I) [Gal 3:1-2]:

(v. 1) "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

(v. 2) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?"


[The Expositors Bible Commentary, Vol 10, Frank E Gaebelien Editor, Galatians, by James Montgomery Boice, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1976, p. 454]:

The apostle has been defending the gospel of grace from the very beginning of this letter, but till now it has been done from the point of view of his own experience and calling. These had been challenged. So Paul begins by insisting that God rather than man has called him and given him his message. In speaking of his own experiences, however, Paul has gradually worked around to talking about the gospel itself, and this has brought him to the place where he is now set for a theological - or, better, a scriptural - defense of the gospel. So he returns to the Galatians themselves and to the point at which the doctrine of justification through faith bore down upon their own experience.

This is the first time since 1:11 that Paul has addressed the Galatians by name. Now it is the impersonal term 'Galatians' rather than by the word 'brothers' he used earlier and it sets a sober tone for the formal argument to follow."

I cont.) [Gal 3:1-2 cont.]:

(v. 1) "You foolish Galatians ! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

(v. 2) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?"


"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?" =

[Bible Knowledge Commentary, Walvoord and Zuck, Eds, Victor Books, USA, 1988, p. 596-597]:

Paul's tone was direct and severe as he remonstrated, You foolish Galatians! To embrace a doctrine which declared the death of Christ unnecessary was irrational (cf. 2:21). It would almost appear they had been bewitched, cast under some evil spell by a malign influence."


"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified." =


[Expositors, cont.]:

"Three things are inexplicable in regard to the Galatians' conduct, according to vv. 1-4.

"You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?" =

First, Paul says, their conduct is irrational or foolish. The word used here is not mOros, so often used in Christ's parables (Matt 5:22; 7:26; 25:2ff.). MOros refers to one who is mentally deficient or who plays the fool, particularly in the moral or spiritual realm.

In Galatians the word is anoetos which, quite differently suggests the actions of one who can think but fails to use his powers of perception (so also at Luke 24:25; Rom 1:14; 1 Tim 6:9; Titus 3:3). This term was clearly suggested to Paul by the trend of his thought at the end of the previous chapter - namely, that a doctrine of salvation by works foolishly denies the necessity for grace and declares the death of the Lord Jesus Christ unnecessary. A doctrine leading to such a conclusion is irrational. Yet this is what the Galatians were on the verge of embracing. They were being intellectually inconsistent, self-contradictory. How can such nonsense be explained? Paul suggests facetiously that perhaps they have been placed under a spell by some magician."


"Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified." =

[Expositors, cont.]:

"Second, the conduct of the Galatians is inexplicable because the true gospel has been so clearly preached to them. Undoubtedly, Paul is referring to his own preaching, arguing that the gospel had been made clear by him as if he had posted it on a public bulletin board. Moreover, he had not obscured it by nonessentials. For the heart of the gospel Paul preached is - and always must be - 'Christ crucified.' The perfect tense of this verb is important, for it refers to an act completed in the past but which nevertheless has continuing significance."

[BKC, cont.]:

"For this they were, however, without excuse because the Savior had been clearly portrayed (proEgraphe, lit., 'to write for public reading' as with the posting of a public announcement) as crucified before them. Paul had vividly and graphically proclaimed the crucified Christ to the Galatians; yet their eyes had been diverted from the Cross to the Law. They were without excuse."

I cont.) [Gal 3:1-2 cont.]:

(v. 1) "You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

(v. 2) I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?"



"I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?"" =

Note that this is a good definition of saving faith: 'You believe what you heard.'

[Expositors, cont.]:

"The third reason for the incomprehensible nature of the Galatians' defection is that it was so totally contrary to their initial experiences of Christianity. How did they begin? This is what Paul would like to hear from them. Did they receive the Holy Spirit by living up to some formal statutes? Or did they enter into the Christian life simply by believing and receiving what they heard concerning the death of the Lord Jesus Christ? The form of the question (literally, 'This only do I wish to learn from you') suggests that so long as they are in their present confused state, Paul does not want to hear anything other than the most basic answer to this most basic question."

[BKC, cont.]:

"This rhetorical question pointed to the time of their conversions, when they received the Holy Spirit (cf. 4:6). Thus Paul did not question their salvation but challenged them to consider whether they were saved and received the Spirit by faith or on the basis of works. It was of course by faith, when they heard Paul preach the gospel. As an essentially Gentile church they did not possess the Mosaic Law anyway."

II) [Gal 3:3]:

"Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?


Paul's second key question again is rhetorical: After receiving the Spirit through faith, must Galatians now try to attain the goal of being justified by human doing? Answer: A rhetorical no.

III) [Gal 3:4]:

"Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really was for nothing?"

[BKC, cont.]


"The third question looked back on the persecution the apostles and new believers experienced in the region of Galatia. As Paul and Barnabas retraced their steps at the end of the first missionary journey, they warned the Galatian converts that they would suffer as Christians...

1) [Acts 14:19-22]:

(v. 19) ''' "Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.

(v. 20) But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe.

(v. 21) They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,

(v. 22) strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. "We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God," they said.'''

Persecution evidently soon followed, and Paul reminded them that if they turned from grace to Law they would brand their former position in error and would then have suffered so much for nothing. But the apostle was unwilling to believe that this was so."

IV) [Gal 3:5]:

"Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe law, or because you believe what you heard?"


Note the word law is without the definite article here and refers to any rules of human conduct which includes the Mosaic Law.

[BKC, cont.]:

"That miracles were performed among the Galatians by divine power was recorded in the Book of Acts...

1) [Acts 14:3, 8-11]:

(v. 3) "So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders."

(v. 8) In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked.

(v. 9) He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed

(v. 10) and called out, "Stand up on your feet!" At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

(v. 11) When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" '''

It was clear, furthermore, that these supernatural works were not the result of the works of the Law but from the hearing that leads to faith. The Galatians did not know the Law, and Paul's message was that of justification by faith."

V) [Gal 3:6-9]:

(v. 6) '''Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

(v. 7) Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

(v. 8) The 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."

(v. 9) So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.'''


"He [Abraham] believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." =


a) [Compare Gen 12:1-7]:

(v. 1) '''The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave you country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.' (v. 2) 'I [God] will make you [Abram] into a great nation and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

[God's promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and to be a blessing was a promise which was not fulfilled in Abraham's physical lifetime and this is to be understood as such for careful readers of Scripture. It could only be fulfilled if Abraham is resurrected and permitted into the kingdom of God living eternally so as to continue to experience seeing his uncountable offspring and actually be a blessing to people of all nations as he lived on in the kingdom of God]:

(v. 3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'

(v. 4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

(v. 5) He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

(v. 6) Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

(v. 7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your seed I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.'''


"To your Seed I will give this land." =

Paul further defines the meaning of the word "Seed" in Gen 12:7, 13:15 & 24:7 as Jesus Christ Himself.

i_a) [Gal 3:16]:

"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ."


(Gen 12:3) "and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." =

God is promising Abram that even after he dies, all peoples - all nations - from now on will be blessed "through" him. This is saying that through Abraham's procreation - which by the way he has not even had one child born to him yet for many years - the nations of the world will be forever blessed. Abram soon thereafter understood this as the ultimate blessing - eternal life in the kingdom of God through his seed, a Savior, (Who is Jesus Christ).

ii_a) [Compare John 8:56]:

[Jesus said]: "Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad."

Abram could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God was going to bring a Savior from Abram's line to provide for the sins of the world, so when Abraham followed God's instructions indicated in Gen 12:1 by leaving his home, his business, the highly developed civilization in Ur and even his people including his family and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, [remember that Abraham was a wealthy man, (v 5)], this was tantamount to expressing his faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world through a coming Savior. Therefore, Abram's believing in God's promises of the future would include his personal salvation. Abram would be justified, i.e., become a born again man upon his trusting in God's provision of a future Savior through his line which Scripture records occurred later on when God reiterated His promise to Abram in Gen 15:1-6.

At that time Abram would trust in God's promises, which is tantamount to trusting in God's promise of the blessing of salvation through a coming Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God then would credit Abraham with His divine righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting and only through Abraham's seeing the kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill this promise to bless Abram by seeing his countless offspring in the kingdom.


a) [Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

(v. 14) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(v. 15) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your Seed [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever."


a) [Gen 15:1-6]:

(v. 1) "After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

'Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield,

your very great reward.'

(v. 2) But Abram said, 'O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(v. 3) And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

(v. 4) Then the word of the Lord came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.'

(v. 5) He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring [lit. your Seed"] be.'

[" 'So shall your offspring ([lit. your Seed") be.' " =

In order for Abram to have countless offspring and be blessed by it in his own life he would have to have eternal life. The next verse indicates that God credited His perfect righteousness to Abram which is to say that Abraham was granted entry into the kingdom of heaven, i.e., eternal life]:

(v. 6) Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a visual image to Abraham along with His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This image was painted by God across the star studded night time heavens. Billions of stars were visible to Abraham; and God promised that just as the universe contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. The number of stars in the day were in fact so numerous as to be virtually uncountable - representing to Abraham an infinite number. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an infinite number of descendants obviously over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. In other words, God promised eternal life to Abraham. Abraham believed God's promise. And God then declared Abraham to have the position of being perfectly righteous as a result of Abraham's faith, thus qualifying him for spending the rest of eternity with God in His kingdom. This was not just an image of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into oblivion. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time. And when Abraham believed in this spectacular promise of God, then God accounted to Abraham the gift of absolutely perfect righteousness - that kind of righteousness that God requires that a man must possess in order to spend eternal life with Him, (Gen 15:6; Phil 3:9). So Abraham was now qualified to have eternal life by being credited by God with the absolutely perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ as a result of his faith alone in God's plan alone of eternal life. And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled.


d) [Jn 8:56]:

(v. 56) [Jesus said to the Jews]" 'Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.' "

[Our Lord is saying here that during Abraham's lifetime on earth he rejoiced at the thought of seeing the glory of the Messiah Jesus Christ's triumph over sin - demonstrating that he, Abraham, truly was born again]

[Everett F. Harrison states, (Expositor's Bible Commentary, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Vol. 10, 1976, p. 48)]:

"The nature of Abraham's faith was essentially the same as that of the NT believer despite the difference in time. (Abraham looked forward to something God would do, whereas the Christian looks back to what God has provided, in Christ). Can we go further and say that the object of faith is the same, implicit in the promise to Abraham, explicit in the gospel? It does seem that we are warranted in concluding that Abraham trusted in a promise that pointed to Christ (John 8:56; Gal 3:16)..."

b) [Ro 4:1-3]:

(v. 1) "What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter?

["this matter" = The matter of how to be justified unto eternal life, i.e., saved. Cp Ro 3:21-31]

(v. 2) If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about - but not before God.

(v. 3) What does the Scripture say?

[And here Paul quotes Gen 15:6]:

'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'

[Dr John Danish states, (Audio Tape #77 Ro-38 side 2)]:

"...For the Jews, Abraham was the great dividing point of all human history......

Before Abraham there was this stream of humanity and it was all Gentiles. With Abraham, the stream of humanity of Gentiles continued, but God brought off a side stream which today we know as Jews......

Abraham was the turning point of all terms of the fact that God said, 'Now I am going to set in motion a program which is going to bring My authority into operation on this earth. It's going to be recognized and....welcomed. And I'm going to do it through the Jewish people..........

The new stream of humanity known as the Jews [was brought by God] for the explicit purpose of bringing the authority of God on this earth to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth to replace the kingdom of man, in other words, to have human viewpoint replaced by divine viewpoint.

Now this plan of God for establishing His kingdom authority on the earth was presented as a promise to Abraham to become heir of the world. This promise, or this covenant, with Abraham included a Savior for eternal life. This was involved in the promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to all nations. In Galatians chapter 3 verse 8, Paul explains that to us when he says, "And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, 'In thee shall all nations be blessed.' "

So here you have this phrase, " 'In thee shall all nations be blessed.' " specifically identified by Paul here in Galatians as being an expression relative to the gospel. While all nations were going to be blessed in Abraham, God meant, 'I'm going to send you a Savior that will resolve the sin problems so that people can have absolute righteousness in order to enter heaven.' So Abraham indeed was given the gospel. Abraham was told how to be born again. And he believed the promise that God gave him, he was born again.......

.....consequently Abraham was justified simply by faith apart from works.

c) [Heb 11:17-19]:

(v. 17) '''By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,

(v. 18) even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."

(v. 19) Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.'''

[Danish, cont.]:

"Hebrews 11:19 indicates that Abraham understood and believed in resurrection after death; and he believed in the gospel of salvation, (Gen 15:6). Abraham believed that God would resurrect him so that he would see his posterity of millions, (Gen 12:1-3; 15:4-6; Heb 11:8-19). This is the justification that God "accounted" to Abraham as "righteousness" unto eternal life, (Gen 15:5).

The Apostle Paul comments on God's covenant with Abraham relative to it including the gospel of salvation unto eternal life for Abraham and all individuals who exercise faith in God's plan:

d) [Gal 3:6-8, 13-16]:

(v. 6) "Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to Him as righteousness.

(v. 7) Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith that are sons of Abraham.

[i.e., the Covenant blessing of eternal life is one which is available by faith alone for all mankind: Jew and Gentile alike. Those who have trusted alone in Christ alone are sons of Abraham - not in a physical sense so as to receive Covenant blessings meant for physical descendants but in a spiritual sense so as to receive the blessing of eternal eternal life - whether Jew or Gentile]

(v. 8) And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'All the nations shall be blessed in you.' "

[Notice that Paul indicates that God's Covenant with Abraham is in essence the gospel of salvation unto eternal life for all mankind. And the central Figure of that plan of salvation is the Seed, singular, of Abraham: the Messiah Savior, Jesus Christ, Himself]:

(v. 13) "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us - for it is written, 'Cursed is every one who hangs on a tree' (Dt 21:23)

(v. 14) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith...

["so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith".= so that Gentiles too might receive the "the promise of the Spirit", i.e., eternal life and the consequent indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, (Eph 1:13-14), "through faith".. So one of the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant is made available to all mankind, Jews and Gentiles alike: eternal life. And continuing in Galatians chapter 3]:

(v. 16) "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, 'and to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to one, 'and to your Seed,' that is, Christ."

[So the promise of eternal life which was granted to Abraham as a result of his faith in what God promised through the seed of Abraham would be demonstrated by innumerable descendants through the Seed of Abraham - Who is Christ the Savior Himself.

i) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(v. 6) "For to us a Child is born,

to us a Son is given,

and the government will be on His shoulders.

And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

(v. 7) Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on david's throne

and over His kingdom,

[Note: A throne and a kingdom of the physical seed of David who is a descendant of Abraham]

establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

"The Judaizers claimed to have the Old Testament of their side, especially looking to Moses as their teacher. But Paul went centuries farther back and said, Consider Abraham. How was he, the father of Jewish people, justified? The answer was simple and direct. Noting Genesis 15:6, Paul declared, He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness. Abraham's faith in God's ability to perform what He promised was accepted by God as righteousness and so the patriarch was justified - before he was circumcised (cf. Gen 17:24). How then could the Judaizers insist that circumcision was essential to being accepted by God?"

V cont.) [Gal 3:6-9]:

(v. 6) '''Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

(v. 7) Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

(v. 8) The 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."

(v. 9) So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.'''


"Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham." =

Paul further weakens the Judaizers' argument that justification comes the works of the Law by going back before the Law to the father of Judaism, Abraham. He declares that 'those who believe are the Children of Abraham.'

[BKC, cont.]:

"Striking a tremendous blow at the Judaizers, Paul linked the past with the present and declared that just as Abraham was saved by faith so were those who now claimed to be his children (huioi; lit., 'sons'). Abraham and his spiritual descendants, both Jews and Gentiles, have all been declared righteous by faith."

V cont.) [Gal 3:6-9]:

(v. 6) '''Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."

(v. 7) Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

(v. 8) The 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."

(v. 9) So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.'''


[BKC, cont.]:

"Moreover, this conclusion is in harmony with the Scripture which states that all nations will be blessed through Abraham (cf. Gen 12:3). Thus the justification of uncircumcised Gentiles was anticipated in the universal aspect of the Abrahamic Covenant when God announced the gospel (lit., 'the good news') Abraham. It should not be overlooked that Paul referred to Scripture speaking as though God were speaking, so it can rightly be affirmed that what the Bible says, God says. This and similar verses (e.g., John 10:35b; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21) provide important support for believing in the absolute and total inspiration and authority of Scripture.'''

VI) [Gal 3:9]:

"So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith."

[BKC, cont.]:

"The apostle concluded this phase of his argument by stating that though provision was made for 'all nations' (v. 8), only those who have faith receive the blessing of justification. Thus Paul drew a distinction between God's provision and human appropriation."

VII) [Gal 3:10-11]:

(v. 10) '''All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law."

(v. 11) Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." '''


"Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." =

1) [Compare Dt 27:26]:

"Cursed is the man who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out." Then all the people shall say, 'Amen!' "

[BKC, op. cit., p. 598]:

'''Having established the fact that justification is by faith from the experiences of the Galatians and of Abraham, Paul then showed the illogic of reliance on the Law.

Contrary to what the Judaizers taught, the Law could not justify; it could only condemn. Paul quoted Deuteronomy 27:26 to show that the Law demanded perfection and that a curse was attached to failure to keep any part of it. The breaking of only one command even once brings a person under the curse; and since everybody fails at some point, all are under the curse. The proposition that a person can gain divine acceptance by human effort is therefore totally destroyed."


Being righteous enough to go to heaven is impossible with man.

1) [Compare Lk 18:19]:

" 'Why do you call Me good? Jesus answered. 'No one is good - except God alone. ' "


So it can only be a matter of a moment of faith, like Abraham, who was declared righteous by God when he believed. Once you believe in God's plan of salvation through His Son, you are declared righteous and will live on in eternity in heaven by that faith.

1) [Ro 1:16-17]:

(v. 16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

(v. 17) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, [lit., 'out of faith unto faith'] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith.' "

a) For God's Righteousness Is Revealed In The Gospel When One Believes it

"For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed" =

[Newell, op. cit., p. 23-24]:

"The 'For' of verse 17, For God's righteousness therein is revealed - in the gospel - is also a logical setting forth of the reason why the good news concerning Christ's death, burial, and resurrection is the power of God unto salvation. And this verse is the essence of the text of the whole Epistle: 'Therein God's righteousness is revealed.'

God could have come forth in righteousness and smitten with doom the whole Adamic race. He would have been acting in accordance with His holiness: it would have been 'the righteousness of God' unto judgment, and would have been just.

But God, Who is love, though infinitely holy and sin-hating, has chosen to act toward us in righteousness, in a manner wherein all His holy and righteous claims against the sinner have been satisfied upon a Substitute, His own Son. Therefore, in this good news... there is revealed, now openly for the first time, God's righteousness on the principle of faith. We simply hear and believe: and, as we shall find, God reckons us righteous; our guilt having been put away by the blood of Christ forever, and we ourselves declared to be the righteousness of God in Him!"

b) Inherent In Believing The Gospel Is The Gift Of God's Absolute Righteousness

Notice that the message of the gospel which has not yet been completely stipulated, but will be as the book of Romans proceeds, has inherent in it a righteousness from God which is received by faith, i.e., one receives from God His righteousness when one expresses a moment of faith in the content of the gospel.

i) [Compare Phil 3:8-9]:

(v. 8) "What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

(v. 9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith."

ii) [2 Cor 5:21]:

"God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God."

[BKC, NT, cont., p. 441]:

"The theme of the letter is expressed in the phrase a righteousness from God is revealed. The subjective genitive (lit., 'of God') identifies this as a righteousness that God provides for people on the basis of and in response to faith in the gospel (cf. 3:22). (NIV's by faith from first to last renders the Gr. ek pisteOs eis pistin, lit. 'out of faith in reference to faith.') Such a righteousness is totally unachievable by human efforts. This righteousness is not God's personal attribute; however, since it comes 'from God,' it is consistent with His nature and standard. Robertson happily calls it 'a God kind of righteousness' (A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1943, 4:327)...

[Hence it is an absolute kind of righteousness - sinless and perfect because God is sinless and perfect]

In response to faith this righteousness is imputed by God in justification... 'Righteousness' and 'justify,' though seemingly unrelated in English, are related in Greek. 'Righteousness' is dikaiosynE, and 'justify' is dikailO. Paul used the noun many times in his epistles, including 28 times in Romans (1:17; 3:21-22, 25-26; 4:3, 5-6, 9, 11, 13, 22; 5:17, 21; 6:13, 16, 18-20; 8:10; 9:30; 10:3-6 [twice in v. 3], 10; 14:17). And Paul used the Greek verb 15 times in Romans (2:13; 3:4, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30; 4:2, 5: 5:1, 9; 6:7; 8:30 [twice], 33). To justify a person is to declare him forensically (legally) righteous.

[Which then qualifies him to have eternal life - for he has been declared to have the righteousness of God, to be just as good as God is]

'Declared righteous' is the way the NIV translates dikaioO in 2:13 and 3:20 and 'freed' is the NIV's rendering in 6:7.

Paul's closing words in 1:17, The righteous will live by faith, are a quotation from Habakkuk 2:4, also quoted in Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38. As a result of faith (cf. 'believes' in Rom 1:16) in Christ, a person is declared 'righteous' (cf. 3:22) and is given eternal life. What a marvelous work of God!"

c) God's Righteousness Is Out Of Faith Unto Faith

"a righteousness that is by faith from first to last [lit., 'out of faith unto faith']" =

"ek ......pisteOs eis ...................................pistin" =

"out of faith .....with a view to, i.e, unto faith" =

"out of faith [rather than works] unto [those who have] faith."

[Newell, op. cit., p. 23]:

"It was on the principle of faith by means of a message [of the gospel], and those exercising faith in the message would be reckoned righteous, - apart from all 'merit' or 'works' whatever. This is the meaning of 'from faith unto faith' - literally, out of faith [rather than works] unto [those who have] faith."

d) The Righteous Will Live By Faith

As a result of a moment of believing in the gospel one is declared "the righteous will live by faith" which in this particular verse implies not mortal life, (which is in view in other passages), but eternal life - for the righteous and unrighteous have mortal lives which begin and end regardless of their own lifestyle, be it moral or immoral.

i) [Compare Gen 15:5-6]:

(v. 5) He [God] took him [Abram] outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them.' Then He said to him, 'So shall your offspring be.'

[In other words, you will live forever in order to experience God's promise of uncountable offspring]

(v. 6) Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness."

So Abram was accounted as righteous when he believed in God's promise of eternal life.

This is reiterated with more detail in chapter 3 of Romans:

ii) [Ro 3:21-24]:

(v. 21) "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.

(v. 22) This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

(v. 23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(v. 24) and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

[Expositors, p. 20]:

"It remains to treat the quotation from another standpoint - the order of the words. Is it 'The righteous shall live by faith' or 'The one who is just by virtue of faith shall live'? Since the apostle quotes the same passage in Galatians 3:11 to show that one is not justified by law but rather by faith, it is probable that he intends the reference in the same way here. Since the quotation is used in Romans at the very beginning, where he confronts the problem of man's getting right with God, the wording that fits most closely the movement of thought should be chosen. At this point Paul is not concerned with how the justified man lives, but how the sinner can be considered just (righteous) in the sight of God. Righteousness as a matter of ethical conduct is reserved for later treatment (chs. 6-8). Ethical righteousness depends on right relation to God, so the latter merits priority of treatment."

[BKC, cont.]:

"Quoting the Old Testament again, Paul showed that even during the dispensation of Law legal obedience was not the basis for a justified standing before God...because, as the Prophet Habakkuk wrote, The righteous will live by faith (Hab 2:4)."

VIII) [Gal 3:12]:

'''The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." '''


1) [Compare Lev 18:5]:

"Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD."

2) [James 2:10]:

"For whoever keeps the whole Law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."

[BKC, cont.]

"But perhaps faith and the Law could be combined; perhaps both are needed. Quoting again from the Old Testament Paul proved this to be scripturally impossible. Law and faith are mutually exclusive. The basic principle of the Law is found in Leviticus 18:5: The man who does these things will live by them. Only perfect performance could win divine approval under the Law, but since that was not achievable the Law could only condemn a person (cf. James 2:10) and cause him to cast himself on God in faith."

IX) [Gal 3:13]:

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."








1) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

"He [Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our [believers' sins, (v. 2:1)] and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world."

Notice that Jesus Christ paid the penalty, i.e., the price for the acts of sin committed by every man, woman & child who will ever live, i.e., "for the sins of the whole world" such that no man's sins will be ever counted against him:

2) [Compare 2 Cor 5:18-19]:

(v. 18) "All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;

(v. 19) that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

As far as the acts of sin are concerned re: every man, God has been reconciled through what Jesus Christ did on the cross, and as a result of this no one will be held accountable at any time for any act of sin.

"redeemed us" = "exegorasen" = a compound verb; aorist tense = completed action indicating a once for all time action; indicative mood = a statement of fact indicating a completed position; this compound verb consisting of "egorasen" = purchase, (cp Rev 5:9), and "ex" = out of, i.e., "exegorasen" = "to purchase out of being subject to the curse of the Law, i.e, the slave market of sin so that one can never return to it.

[J. Dwight Pentecost states, ("Things Which Become SOUND DOCTRINE", Revell, Westwood N.J., 1965, pp. 76)]:

"This word emphasizes the result of the redemption, the result of the purchase by the blood of Christ. When we were purchased out from the curse of the Law and bondage to sin we were purchased out so completely and effectively that we can never be returned to that slave market again... The Apostle tells us that when Christ redeemed us in a redemptive act, and purchased us for Himself by the payment of a price, He redeemed us or purchased us out of the slave market in order that we might be delivered from its bondage forever."

More details on redemption {short description of image}


[BKC, cont.]:

"The positive side of Paul's argument emphasized that there is hope for all who have broken the Law and are therefore under its curse. That hope is not in man but in Christ who redeemed us from the curse of the Law. But how did Christ redeem man? [redeem = ExegorasEn, lit., 'buy out of slavery'; cr. 4:5]..."

IX) [Gal 3:13]:

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."


"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." =

[BKC, cont.]:

"But how did Christ redeem man? [redeem = ExegorasEn, lit., 'buy out of slavery'; cr. 4:5]..." The answer is by becoming a curse for us. This is a strong declaration of substitutionary redemption whereby Christ took the penalty of all guilty lawbreakers on Himself. Thus the 'curse of the Law' was transferred from sinners to Christ, the sinless One (cf. 1 Peter 3:18), and He delivered people from it. The confirming quotation from Deuteronomy 21:23 refers to the fact that in Old Testament times criminals were executed (normally by stoning) and then displayed on a stake or post to show God's divine rejection. When Christ was crucified, it was evidence He had come under the curse of God. The manner of His death was a great obstacle to faith for Jews until they realized the curse He bore was for them (cf. Isa 53)."

X) [Gal 3:14]:

"He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."


"He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus" =

[BKC, cont.]:

"Two purposes for Christ's redemptive work are given, each introduced by the Greek conjunction hina, 'in order that' (cf. 4:5):

(1) Gentiles might receive the blessing given to Abraham; as already stated (3:8) this is a reference not to personal or national blessings but to the promised blessing of justification apart from works of the Law, available to all who believe;

(2) all who thus believe might receive the promise of the Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, Who was promised (cf. v. 2). Again the apostle emphasized that salvation and sanctification come by faith, not by works."

1) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our [eternal] inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession to the praise of His glory."

Notice that at the moment of believing in the gospel of salvation, the Holy Spirit includes the believer in Christ, Who is the Mark in that believer, a Seal Who guarantees his eternal inheritance, his redemption.

XI) [Gal 3:15-16]:

(v. 15) "Brothers, 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."

(v. 16) The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.'''

[BKC, cont.]:

"Even if Paul's opponents admitted that Abraham was justified by faith, those Judaizers might have argued that the Law, coming at a later time, entirely changed the basis for achieving salvation. To refute this, Paul declared that just as a properly executed Roman covenant (or will) cannot arbitrarily be set aside or changed (probably reference to ancient Gr. law), so the promises of God are immutable. Further, the promises...spoken to Abraham and to his seed were not fulfilled before the giving of the Law. Rather, they found fulfillment in Christ and are in effect forever. The blessing of justification by faith is therefore permanent and could not be changed by the Law. The stress on seed (cf. Gen 12:7; 13:15; 24:7), not seeds, was made simply to remind the readers that the faithful in Israel had always recognized that blessing would ultimately come through a single individual, the Messiah (cf. Gal 3:19). And Matthew declared Christ to be the Son of Abraham and the true Heir to the First Covenant's promises Matt 1:1)."

XII) [Gal 3:17-18]:

(v. 17) '''What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.

(v. 18) For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.'''

[BKC, cont.]:

"Finally, Paul applied the principle of the permanence of faith by affirming that a covenant made so long before could not possibly be altered by a later giving of the Law. The Law was given 430 years after the promise. When did that lengthy period of time begin? Some have suggested it began with Abraham, in which case the 430 years included the Israelites' time of about 200 years in Canaan and about 200 years in Egypt. The Septuagint supports this view, but this conflicts with the clear statement in Exodus 12:40 that the Egyptian sojourn was 430 years. Another suggestion is that the period began with the confirming of the Abrahamic Covenant with Jacob (Gen 35:9-12).

A third and perhaps best view is that the period began with the final confirmation of the covenant to Jacob (given in Gen 46:1-4). Accordingly the 430 years went from the end of one era (the Age of Promise) to the beginning of another (the Age of Law). This seems to fit best with Exodus 12:40. (Gen 15:13 and Acts 7:6, in referring to the sojourn in Egypt as 400 years, may be using rounded figures.)

During that long interval God blessed the patriarchs on the basis of faith alone, and the coming of the Law could not change this in any way. Additionally the Law could not alter God's dealing with Abraham on the basis of a promise because the two are fundamentally different in nature. They do not commingle; they cannot be combined. Instead, the inheritance (i.e., justification by faith) was given by God as an unconditional gift to those who believe. Contrary to the claim of the Judaizers, obedience to the Law was not necessary to gain [an eternal] inheritance. God's way of salvation has always been by grace through faith."

XIII) [Gal 3:19]:

"What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a Mediator."



The Law is a picture of the absolute righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ. Only He among all men could and did keep the Law perfectly and in conjunction with His sacrificial death provide the only way for mankind to be reconciled to God. The Law is a picture of what Scripture foretold was the Savior to come - of the standard of absolute perfection which a man must never fail to live by, which our Lord in fact demonstrated in His life. Now that Christ has come, it is His life and death on the cross that has superseded, i.e., has taken the place of the Law. He Himself has fulfilled it on our behalf because no individual except the Lord Jesus Christ could perfectly keep the Law and then take upon Himself the penalty for the world's sins, (I Jn 2:2)


During the period of time in history that God designated as being under the Mosaic Law, the Law also provided for moment to moment temporal blessings and discipline for an individual living under the Law who obeyed or disobeyed particular statutes. So the Law also served as a rule of life to an individual under that Law during that period of time from Moses to Pentecost as well as an absolute mirror which reflects God's perfect righteousness which is required for salvation.

[Lewis Sperry Chafer, "Chafer Systematic Theology - Abridged", vol 2, pp. 312-317]:


With the coming of Moses and growth of the nation Israel, the Mosaic Law was given. It included more than 600 detailed laws including rituals which Israel was required as a nation to observe. The purpose of the Law was to reveal sin (Rom. 5:20; 7:7; Gal 3:19) and to demonstrate man's need of Christ (v. 24). The Law of Moses included God's instruction for Israel's civil, religious and moral life. Two truths should be emphasized in relation to the Mosaic Law:

(1) it was never addressed to Gentiles except those who became Israelites as proselytes, and (2) it was not a way of salvation.

Salvation is not given in response to obeying commands. It is given to those in every age who place their trust in God for forgiveness of sin. The Mosaic sacrificial system was given as a means of restoring fellowship with God for believers who fell into sin. The sacrifices were to be offered by Israelites who had placed their faith in Yahweh.

[Yahweh = The Lord Jesus Christ - the Messiah]

Apart from this faith, the sacrifices were meaningless rituals. The sacrifices anticipated the future sacrifice of Christ which was not understood by Old Testament saints. A standard for confession and forgiveness, without animal sacrifices, was established for Christians in need of cleansing from daily sin (I John 1:9).

The nation Israel descended physically from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. As a nation and race, they received special promises from God both for their present and the future and were given privileges that do not extend to the Gentile world.

Israelites were promised blessing in return for obedience to the Law, and were told that God would discipline them if they failed to keep the Law. This is illustrated in Deuteronomy 28. The first 14 verses promised blessing to those who keep His commandments, and verses 15-68 are a declaration of curses and judgments that would fall on the nation if she disobeyed. Subsequently both the blessings and the cursings were fulfilled.

It is clear in Old Testament predictions that Israel as a nation would depart from God (4:26-28). The spiritual life of Israel was not on an even plane. In one period they were disobedient and God disciplined them, and in another they were generally obedient and enjoyed God's blessings. The Old Testament did not anticipate the present day of grace but did look forward to the future kingdom when Israel would possess her land on earth. Many Scriptures speak of this period (cf. Ezek 20:33-44; Mal 3:1-6; Matt. 24:27-25:30). In the kingdom both reward and judgment will be experienced by Israel (Dan 12:2; Matt 7:13-14; Luke 10:25-28; 18:18-21).

Even the Old Testament made it clear that righteousness could be received only by faith and not by works (Gen 15:6; cf. Hab 2:4).

In the Bible the word "law" does not always refer to the Mosaic system or to any part of it. Certain facts about law, however, may be observed.

(1) The Ten Commandments are God's law (cf. Luke 10:25-28; Rom 7:7-14).

(2) The entire governing code for Israel as recorded in Exodus and Leviticus is the Law.

(3) The rule of life yet to be applied in the coming messianic kingdom is law but not the Mosaic Law.

(4) Any rule of conduct prescribed by men may be referred to as law (I Tim 1:8-9; 2 Tim 2:5; cf. Matt. 20:25; Luke 20:22).

(5) Any recognized principle of action is a law and sometimes is equivalent to power (Rom 7:21; 8:2).

(6) The entire will of God reaching to every detail of an individual believer's life is the law of God but should be distinguished from the Mosaic Law (7:22; 8:4).

(7) The will of Christ for the believer in the present age is the "law of Christ" (cf. John 13:34; 15:10; I Cor 9:21; Gal 6:2).

In the Mosaic period there was a grace along with law just as in the present dispensation there is law with grace. The dominating factor in the present age is that God is dealing with believers on a gracious basis rather than on a meritorious basis as indicated in the Mosaic period.

In the Mosaic dispensation the will of God for individual Israelites as well as for the nation as a whole consisted of three parts:

(1) the Commandments which regulated moral issues (Ex 20),

(2) the judgments, which regulated the civic issues (21:1-24:11), and

(3) the ordinances, which regulated the religious issues (24:12-31:18).

It is generally agreed that both the judgments and the ordinances of the Mosaic Law ceased with the crucifixion of Christ. Continued misunderstanding, however, exists in relation to the Ten Commandments. Many people teach that these are continued in the present age of grace. The fact is that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament and with higher standards, but the fourth commandment concerning the Sabbath is not found in the New Testament revelation concerning the age of grace. The moral code for believers in the Church Age includes the nine commandments but it goes far beyond them to include much more.

[Note that the nine commandments are indicated in the New Testament as commands to believers but without specific punitive measures to be carried out if not kept. This was not so during the period under the Mosaic Law. The stipulations of the Law were accompanied with specific penalties if not kept. In the New Testament periods, God has made provision for putting a sinful believer under discipline. Heb 12:5-12]

In attempting to understand the Mosaic system two features of its truth are important: (1) the relation the Mosaic Law sustained to the time of its reign and (2) the application of the Mosaic system.


The Mosaic Law was given as a temporary, not an eternal, rule of life.

Before the Mosaic Law was given those laws did not apply, and after the Mosaic Law was concluded the Law was no longer a basic moral code for Christians in the present age.

In view of the temporal character of the Law of Moses the question is raised as to why this revelation was given. The answer to this question is in Galatians 3:19, 'What then is the purpose of the Law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to Whom the promise referred had come.' Any transgressions of the Law of God or anything out of harmony with the holiness of God is sin in any dispensation and requires the grace of God for forgiveness. Even Adam and Eve were told not to disobey. The introduction of the Law did not change the fact of the sin nature and consequent spiritual death (Rom 5:12-14). The Law changed the character of personal wrong doing by making it a violation of the Law.

[before the Mosaic Law period, sin was a violation of God's holiness. During the Mosaic Law period sin was a violation of God's holiness and also a violation of the Law and subject to specific punitive measures as stipulated in the Law.]

It made sin rebellion against specific commands of God with corresponding punishment that comes from a broken law.

The Law was given Israel not to create an obedient people but rather to prove their utter sinfulness and helplessness. This is indicated in Paul's own experience in 7:8, 'But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from the Law, sin is dead.' That the Law was holy and righteous is obvious as stated by Paul in verses 12-13, 'So, then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might be utterly sinful.' Apart from Christ there has been universal failure to keep such laws as God has revealed.

The Law was never given as a means for salvation or justification (3:20; cf. Gal 3:11, 24). The Law therefore became a curse to Israel (v. 10) bringing them condemnation (2 Cor 3:9) and death (Rom. 7:10-11). A beneficial effect of the Law was to drive Israel to Christ as the only Saviour and Mediator.


Before the Law was given, no one was responsible to keep it. With the introduction of the Law Israel was required to obey it as stated in Deuteronomy 5:1-3, 'Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our fathers that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.'

The people voluntarily pledged their obedience to the Law without recognizing their inability to keep it. This is stated in Exodus 19:3-8, '''Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, '''This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now if you obey Me fully and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession. Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.'

These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.'''

So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, '''We will do everything the Lord has said.'''' So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.""

Once the children of Israel had accepted the Law, it became immediately evident that they were dealing with the unapproachable and holy character of God as stated in verses 18-21, ""Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up and the Lord said to him, '''Go down and warn the people so that they do not force their way through to see the Lord and many of them perish.''' The same thought is expressed in Hebrews 12:18-21.


Previous dispensations..............

[dispensation = periods of a particular type of rule by God]

Previous dispensations to some extent continued after they came to a formal close, but the Law came to an abrupt end at the time of the death of Christ.

The Law was given only until 'the Seed to Whom the promise referred had come' (Gal 3:19). It resulted in those under the Law coming clearly under condemnation with salvation only available to them through faith in Christ.

Paul came to the conclusion, "Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the Law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the Law ([Gal 3:] vv. 23-25)."

XIII cont.) [Gal 3:19 cont.]:

"What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a Mediator."

"What, then, was the purpose of the law?" =


"What, then, was the purpose of the law?" =

[The New Scofield NIV Study Bible, C.E., Scofield, Editor, Oxford University Press, New York, 1967, p. 1230]:

"The answer to this question 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 (Rom 5:13); the Law gave to sin the character of transgressions, i.e. of personal guilt.

(b) Furthermore, since men not only continued to sin after the law was given, but were provoked to transgress by the very law which forbade it (Rom 7:8), the Law conclusively proved the inveterate sinfulness of man's nature (Rom 7:11-13).

(2) The Law, therefore, 'declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin' (cp Rom 3:19-23).

(3) The Law was an ad interim dealing, 'until the Seed...had come' (v. 19)

(4) The Law shut sinful man up to faith as the only avenue of escape (v. 23, note vv. 4:1-2).

(5) The Law was to the Jews what the child-discipliner (Gk. paidogOgos) was in a Greek household, a custodian of children in their minority, and it had this character to or 'until' Christ (vv. 23-25).

(6) Christ having come, the believer is no longer under the child-discipliner (i.e., the Law, v. 25), but has become a disciple (i.e., learner) of Christ Himself (Mt 11:29; Lk 10:39; Jn 17:6-8; Ti 2:11-13).

[BKC, p. 599]:

"An indignant Judaizer was sure to respond with objections to Paul's insistence that the Law could not give the Holy Spirit (vv. 1-5); could not bring justification (vv. 6-9); could not alter the permanence of faith (vv. 15-18); but does bring a curse (vv. 10-12). What , then, was the purpose of the Law? Why was a change made at Sinai? Paul answered by declaring the purpose and character of the Law.

First, it was given because of transgressions, that is, the Law was given to be a means for checking sins. It served as a restrainer of sins by showing them to be transgressions of God's Law which would incur His wrath (cf. 1 Tim 1:8-11).

Second, the Law was temporary and served until the Seed (the Messiah; cf. Gal 3:16) came, after which it was no longer needed.

Third, the Law was inferior because of the manner of its bestowal. While God made promises to Abraham directly, the Law was established by a Mediator. There were in fact two mediators, the angels representing God, and Moses representing the people."

XIV) [Gal 3:20]:

"A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one."

[BKC, p. 599]:

"This verse appears to be closely related to the last part of verse 19. A mediator implies a covenant between two parties both of whom have responsibilities, facts true of the Mosaic Covenant. On the other hand God is One, that is, the 'promise' (v. 19) was unilateral and was given to man directly without a mediator, God alone having responsibility for fulfilling it."

XV) [Gal 3:21-22]:

(v. 21) '''Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.

(v. 22) But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.'''

[BKC, p. 599]:

"Another question was raised: Is there conflict between the Law and the promises of God? 'Perish the thought' (me genoito), declared the apostle. God gave both the Law and promises, but for different purposes. And it was not the purpose of the Law to give life. Theoretically salvation could have come by the Law if people had been capable of keeping it perfectly, but they could not (Rom 8:3-4). The life promised to those who sought to obey the Law refers to temporal blessing on earth (Deut 8:1).

But if the Law is not opposed to the promises, if there is no conflict between them, how can their harmony be demonstrated? By recognizing that while the Law could not justify or give life, it did prepare the way for the gospel. What part then did Law play in this respect? It declared the whole world... a prisoner of sin. Referring perhaps to Psalm 143:1-2 or Deuteronomy 27:26, Paul declared that the whole world is trapped and under the dominion of sin (cf. Rom 3:9, 23). When people recognized this and give up attempts to please God by their own works, the way is prepared for them to receive the promise of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ."

XVI) [Gal 3:23-25]:

(v. 23) "Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.

(v. 24) So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

(v. 25) Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."


[Expositors, cont., p. 466-7]:

"The closing section of chapter 3 follows directly upon what Paul has said, regarding the true purpose of the Law. Still, a change has taken place, and this change justifies our taking these verses as a new step in Paul's argument. Before, he has been concerned with the Law's true purpose, which is to lead men to Christ. Now, though he begins with this point, he soon moves on to the idea of a change of status for those who have passed from being under the bondage of the Law to being sons in Christ. Before, we were prisoners, shut up under the Law as under a guardian. Now we are sons, being reconciled to God and being made one with another and with all who throughout history have been justified on the basis of God's promise.

[BKC, pp. 599-600]:

"Continuing to comment on the purpose of the Law, Paul used two figures of speech, likening the Law to a prison and to a child-custodian relationship. Before this faith came means before the advent of faith in Jesus Christ (see v. 22). Justifying faith was operative in the Old Testament but faith in the person and work of Christ did not come until He was revealed. Before that, Israel was under the protective custody of the Law God thus shielding His people from the evil heather rites surrounding them. Further, the Law served as a 'tutor' (NASB). The word paidagOgos is difficult to render into English since there is no exact parallel to this position in modern society. Phillips suggests 'a strict governess.' The pedagogue here was not a 'schoolmaster' (KJV) but a slave to whom a son was committed from age six or seven to puberty. These slaves were severe disciplinarians and were charged with guarding the children from the evils of society and giving them moral training. This was like the Law's function until Christ came and people could be justified by faith in Him. It is better then to understand that the Law did not lead us to Christ but that it was the disciplinarian until Christ came. Thus the reign of Law has ended for faith in Christ has delivered believers from the protective custody of the prison and the harsh discipline of the pedagogue."

XVI cont.) [Gal 3:23-25 cont.]:

(v. 23) "Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.

(v. 24) So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

(v. 25) Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law."


"Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed." =

No one made it into heaven until after the cross because sins were not paid for. Thus OT saints were kept 'prisoner' by the Law in Paradise/Hades with the promise of future redemption until their sins were paid for and they could be taken to heaven, by our Lord Himself.

Detailed exposition: {short description of image}

1) [Compare Jn 3:13]:

"No one has ever gone up into heaven except the One Who came from heaven - the Son of Man."

a) At The Time Of Our Lord's Encounter With Nicodemus No Man Was In Heaven Yet - Until Our Lord Paid The Penalty For The Sins Of The Whole World

i) God's Justice Must Be Satisfied Before He Can Permit Sinful Man To Be With Him In Heaven

i_a) [Ro 3:24-26 NAS]:

(v. 24) "[all] being justified as a gift by His [God’s] grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

(v. 25) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins [of believers of OT times] previously committed;

(v. 26) for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

"God presented Him [Jesus Christ] as a sacrifice of atonement' =

God the Father presented, i.e., put forward before the eyes of men, His Son in an act of sacrifice which was done to satisfy God for the sins of the whole world.

i_a_1_jn2v2) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

"and He Himself [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

"propitiation" = "hilasmos" = satisfaction, satisfactory payment for.

i_a_cont.) [Ro 3:24-26 NAS cont.]:

(v. 24) "[all] being justified as a gift by His [God’s] grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

(v. 25) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins [of believers of OT times] previously committed;

(v. 26) for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."

"forbearance" = "anoche" =

[Vine's Expository Dictionary]:

"a holding back...denotes forbearance, a delay of punishment.... His forbearance is the ground not of His forgiveness, but of His pretermission [suspension of the punishment] of sins, His withholding punishment. It is connected with the passing over of sins in times past.....It is connected with the passing over of sins in times past, previous to the atoning work of Christ, [Cp Heb 9:9-15]."

Those in Old Testament times who trusted alone in God's future provision of salvation through a coming GodMan Messiah had judgment of their sin postponed even after they died. As a matter of fact, O.T. saints went to Paradise in Hades when they died, awaiting transfer to heaven, (Lk 16:19-31).

Once Christ died on the cross, the sins of the whole world being completely paid for, (1 Jn 2:2), having already received as a result of a moment of faith in a coming Messiah through the seed of Abraham, the gift of God's Perfect Righteousness, (Gen 15:6; Ro 4:3),

the Old Testament period believers were immediately brought out of Paradise in Hades into heaven to be with God for the rest of eternity.

"For the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, that He might be just" =

In the past there was some question as to whether God was a perfectly just and righteous God. Men like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David were justified - accounted righteous - by their faith in God's future plan of salvation and they were received into the Paradise compartment of Hades when they died, (Lk 16:19-31). These men were sinners with their sins not having been paid for as indicated in Scripture:

i_a_2) [Psalm 50:16-23]:

This passage indicates that men were accusing God of overlooking the sins of men which God forgave on credit in the past:

(Ps 50:21) "These things [sins] you [evil men] have done and I [God] kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face."

"you thought I was altogether like you" =

God says to evil men 'You thought I was evil like you because men saw that I forgave some men for trusting in Me but without punishment for those sins which those men were known to have committed. Evil men thought that God was 'winking' at sins and would not really hold men accountable for any wrong doing.

So God's foremost purpose in the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ was to demonstrate to the universe that His justice is satisfied by the atonement with respect to the sins of the past which were forgiven on credit. His holiness - His perfect righteousness - is not impugned for covering the sins of believers in the past until the atonement was completed by Jesus Christ on the cross. God's justice is upheld by His fulfillment to Abraham, (Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-6) - and the world - of a plan of salvation through Abraham's seed, God's Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16).

ii) Old Testament Saints Occupied Hades - Paradise - Until Our Lord Paid The Price For Sins, Descended Into Hades - Paradise And Brought Them With Him To Heaven

[Dr. Robert A. Morey, 'Death and the Afterlife', Bethany House Publishers, Minneapolis, Mn, 1984, p. 72-93]:

"Before Christ's ascension, believers as well as unbelievers were said to enter Sheol or Hades. After Christ's ascension, the New Testament pictures believers after death as entering heaven to be with Christ...(Phil 1:23), which is far better than Hades."

More details {short description of image}

ii_a) [Compare Jn 3:13]:
"No one has ever gone into heaven except the One Who came from heaven - the Son of Man."

Notice that "No one has ever gone into heaven"= No Old Testament saint had as yet occupied heaven after they died, yet there is evidence in Scripture that O.T. saints did occupy some place after they did die. After the cross, Scripture indicates that believers occupied heaven:

ii_b) [Phil 1:23-24]:

(v. 23) "I [Paul] am torn between the two: [duty on earth or going to be with the Lord in heaven, (vv. 21-22)]: I desire to depart and be with Christ [Who is at this moment in heaven], which is better by far;

(v. 24) but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body."

[Morey, cont.]:
"[So believers] are present with the Lord (2 Cor 5:6-8), worshipping with the angelic hosts of heaven (Heb 12:22, 23) at the altar of God (Rev 6:9-11). Thus believers do not now enter Hades but ascend immediately to the throne of God....

[ on the believer's immediate destiny in heaven when he dies]

...That Christ went to Hades, i.e., the world beyond death, is clear from Acts 2:31."

ii_c) [Compare Acts 2:31]:

"He [David, (v. 29) looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades ["hadou" = Hades], nor did His flesh see decay.

[Notice that this indicates that our Lord did go to Hades]

To Jews at that time it was on the 4th day that corruption set in thus revealing most unequivocally that our Savior’s human soul was in Hades while His body lay in the sepulcher, He ascending out of Hades to receive His body instead of descending down from heaven. Ephesians 4:8-10 vividly describes the descension of our Lord "into the lower parts of the earth," which never could mean the sepulcher or grave in which He was deposited. It is not in the lower parts of the earth, but on the surface, excavated out of a great rock in the mountain side, and entered horizontally. No grave is in the "lower parts of the earth," much less our Savior’s sepulcher.

Furthermore, Paradise was not in heaven before the cross, for Jesus testified to the women on the morning He was resurrected that He had not yet gone up to His Father, (Jn 20:15-18), whereas He had met the thief in Paradise on the preceding Wednesday."

ii_d) [Compare Jn 20:15-18]:
(v. 15) ''' "[Jesus said] 'Woman,' He said, 'why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?' Thinking He was the gardener, she [Mary Magdalene] said, 'Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have put Him, and I will get Him.'

(v. 16) Jesus said to her, 'Mary.' She turned toward Him and cried out in Aramaic, 'Rabboni!' (which means Teacher).

(v. 17) Jesus said, 'Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father [in heaven]. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.' " '''

(Note: our Lord was crucified on the Passover Sabbath Wednesday:.. on the crucifixion/resurrection chronology)"

ii_e) [Compare Luke 23:43]:

"Jesus answered him [the thief on the cross, (v. 40)], 'I tell you the truth, today [Wednesday the Passover Sabbath] you will be with Me in paradise.' "

[Morey, cont.]: )
"While 'paradise' in the gospel account (Luke 23:43) referred to the section of Hades reserved for the righteous [before the cross], by the time Paul wrote 2 Cor 12:2-4 paradise had been taken out of Hades and was now placed in the third heaven.

ii_f) [Compare 2 Cor 12:2-4]:
(v. 2) "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know that this man - whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows -
(v. 4) was caught up to paradise. He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.

ii_g) [Lk 16:19-31]:

(v. 19) "[Jesus said, (v. 15)] Now there was a certain rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, gaily living in splendor every day.

(v. 20) And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,

(v. 21) and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man's table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.

(v. 22) Now it came about that the poor man died and he was carried away by the angels to Abraham's bosom.

[Abraham's bosom was an expression which referred to the paradise compartment in Hades, the place where those who had the faith of Abraham dwelled until they were to occupy the kingdom of heaven]; and the rich man also died and was buried.

(v. 23) And in Hades he lifted up his eyes,

[Notice that our Lord is indicating here in this account that there is a fully functioning consciousness after death, a bliss for those who are declared righteous and torment for those who are not. And the rest of the passages confirms this]:

being in torment, and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.

(v. 24) And he cried out and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue; for I am in agony in this flame.'

(v. 25) But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.

(v. 26) And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, in order that those who wish to come over from here to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.' "

What is important for us to grasp is that Christ used the mental images conjured up by this rabbinic parable to teach that, in the hereafter, the wicked experience torment and the righteous bliss. This is clear from the rabbinic sources from which he drew this parable.

ii_g) [Ps 68:17-18 NAS]:

(v. 17) "The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The LORD is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.

[NIV: The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands; the LORD has come from Sinai into His sanctuary]

(v. 18) Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captive Thy captives; Thou hast received gifts among men, even among the rebellious also, that the LORD God may dwell there."

ii_h) [Compare Eph 4:7-10]:

(v. 7) "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.

(v. 8) Therefore it says, [cf. Ps 68:18]

'When He ascended on high [to heaven],

He led captive a host of captives,

[O.T. saints were held 'captive' in the Paradise compartment in Hades who were saved on credit, (Ro 3:25-26). They were held 'captive' there awaiting our Lord's atonement for them so that He could then lead them 'captive', i.e., in a group, into heaven]

And He gave gifts to men.

[Refers to spiritual gifts, (ref. Eph 4:11-14)]

(v. 9) (What does 'He ascended' mean except that He also descended to the lower, earthly regions"

['descended to the lower, earthly regions' = descended to where Hades/Paradise is located - in order to take 'captive' the O.T. saints held their in 'captivity' until our Lord came for them to ascend with them to heaven]:

(v. 10) He Who descended is the very One Who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe).

"He led captive a host of captives" = lit. "He led captive captivity", i.e., he went to those in Hades/Paradise who were captive in the sense of being restricted to Paradise and led them in a captive group to heaven with Him. Since the verb in the Greek, "EchmalOteusen" = [str. # 162] = led captive, [Pershbacher] then this is best interpreted as an actual leading of a specific group of individuals who were already in captivity in a captive group from one destination to another. This is preferred to the concept of interpreting it as the setting free [different verb] of all mankind from Satan's captivity by redeeming them from the slave market of sin. (Although Scripture indeed teaches the latter as a truth, it is not in view here in Eph 4:7-10).

Paul reflects on Psalm 68 of which verses 17-18 are quoted above - which passage indicates that a military victor such as the LORD God over His and Israel's enemies, gives gifts to those who are identified with him in His victory. This time it is about our Lord's victory over sin through His redemptive work on the cross as a result of which He set the specific captives free in Paradise/Hades by redeeming them from the slave market of sin and then leading them in a captive group to heaven where He ascended to. The parenthetical statement in verses 9 & 10 indicate our Lord's descent into the depths of the earth, i.e., Hades/Paradise where He led them captive to Heaven. The OT saints from Paradise were captive in the sense of being confined there under the promise of Abraham of eternal life until they could be released for entrance into heaven when that promise was fulfilled through the Seed of Abraham via our Lord's sacrificial atonement for the sins of the whole world. So our Lord ascended with the 'captives' into heaven, having fulfilled the promise.

ii_i) [Compare Mt 8:11]:

"I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."

Notice that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all OT saints who occupied Paradise/Hades after they died, are destined for the kingdom of heaven.

ii_j) [Compare Rev 20:14-15]:

(v. 14) "Then death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire is the second death.

(v. 15) If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the Lake of Fire."

[The Ages Digital Library Holiness Commentary on the New Testament Vol 2 Hebrews - Jude

By Rev W. B. Godbey, A.M. B o o k s F o r T h e A g e s AGES Software, Albany, OR USA Version 1.0 1997, pp. 196-7]:

"On Sunday morning begins that wonderful ascension (Ephesians 4:8-10), in which He leads captive all the occupants of Abraham’s Bosom, now that the Abramic covenant has been verified, and sealed with His blood, thus opening heaven to all the blood-washed. Wonderful is the rapture of that triumphant ascension, accompanied by all the Old Testament saints. He comes up to the sepulcher and receives His body on the third morn. As this mighty host of Old Testament saints were all disembodied, of course they were invisible to mortal eyes. Jesus, the only one seen, because He only had His body. Meanwhile this mighty host accompany Him in His abiding forty days with His disciples, and constitute His triumphal procession when from Mount Olivet He ascended up to the glorified home of His Father in heaven. Jesus must be the first fruits of them that slept. His glorified body, the eternal confirmation of the redemptive scheme, must first of all enter heaven. Though a number of others were raised from the dead before Christ, we have no evidence that their bodies were transfigured. Hence Jesus was the first one to raise from the dead, receiving the resurrection body. It was pertinent that all the Old Testament saints should be detained in that Intermediate Paradise till the plan of salvation was literally consummated by the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. David (Psalms 24) catches a prophetic vision of this wonderful ascension. Having risen from Mount Olivet with the velocity of lightning, they sweep through ethereal space, passing rolling worlds, glittering sphere, luminous comets and flaming suns, till now the celestial metropolis, in its ineffable glory, bursts upon their enraptured vision.

ii_k) [Ps. 24:7-10]:

(v. 7) "Lift up your heads, O you gates;

be lifted up you ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

(v. 8) Who is this King of glory?

The LORD strong and mighty,

the LORD mighty in battle.

(v. 9) Lift up your heads O ye gates,

lift them up, you ancient doors,

that the King of glory may come in.

(v. 10) Who is He, this King of glory?

The LORD Almighty - He is the King of glory."

The celestial portals all open wide, while millions of angels pour out to greet them with loud shouts: "Welcome home, ye blood-washed." Now the King of glory entered amid the enraptured songs of the seraphim, the thrilling paeans of the cherubim, the golden harps of the archangel and the tremendous hallelujahs of the heavenly hosts, accompanied by the innumerable procession of the Old Testament saints, on and on they sweep around the clarion jubilations of countless millions, till halting before the effulgent throne, the Son salutes the Father: "Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me." Such a testimony meeting as heaven has never seen now follows. Father Abraham leads the way, followed by Job, Moses, Joshua, Daniel, the prophets, patriarchs, saints and martyrs, to the ravishing delight of the angels."

[Expositors, cont.]:

"The proper understanding of the phrase 'before this faith came' is found in the fact that the definite article occurs before the word 'faith', a fact obscured by the KJV. It is true that Paul can refer to faith generically as that on which every successful approach to God is founded. But this is not his meaning here. By 'this faith' he means 'the Christian faith,' that faith he has just spoken of in v. 22 - faith in Jesus Christ as Savior (cf. 1 Tim 4:1 for a similar usage). This faith is like the faith exercised by Abraham. But it is different in that it relates to the explicit revelation of Christ in time and to the distinct Christian doctrines concerning Him. Faith waited for this complete revelation. Paul's point is that the Law was intended to function only during this 1,500-year period of anticipation.

[Thus those that were of the faith of Abraham which was before the Cross was based on a promise of a Messiah to come and then salvation until 'the faith' of Christianity came which was based on the fact of our Lord's payment for our sins on the Cross and then our Lord delivered on that promise to those under the Law (and before the Law) by setting the captives free from Paradise in Hades and bringing them to heaven. {short description of image}]

[Expositors, cont.]:

"While the Law was here, however, it did serve a purpose; and that purpose was to hold us prisoner, locking us up [some, literally in Paradise, Hades when they died before Christ came] until Christ should be revealed. The second of these two words (sunklEiO) has already occurred in v. 22. It means 'to confine.' The first word (phrourEO) is similar. It means 'to hold in custody' (cf. 1 Peter 1:5). Most likely Paul is thinking here that the Law, like a jailer, has kept men locked up and therefore out of trouble till Christ, the liberator, should come to set them free. However, it is also possible that he intends the reference more generally, inasmuch as the next verse speaks of a different kind of confinement entirely."

XVII) [Gal 3:26-27]:

(v. 26) "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,

(v. 27) for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."


[BKC, p. 600]:

"Paul's vindication of the doctrine of justification by faith reached a climax in this section as he contrasted the position of a justified sinner with what he had been under the Law. Three changes are noted.


"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus" =

1) [Compare Jn 1:12-13]:

(v. 12) "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--

(v. 13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

[BKC, cont.]:

"First, all who believe in Christ become sons of God. The change in person from the first to the second (you) indicates that Paul turned from looking at Israel as a nation to address the Galatian believers. Under the dispensation of Law, as seen in verse 24, the Law was a discipling pedagogue, and those under its supervision were regarded as children. However, now that Christ had come, the Galatian believers were adult sons through faith and were no longer under a Jewish slave-guardian. Why should they seek to revert to their inferior status?"


"for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." =

"who were baptized" = "ebaptisthEte" = V_API2P = passive voice points to Holy Spirit baptism as opposed to water baptism which demands middle voice.

The only time this clothing with Christ occurs is when one is baptized with the Holy Spirit. Water baptism does not accomplish this. Holy Spirit baptism includes one in Christ when one believes in the gospel:

1) [Compare Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

(v. 14) who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

a) Having Believed One is Included In Christ Forever

"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him [Christ] with a Seal, the Holy Spirit of promise" =

At the point of having believed the gospel of your salvation the promised Holy Spirit "included" the believer "in Christ". Notice that being placed into Christ is an eternally secure picture of Holy Spirit baptism. There are passages throughout the New Testament that picture the building up of the Church, the Body of Christ by believers being included in Christ but never the losing of parts of that body by the loss of believers and then the reinstating of them - especially over and over again as each believer sins and repents and sins again and repents again. Thus one who is placed into Christ, i.e., the Body of Christ, the Church is eternally secure in the church and thus destined to heaven.

[BKC, cont.]:

"The exalted position of 'sons of God' is explained in verse 27 to involve a living union with Christ brought about by being baptized into Christ. This is the baptism of (or in) the Holy Spirit, which according to Paul (1 Cor 12:12-13) joins all believers to Christ and unites them within the church, Christ's body.

b) Having Believed One Is Clothed With Christ Forever

i) [Compare Jn 1:12-13]:

(v. 12) "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God--

(v. 13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God."

Once one believes in His name, i.e., expresses a moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, one receives the right to become a child of God, born into the family of God.

[BKC, cont.]:

"This union with Him means being clothed with Christ. In the Roman society when a youth came of age he was given a special toga which admitted him to the full rights of the family and state and indicated he was a grown-up son. So the Galatian believers had laid aside the old garments of the Law and had put on Christ's robe of righteousness which grants full acceptance before God. Who would want to don again the old clothing?"

XVIII) [Gal 3:28]:

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."


1) [Compare Ro 10:12-13]:

(v. 12) '''For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,

(v. 13) for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." '''

2) [Compare Col 3:11]:

"Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all."

[BKC, cont.]:

"Second, believers are all one in Christ Jesus. Since all believers became one with each other, human distinctions lose their significance. None is spiritually superior over another, that is, a believing Jew is not more privileged before God than a believing Gentile (Greek, in contrast to Jew, suggests all Gentiles; cf Col 3:11); a believing slave does not rank higher than a believing free person; a believing man is not superior to a believing woman. Some Jewish men prayed, 'I thank God that Thou hast not made me a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.' Paul cut across these distinctions and stated that they do not exist in the body of Christ so far as spiritual privilege and position are concerned. Elsewhere, while affirming the coequality of man and woman in Christ, Paul did nonetheless make it clear that there is a headship of the man over the woman (cf. 1 Cor 11:3) and that there are distinctions in the area of spiritual service (cf. 1 Tim 2:12)."

XIX) [Gal 3:29]:

"If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

[BKC, cont.]:

"Third, believers in Christ are Abraham's seed. As Paul previously stated, Christ is the Seed of Abraham (vv. 16, 19); therefore being in Christ makes a believer a part of that seed and an heir of the promise to Abraham. Any discussion of the seed of Abraham must first take into account his natural seed, the descendants of Jacob in the 12 tribes. Within this natural seed there is a believing remnant of Jews who will one day inherit the Abrahamic promises directed specifically to them (cf. Rom 9:6, 8). But there is also the spiritual seed of Abraham who are not Jews. These are the Gentiles who believe and become Abraham's spiritual seed. They inherit the promise of justification by faith as Paul explained earlier (cf. Gal 3:6-9). To suggest, as amillenarians do, that Gentile believers inherit the national promises given to the believing Jewish remnant - that the church thus supplants Israel or is the 'new Israel' - is to read into these verses what is not there."