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Faith Versus the Work of Law
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5: Faith Versus the Works of the Law (3:1-25)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

Having set forth the doctrine that we are justified by faith in Jesus Christ rather than by the works of the Law, Paul draws from the personal experience of the Galatians as well as the Old Testament Scripture to support his argument. In comparing the law and faith, he explains the condemnatory and temporary nature of the law and the surpassing and enduring nature of God’s promise.

B.     Key Verse

            “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” (3:13-14).

C.     Did You Know…?

1.      The promise of the Spirit (3:14): This is the promised Holy Spirit foretold by the prophets (Eze 36:27; Joel 2:28) and the Lord Jesus (Jn 14:16-17; Acts 1:5). This promise came true when the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

2.      Tutor (3:24): “The term is paidago-gos, which means ‘a child-custodian’ or ‘child-attendant.’ The pedagogue was a slave employed by wealthy Greeks or Romans to have responsibility for one of the children of the family. He had charge of the child from about the years six to sixteen and was responsible for watching over his behavior wherever he went and for conducting him to and from school.” 2/467

II.    Observation

A.     Outline







Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

3.      What Old Testament figure does Paul repeatedly refer to? Why?

IV.  Segment Analysis


4.      What contrasts does Paul make in this paragraph?

5.      What point is Paul making by his series of questions? What was the basis of his argument?

6.       How was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ clearly portrayed among the Galatians?

7.      Why does Paul mention the portrayal of Christ’s crucifixion?

8.      How have the Galatians begun in the Spirit?

9.      What does it mean that they are now trying to be made perfect by the flesh?

10.  Can we infer from this paragraph that receiving the Holy Spirit is an obvious experience that is accompanied by a clear external sign? Explain your answer.

11.  3:6-9

12.  On what basis was Abraham justified?

13.  7.      According to Paul, how has God’s promise to Abraham, as quoted in verse 8, come true?

14.  3:10-12

15.  What contrast is made in verses 12 and 13?

16.  How did Christ “become a curse for us”?

17.  10.    What does it mean that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law?

18.  3:15-18

19.  According to verse 15, what characterizes a covenant?

20.  What point is Paul making concerning the law and the promise?

21.  Read Genesis 22:18 on God’s promise to Abraham and his seed. What is Paul’s interpretation of this promise? What does this interpretation have to do with the argument that we are justified by faith?

22.  What does verse 18 say about the nature of a promise? What is Paul’s point?

23.  3:19-25

24.  Record what the following verses say about the law

25.  19

26.  20

27.  21

28.  22

29.  23

30.  24

31.  In sum, what purpose does the law serve in relation to faith in Christ?


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