Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 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.” So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 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.” Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 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.” 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
I’m a week behind again, and I’m struggling with the memorization of verses 7-14 for some reason. Fortunately, this week’s list of verses (15-18) is short. I don’t have anything interesting to comment upon for the verses I’ve memorized, which may be part of the reason I’m having trouble with them. I understand that Paul is appealing to their understanding of the law by quoting Scripture. I recognize that these verses are important in showing that Christ fulfills the law, he doesn’t abolish it. While that is true, it is still through faith that we are saved, not by observing the law. I love how over and over, in slightly different (and sometimes not so different) words, Paul continually lays out the Gospel. It should be evident to the Galatians, and us, that we are justified through Christ alone. He leaves no room to consider that you could be a good person, a “law-abiding” human and be justified because of that. That’s so counter-cultural to us that it’s almost unbelievable.
Hopefully next week will go a little more smoothly.