Galatians 3:1–14

Read the passage.

Paul now shows that the Galatians themselves experienced the indwelling of the Holy Spirit without first becoming Jewish. It wasn’t by circumcision, offering sacrifices at the temple, or keeping the dietary laws that brought the Spirit upon them but His own gracious decision. Miracles were performed in their midst, and they experienced at least some trials because of their faith. If all of these signs that they are truly believers happened to them, why should they now put in some kind of effort to make it happen? Instead, they are righteous in the same way as Abraham, by faith and not by fulfilling a law he did not have. Indeed, through Abraham’s family, particularly Jesus, all the nations of the world are blessed by participating in the same faith.

When Paul cites Deuteronomy 27:26, that verse comes after a list of what might be considered particularly heinous sins: murder, incest, and cruel deception to name a few. But lest anyone see that list and think they are in the clear because they didn’t do those things, verse 26 rolls up and applies the same curse to anyone who fails to uphold any of the things God commanded. Didn’t tell the priest about the mildew on your walls? Cursed. Wore some clothes made of blended fibers? Cursed. Nowhere in the Torah does it say “do this and you shall be righteous”. Fulfilling the laws brings blessing and avoids the curses, yes, but that’s not the same thing at all. Instead the sacrifices were set up to atone for the people’s inevitable unrighteousness.

By taking on the curse of the law by being hung on a tree, Christ purchased us from the curse we put on ourselves by our iniquity. His perfect keeping of the law was exchanged with our imperfection so that He could pay the price we deserved, and thus we receive the blessing that He earned.

We marvel at the price You would pay to purchase us out of our doom.

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