Galatians 3

Chapter 3

3:3  Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?


(See Scofield "Matthew 5:48") .

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


Jehovah. Genesis 15:6 .

3:19  Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

Wherefore then

The answer is sixfold:

(1) The law was added because of transgressions, i.e. to give to sin the character of transgression.

(a) Men had been sinning before Moses, but in the absence of law their sins were not put to their account. Romans 5:13 . The law gave to sin the character of "transgression," i.e. of personal guilt. (b) Also, since men not only continued to transgress after the law was given, but were provoked to transgress by the very law that forbade it Romans 7:8, the law conclusively proved the inveterate sinfulness of man's nature Romans 7:11-13 .

(2) The law, therefore, "concluded all under sin" Romans 3:19 Romans 3:20 Romans 3:23 .

(3) The law was an ad interim dealing, "till the seed should come". Galatians 3:19 .

(4) The law shut sinful man up to faith as the only avenue of escape. Galatians 3:23 .

(5) The law was to the Jews what the pedagogue was in a Greek household, a ruler of children in their minority, and it had this character "unto" i.e. until Christ Galatians 3:24 .

(6) Christ having come, the believer is no longer under the pedagogue. Galatians 3:25

because of for the sake, i.e. in order that sin might be made manifest as transgression. See, Romans 4:15 ; 5:20 ; Romans 7:7 Romans 7:13 .

3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.


(See Scofield "Romans 10:10") .

3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.


I. The law of Moses, Summary:

(1) The Mosaic Covenant was given to Israel in three parts: the commandments, expressing the righteous will of God Exodus 20:1-26, the "judgments," governing the social life of Israel Exodus 21:1-24:11 , and the "ordinances," governing the religious life of Israel ; Exodus 24:12 ; 31:18 .

(2) The commandments and ordinances were one complete and inseparable whole. When an Israelite sinned, he was held "blameless" if he brought the required offering Luke 1:6 ; Philippians 3:6 .

(3) Law, as a method of the divine dealing with man, characterized the dispensation extending from the giving of the law to the death of Jesus Christ Galatians 3:13 Galatians 3:14 Galatians 3:23 Galatians 3:24 .

(4) The attempt of legalistic teachers (e.g.) Acts 15:1-31 ; Galatians 2:1-5, to mingle law with grace as the divine method for this present dispensation of grace, brought out the true relation of the law to the Christian, viz.

II. The Christian doctrine of the law:

(1) Law is in contrast with grace. Under the latter God bestows the righteousness which, under law, He demanded Exodus 19:5 ; John 1:17 . (See Scofield "Romans 3:21") . ; Romans 10:3-10 ; 1 Corinthians 1:30 .

(2) The law is, in itself, holy, just, good, and spiritual Romans 7:12-14 .

(3) Before the law the whole world is guilty, and the law is therefore of necessity a ministry of condemnation, death, and the divine curse Romans 3:19 ; 2 Corinthians 3:7-9 ; Galatians 3:10 .

For Another Point of View: See Topic 301242

Other Factors to Consider: See Topic 301187

(4) Christ bore the curse of the law, and redeemed the believer both from the curse and from the dominion of the law Galatians 3:13 ; 4:5-7 .

(5) Law neither justifies a sinner nor sanctifies a believer Galatians 2:16 ; Galatians 3:2 Galatians 3:3 Galatians 3:11 Galatians 3:12 .

(6) The believer is both dead to the law and redeemed from it, so that he is "not under the law, but under grace" Romans 6:14 ; 7:4 ; Galatians 2:19 ; 4:4-7 ; 1 Timothy 1:8 1 Timothy 1:9 .

(7) Under the new covenant of grace the principle of obedience to the divine will is inwrought Hebrews 10:6 . So far is the life of the believer from the anarchy of self-will that he is "inlawed to Christ" 1 Corinthians 9:21 and the new "law of Christ" ; Galatians 6:2 ; 2 John 1:5 is his delight; while, through the indwelling Spirit, the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in him ; Romans 8:2-4 ; Galatians 5:16-18 . The commandments are used in the distinctively Christian Scriptures as an instruction in righteousness ; 2 Timothy 3:16 ; Romans 13:8-10 ; Ephesians 6:1-3 ; 1 Corinthians 9:8 1 Corinthians 9:9 .

to bring us Omit "to bring us."

unto up to, or until.

3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


(Greek - paidagwgov , "child-conductor)." "among the Greeks and Romans, persons, for the most part slaves, who had it in charge to educate and give constant attendance upon boys till they came of age."--H.A.W. Meyer. The argument does not turn upon the extent or nature of the pedagogue's authority, but upon the fact that it wholly ceased when the "child" Galatians 4:1 became a ; Song of Solomon 1:1 ; Galatians 4:1-6 when the minor became an adult. The adult "son" does voluntarily that which formerly he did in fear of the pedagogue. But even if he does not, it is no longer a question between the son and the pedagogue (the law), but between the son and his Father--God. (Cf) ; Hebrews 12:5-10 ; 1 John 2:1 1 John 2:2 .

3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

the children

(Greek - paidagwgov = sons). (See Scofield "Ephesians 1:5") .