From Disciple Curriculum
Galatians has two powerful meanings for us. First, without Paul’s teachings in Galatians, the Christian church either might have remained a Jewish sect, holding onto Christ and Jewish law at the same time, or it might have spun off into a new religion without roots in Judaism and the Hebrew scriptures. It did neither. Second, Galatians helps us to become free from a religion of rules without becoming morally reckless. We avoid being “legalistic” on the one hand or “libertine” on the other.
Circumcision for Paul was not just a ritual. It was a sign of placing oneself under Jewish law.
Either you are saved by God through the cross of Jesus Christ or you are not, declared Paul. You cannot have it half way or both ways.
“Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. We are fighting today for costly grace . . . Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, a principle, a system . . . Cheap grace means the justification of sin without the justification of the sinner. . .
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.”
We have been freed by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What have we been freed from?
What have we been freed for?
- Flesh vs. Spirit
- Example of Abraham asks the question: Who is the true Israel? Who are the people of God?
- How do we relate to the law? How does God?
- Who are we now? Christ is our marker, not the law.
- What do we do? What have we been freed from? What have we been freed for?
Follow along with Paul's Old Testament argument in Galatians 3 with these helpful quotes:
Galatians 3:6 Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” Genesis 15:6 And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, declared the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the Gentiles shall be blessed in you.” Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you, I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.” Deuteronomy 27:26 “Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”
Galatians 3:11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law; for “The one who is righteous will live by faith.” Habakuk 2:4 Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.
Galatians 3:12 But the law does not rest on faith; on the contrary, “Whoever does the works of the law[c] will live by them.” Leviticus 18:5 You shall keep my statutes and my ordinances; by doing so one shall live: I am the Lord.
Galatians 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 hangs on a tree” Deuteronomy 21:23 His corpse must not remain all night upon the tree; you shall bury him that same day, for anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not defile the land that the Lord your God is giving you for possession.
Galatians 3:16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring;[f] it does not say, “And to offsprings,” as of many; but it says, “And to your offspring,” that is, to one person, who is Christ. Genesis 12:7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.