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Galatians 3 :: New International Version (NIV)

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Faith or Works of the Law

(cf. Rom 4:1–25 )
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:1 - You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:2 - I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard?
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:3 - Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:4 - Have you experienced[fn] so much in vain—if it really was in vain?
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:5 - So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard?
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:6 - So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:7 - Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:8 - Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:9 - So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:10 - For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:11 - Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:12 - The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 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 pole.”[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 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.

The Law and the Promise

(cf. Gen 12:1–3 )
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:15 - Brothers and sisters, 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:16 - The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[fn] meaning one person, who is Christ.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:17 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:18 - For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:19 - Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:20 - A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:21 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:22 - But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.

Children of God

Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:23 - Before the coming of this faith,[fn] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:24 - So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:25 - Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:26 - So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:27 - for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:28 - There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Unchecked Copy BoxGal 3:29 - If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
NIV Footnotes
In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.
Or suffered
Gen. 15:6
Gen. 12:3; 18:18; 22:18
Deut. 27:26
Hab. 2:4
Lev. 18:5
Deut. 21:23
Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 24:7
Or through the faithfulness of Jesus ?. 23 Before faith came
Or through the faithfulness of Jesus ?. 23 Before faith came

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by Permission of Biblica, Inc.® All rights reserved worldwide.

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For more information on this translation, see the NIV Preface.

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