Galatians 3 (Today's New International Version)

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Faith or Observance of the Law

1 You foolish1 Galatians!2 Who has bewitched you?3 Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.4 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit5 by observing the law,6 or by believing what you heard?7 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? 4 Have you experienceda so much in vain--if it really was in vain? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles8 among you by your observing the law, or by your believing what you heard?9 6 So also Abraham "believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."b10 7 Understand, then, that those who have faith11 are children of Abraham.12 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you."c13 9 So those who rely on faith14 are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.15 10 All who rely on observing the law16 are under a curse,17 for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."d18 11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law,19 because "the righteous will live by faith."e20 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, "Whoever does these things will live by them."f21 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law22 by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole."g23 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus,24 so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.25

The Law and the Promise

15 Brothers and sisters,26 let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.27 Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed,"h28 meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years29 later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise;30 but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. 19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions31 until the Seed32 to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels33 and entrusted to a mediator.34 20 A mediator,35 however, implies more than one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not!36 For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.37 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin,38 so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

23 Before the coming of this faith,i we were held in custody39 under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.40 24 So the law was put in charge of us until Christ came41 that we might be justified by faith.42 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.43 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God44 through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ45 have clothed yourselves with Christ.46 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free,47 neither male nor female,48 for you are all one in Christ Jesus.49 29 If you belong to Christ,50 then you are Abraham's seed,51 and heirs52 according to the promise.53
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