Paul Clarifies Faith and Works of the Law in Galatians 3

Paul clarifies some key truths on faith and works of the Law

This 6-day devotional study looks into Galatians 3, where Paul Clarifies Faith and Works of the Law. Learn the purpose of the law and more in this study.

Day 1
Devotional Reading: Galatians 3:1-9
Marked: vs.5-6, 8-9
  • Paul further clarified the difference between faith and the works of the law.
  • As the Judaizers kept on pointing to the Mosaic law, Paul brought them back to Abraham’s faith, which was before the Law was written

Lesson(s) Learned:
  • Salvation has always been the same. It has always been of faith, never of works (vs.7-9). And through the spiritual descendants (both “saved” Jews and Gentiles) of Abraham, the blessing promised through him continues.
  • t is such a tremendously amazing thing to know that our justification and the miracle of our salvation is all by grace through faith (vs.5-6). If it had been of works, no one will ever be able to measure up, for all fall short.
  • We should never forget that the things that we enjoy because of faith could never have been earned, nor deserved. Truly it is only by God’s amazing grace.

Day 2
Devotional Reading: Galatians 3:10-14
Marked: vs.10-11, 13-14
  • Paul gives a very clear argument why man can never be saved by works.
  • No one can be perfect in following the Law.
Lesson(s) Learned:
  • It is foolish to think that anyone can be saved by good works. To accomplish this, one has to follow everything that is written in the Law. One has to be perfect or sinless, to measure up to God’s standard. The problem is, noone is nor can be, other than Christ who became the sacrifice for us.
  • Christ is the only way to heaven because He alone was without sin, and He alone was qualified to take our place.
  • People like to think they need to add to what Christ did and use works to earn their way to heaven. Looking at this from God’s standard, it is clearly a hopeless situation. 
  • It is such a great blessing that we know that we don’t have to pay for the penalty of our sins because Christ already did that for us.  

Day 3
Devotional Reading: Galatians 3:15-18
Marked: vs.15, 17-18
  • As Paul continues to argue justification by faith, he mentions something very important about God and His promises, and what covenants are supposed to be like.
  • Contrary to what the Judaizers were teaching about the need of the Gentiles to follow the Law in order to become Christians, he reminds them that the Abrahamic covenant was given before that and that the promise given can never be changed by the new law given.

Lesson(s) Learned:
  • Salvation has been and will always be by grace through faith. It was that in the OT as promised to Abraham, and it is the same ever since, until we all finally realize eternity with Him.
  • God never changes. He may have changed His dealings and approaches in the different dispensations, but His grace and mercy for mankind was, and will always be, the same.
  • Ideally, (man-made) promises are made to be realized. No  change of hearts or any excuses for that matter should ever free us from its fulfillment. 

Day 4
Devotional Reading: Galatians 3:19-22
Marked: vs.21-22
  • The Law clearly is different from the Promise. Both have their purposes.
  • The Promise was given by God directly, while the Law was mediated by angels and Moses. It was put in place in preparation for Christ’s coming.

Lesson(s) Learned: 
  • The purpose of the Law was simple. It revealed sin and it restrained from the act or the habit of sin. It was not designed to save from the penalty of sin.
  • The Law helped clearly distinguish right from wrong, good from evil, even clarify the thinnest of lines between in some cases.
  • As man realized his sin through the Law so also was the realization of his need for Christ’s salvation.

Day 5
Devotional Reading: Galatians 3:23-25
Marked: vs.24
Notes /Impressions:
  • The Law acted as a pedagogue (tutor). This position was that of a slave tasked to discipline children and help them become good individuals. When these children become adults, there is no more need for these disciplinarians.
  • v.25 does not mean that we don’t follow anymore the moral applications of the Law. It just means that we have been freed from its power over us (just as a child under a disciplinarian for a time, has now grown to adulthood).

Lesson(s) Learned: 
  • The Law reveals, regulates, and punishes sin. When we came to faith in Christ, we have been freed from the eventual consequence of disobedience to the Law.
  • Like an adult who continues to use and apply what he learned from a disciplinarian, despite not being under one anymore, we apply the moral teachings of the law by faith, in obedience to Him, and in keeping with the standard He desires in our lives.

Day 6
Devotional Reading: Galatians  3:26-29
Marked: vs.26, 28-29
Notes /Impressions:
  • “baptized” in vs.27 does not refer to water baptism but rather, spiritual baptism that takes place the moment we get saved (1 Corinthians 12:13)

Lesson(s) Learned:

  • We only become sons of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are no other means (v.26).
  • There is no discrimination against race, position, or social status in the church (v.28). All are equals, as children of God, in the church. Even Jews, who we regard highly because of God’s special favor for their race, are not held more favorably before God.
  • v29. As the spiritual seed (Israelites being the physical seed) of Abraham, we are declared heirs to God’s promises. (i.e. promises particularly given to Gentile Christians, or both Gentile and Jewish Christians, not the particular promises to Israel alone.)
  • What a joy it is to know that the love God showed Israel all throughout history is the same love and favor we enjoy as His children!
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