by Law. 22 But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him].


23 Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), 24 So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith. 25 But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood). 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. 27 For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ. 28 There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ [are in Him Who is Abraham's Seed], then you are Abraham's offspring and [spiritual] heirs according to promise. Cross References Foolish: Gal_3:3; Deu_32:6; 1Sa_13:13; Mat_7:26; Luk_24:25; Eph_5:15; 1Ti_6:4 *marg. who: Gal_1:6, Gal_4:9, Gal_5:7-8; Mat_24:24; Act_8:9-11; 2Co_11:3, 2Co_11:13-15; Eph_4:14; 2Th_2:9-12; 2Pe_2:18; Rev_2:20, Rev_13:13-14, Rev_18:3 ye: Gal_2:14, Gal_5:7; Act_6:7; Rom_2:8, Rom_6:17, Rom_10:16; 2Co_10:5; 2Th_1:8; Heb_5:9; Heb_11:8; 1Pe_1:22, 1Pe_4:17 Jesus Christ: 1Co_1:23-24, 1Co_2:2, 1Co_11:26; Eph_3:8 Gal_2:1 Gal_1:1 1Co_16:2 COMMENTARY The address of Paul to Peter, as I suppose, was closed at the last verse of Gal_2:1-21. The apostle in this chapter, in a direct address to the Galatians, pursues the argument on the subject of justification by faith. In the previous chapters he had shown them fully that he had received his views of the gospel directly from the Lord Jesus, and that he had the concurrence of the most eminent among the apostles themselves. He proceeds to state more fully what his views were; to confirm them by the authority of the Old Testament; and to show the necessary effect of an observance of the laws of Moses on the great doctrine of justification by faith. This subject is pursued through this chapter and the following. This chapter comprises the following subjects: (1) A severe reproof of the Galatians for having been so easily seduced by the arts of cunning men from the simplicity of the gospel, Gal_3:1. He says that Christ had been plainly set forth


crucified among them, and it was strange that they had so soon been led astray from the glorious doctrine of salvation by faith. (2) He appeals to them to show that the great benefits which they had received had not been in consequence of the observance of the Mosaic rites, but had come solely by the hearing of the gospel. Gal_3:2-5. Particularly, the Holy Spirit, with all his miraculous and converting and sanctifying influences, had been imparted only in connection with the gospel. This was the most rich and most valuable endowment which they had ever received; and this was solely by the preaching of Christ and him crucified. (3) In illustration of the doctrine of justification by faith, and in proof of the truth of it, he refers to the case of Abraham, and shows that he was justified in this manner, and that the Scripture had promised that others would be justified in the same way, Gal_3:6-9. (4) He shows that the Law pronounced a curse upon all those who were under it, and that, consequently, it was impossible to be justified by it. But Christ had redeemed us from that curse, having taken the curse on himself, so that now we might be justified in the sight of God. In this way, says he, the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles, and they all might be saved in the same manner that he was, Gal_3:10-14. (5) This view he confirms by showing that the promise made to Abraham was made before the giving of the Law. It was a mode of justification in existence before the Law of Moses was given. It was of the nature of a solemn compact or covenant on the part of God. It referred particularly to the Messiah, and to the mode of justification in him. And, since it was of the nature of a covenant, it was impossible that the Law given many years after could disannul it or render it void, Gal_3:15-18. (6) It might then be asked, what was the use of the Law? Why was it given? It was added, Paul says, on account of transgressions, and was designed to restrain people from sin, and to show them their guilt. It was, further, not superior to the promise of a Mediator, or to the Mediator, for it was appointed by the instrumentality of angels, and it was in the hand of the Mediator himself, under him, and subject to him. It could not therefore be superior to him, and to the plan of justification through him, Gal_3:19-20. (7) Yet Paul answers an important objection here, and a very obvious and material inquiry. It is, whether he means to teach that the Law of God is contradictory to his promises? Whether the Law and the gospel are rival systems? Whether it is necessary, in order to hold to the excellency of the one to hold that the other is contradictory, evil, and worthless? To all this he answers; and says, by no means. He says the fault was not in the Law. The view which he had taken, and which was revealed in the Bible, arose from the nature of the case. The Law was as good a law as could be made, and it answered all the purposes of law. It was so excellent, that, if it had been possible that people could be justified by law at all, that was the Law by which it would have been done. But it was not possible. The effect of the Law, therefore, was to show that all people were sinners, and to shut them up to the plan of justification by the work of a Redeemer. It was


appointed, therefore, NOT to justify people, but to LEAD them to the Saviour, Gal_3:21-24.

(8) The effect of the plan of justification by faith in the Lord Jesus was to make the mind free. It was no longer under a schoolmaster. They who are justified in this way become the children of God. They all become one in the Redeemer. There is neither Jew nor Greek, but they constitute one great family, and are the children of Abraham, and heirs according to the promise, Gal_3:2529. O foolish Galatians - That is, foolish for having yielded to the influence of the false teachers, and for having embraced doctrines that tended to subvert the gospel of the Redeemer. The original word used here (????????? anoe?toi) denotes void of understanding; and they had shown it in a remarkable manner in rejecting the doctrine of the apostles, and in embracing the errors into which they had fallen. It will be remembered that this is an expression similar to what was applied to them by others; see the introduction, Section I. Thus, Callimachus in his hymns calls them "a foolish people," and Hillary, himself a Gaul, calls them Gallos indociles, expressions remarkably in accordance with that used here by Paul. It is implied that they were without stability of character. The particular thing to which Paul refers here is that they were so easily led astray by the arguments of the false teachers.

Who hath bewitched you - The word used here (??????????? ebaskanen) properly means, to prate about anyone; and then to mislead by pretences, as if by magic arts; to fascinate; to influence by a charm. The idea here is, that they had not been led by reason and by sober judgment, but that there must have been some charm or fascination to have taken them away in this manner from what they had embraced as true, and what they had the fullest evidence was true. Paul had sufficient confidence in them to believe that they had not embraced their present views under the unbiassed influence of judgment and reason, but that there must have been some fascination or charm by which it was done. It was in fact accomplished by the arts and the plausible pretences of those who came from among the Jews. That ye should not obey the truth - The truth of the gospel. That you should yield your minds to falsehood and error. It should be observed, however, that this phrase is lacking in many manuscripts. It is omitted in the Syriac version; and many of the most important Greek and Latin Fathers omit it. Mill thinks it should be omitted; and Griesbach has omitted it. It is not essential to the passage in order to the sense; and it conveys no truth which is not elsewhere taught fully. It is apparently added to show what was the effect of their being bewitched or enchanted.


Before whose eyes - In whose very presence. That is, it has been done so clearly that you may be said to have seen it. Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth - By the preaching of the gospel. He has been so fully and plainly preached that you may be said to have seen him. The effect of his being preached in the manner in which it has been done, ought to have been as great as if you had seen him crucified before your eyes. The word rendered "hath been evidently set forth" (??????????? proegraphe?), means properly to write before; and then to announce beforehand in writing; or to announce by posting up on a tablet. The meaning here is, probably, that Christ has been announced among them crucified, as if the doctrine was set forth in a public written tablet Robinson's Lexicon. There was the utmost clearness and distinctness of view, so that they need not make any mistake in regard to him. The Syriac renders it, "Christ has been crucified before your eyes as if he had been represented by painting." According to this, the idea is, that it was as plain as if there had been a representation of him by a picture. This has been done chiefly by preaching. I see no reason, however, to doubt that Paul means also1 to include the celebration of the Lord's supper, in which the Lord Jesus is so clearly exhibited as a crucified Saviour. Crucified among you - That is, represented among you as crucified. The words "among you," however, are lacking in many manuscripts and obscure the sense. If they are to be retained, the meaning is, that the representations of the Lord Jesus as crucified had been as clear and impressive among them as if they had seen him with their own eyes, The argument is, that they had so clear a representation of the Lord Jesus, and of the design of his death, that it was strange that they had so soon been perverted from the belief of it.

Had they seen the Saviour crucified; had they stood by the cross and witnessed his agony in death on account of sin, how could they doubt what was the design of his dying, and how could they be seduced from faith in his death, or be led to embrace any other method of justification? How could they now do it, when, although they had not seen him die, they had the fullest knowledge of the object for which he gave his precious life? The doctrine taught in this verse is that a faithful exhibition of the sufferings and death of the Saviour ought to exert an influence over our minds and hearts AS IF we had seen him die; and that they to whom such an exhibition has been made should avoid being led astray by the blandishments of false doctrines and by the arts of man. If we had seen the Saviour expire, we could never have forgotten the scene! Let us endeavor to cherish a remembrance of his


sufferingsd death AS IF we had seen him die.


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Called also Abram. Son of Terah — Gen_11:26-27 Marries Sarah — Gen_11:29 Dwells in Ur, but removes to Haran — Gen_11:31; Neh_9:7; Act_7:4 Dwells in Canaan — Gen_12:4-6; Act_7:4 Divine call of — Gen_12:1-3; Jos_24:3; Neh_9:7; Isa_51:2; Act_7:2-3; Heb_11:8 Canaan given to — Gen_12:1; Gen_12:7; Gen_15:7-21; Eze_33:24 Dwells in Bethel — Gen_12:8 Sojourns in Egypt — Gen_12:10-20; Gen_26:1 Deferring to Lot, chooses Hebron — Gen_13:1-18; Gen_14:13; Gen_35:27 Dwells in Gerar — Gen_20:1-18; Gen_21:22-34 Defeats Chedorlaomer — Gen_14:5-24; Heb_7:1 Is blessed by Melchizedek — Gen_14:18-20; Heb_7:1-10 God's covenant with — Gen_15:1-21; Gen_17:1-22; Mic_7:20; Luk_1:73; Rom_4:13; Rom_15:8; Heb_6:13-14; Gal_3:6-18; Gal_3:29; Gal_4:22-31 Name changed to Abraham — Gen_17:5; Neh_9:7 Circumcision of — Gen_17:10-14; Gen_17:23-27 Angels appear to — Gen_18:1-16; Gen_22:11; Gen_22:15; Gen_24:7 His questions about the destruction of the righteous and wicked in Sodom — Gen_18:23-32 Witnesses the destruction of Sodom — Gen_19:27-28 Ishmael born to — Gen_16:3; Gen_16:15 Dwells in Gerar; deceives Abimelech concerning Sarah, his wife — Gen_20:1-18 Isaac born to — Gen_21:2-3; Gal_4:22-30


Sends Hagar and Ishmael away — Gen_21:10-14; Gal_4:22-30 Trial of his faith in the offering of Isaac — Gen_22:1-19; Heb_11:17; Jas_2:21 Sarah, his wife, dies — Gen_23:1-2 He purchases a place for her burial, and buries her in a cave — Gen_23:3-20 Marries Keturah — Gen_25:1 Provides a wife for Isaac — Gen_24:1-67 Children of — Gen_16:15; Gen_21:2-3; Gen_25:1-4; 1Ch_1:32-34 Testament of — Gen_25:5-6 Wealth of — Gen_13:2; Gen_24:35; Isa_51:2 Age of, at different periods — Gen_12:4; Gen_16:16; Gen_21:5; Gen_25:7 Death of — Gen_15:15; Gen_25:8-10 In Paradise — Mat_8:11; Luk_13:28; Luk_16:22-31 Friend of God — Isa_41:8; 2Ch_20:7; Jas_2:23 Piety of — Gen_12:7-8; Gen_13:4; Gen_13:18; Gen_18:19; Gen_20:7; Gen_21:33; Gen_22:3-13; Gen_26:5; Neh_9:7-8; Rom_4:16-18; 2Ch_20:7; Isa_41:8; Jas_2:23 A prophet — Gen_20:7 Faith of — Gen_15:6; Rom_4:1-22; Gal_3:6-9; Heb_11:8-10; Heb_11:17-19; Jas_2:21-24 Unselfishness of — Gen_13:9; Gen_21:25-30 Independence of, in character — Gen_14:23; Gen_23:6-16 Ancestors of, idolatrous — Jos_24:2 How regarded by his descendants — Mat_3:9; Luk_13:16; Luk_13:28; Luk_19:9; Joh_8:33-40; Joh_8:52-59


Galatians 3