Justified by Faith – Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 3)

As we go into the third week in our in-depth Bible Study on the Book of Galatians, we’ve talked so much about God’s grace and our redemption because of His grace, and how we as Christians are to defend our faith in Jesus Christ and it only gets better from here.

In this week’s post, we will be discussing chapter 3 of Galatians where Paul is speaking to the people of Galatia about how they are justified by faith and NOT by their adherence to the Law of Moses about being justified by works in order to be saved and how this chapter can be applied to us as Christians today.

We know that the word justification means to “declare righteous” and so; as we dive into this chapter, we will begin to see that we as Christians are justified by our faith in Christ Jesus and have been saved from the wrath of God.

As Christians, we have been justified by the blood of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:9-10 (NKJV)

9. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10. For if we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

What I like about these two verses is that Paul while speaking to the people of Rome, I feel was also speaking to us modern-day Christians as well about how we are justified through His blood on Cavalry and it’s because of His death and resurrection that we are now reconciled with God, but we as Christians shouldn’t stop there.

Because we have been reconciled to God, we should go out into the world and tell others that they too have been declared righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ and this is the premise of the whole chapter. In verse 1, we see Paul bewildered that the people of Galatia have been “bewitched” into the teaching that they can be saved through the Law of Moses (see Galatians 1:6-7).

As Christians, we are justified or declared righteous by God because of His Son Jesus Christ and through His death, burial, and resurrection.

We also see that Paul tries to tell the Galatians of the fact that the crucified Jesus Christ that they know has been in front of them the whole time but they have been deceived into believing a false narrative of Jesus Christ. As we go into verses 2 and 3; you’ll see that Paul asks the people of Galatia 2 different questions about where they received the Holy Spirit, but I feel that Paul’s questions could be questions that we as Christians today haven’t answered.

In Galatians 3:2-3, Paul writes, “2. This only I want to know from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3. Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect in the flesh?

In my opinion, I feel that Paul is also directing these questions to us as Christians in the sense that we maybe have forgotten where we receive the Holy Spirit. In my study Bible; it has a notation on these verses that says:

Paul reminds the Galatians that their Christian life has begun in the Spirit by faith alonethe Galatians were mistakenly trying to achieve perfection through their own efforts

What I like about this notation is that Paul; while writing to the Galatian churches, could also be writing directly to us about how we began our life as Christians through the guidance of the Holy Spirit but have since fallen off the “tracks” and in order to achieve perfection through the world.

We see in verse 5 that Paul reminds the people of Galatia that Jesus supplied them with the Holy Spirit through their faith; not by their adherence to the Law of Moses and that’s the key phrase behind this blog post: “Through faith”. As Christians today, we sometimes twist the definition of the word “faith” so we can forget that it’s only through our faith in Jesus Christ that we were reconciled to the Father and was redeemed.

Later in verses 6-8, we see how Paul compares the wavering faith of the Galatians to Abraham telling them that Abraham believed God through faith and how it was accounted for him referencing Romans 4:2-3 saying, “2. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

For me, the key word in those two verses was “believed” because it shows that Abraham didn’t follow some laws given to him, he just believed God; which was something the Galatians weren’t doing. As we later in verses 10-13, Paul was reminding the Galatians that those who were under the Law of Moses were “under the curse.”

Paul quoted Habakkuk 2:4 to demonstrate that a person can only be justified through faith and that keeping to the law to gain salvation is utterly incompatible with faith.

“… a person can only be justified through faith and that keeping to the law to gain salvation is utterly incompatible with faith.

When Paul mentioned “under the curse”, he also was referencing Deuteronomy 27:26 which mentions those who don’t follow the Law of Moses. But, as Christians; we are not under the Law of Moses but under the law of Christ Jesus. In Galatians 3:13, Paul writes, “13. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”)

What I find very interesting about this verse is that Paul is always pointing back to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the focal point for his message to the people of Galatia while stressing that we became free from the curse of sin and death because Jesus Christ became sin for us.

“… we became free from the curse of sin and death because Jesus Christ became sin for us.

Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been justified by faith and because of that; we ALL can receive the promise and gift of the Holy Spirit if we choose to believe and have faith in the resurrected King.  Our justification came at a cost; because we were sinners, God had to send His Son Jesus Christ to the Earth in order to reconcile us back to Him;

So, we as Christians should never get it twisted that we are reconciled back to God by our own free will; because we aren’t. Paul makes this point very clear in verses 16-17 when he’s talking about Abraham and his Seed and the promise that came from it. Abraham’s promise was “passed” to Jesus Christ; who fulfilled the promise of Abraham when He died on the Cross.

But, here’s a question that came to me while reading these verses: Why do we still believe that we don’t deserve God’s grace and the promises He made to us?

Why do we as Christians feel that we don’t deserve God’s grace? Paul was reminding the people of Galatia that the Law of Moses CANNOT annul the covenant that God has already made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 about all of the families of the earth being blessed through him because of his faith in the Lord.

As such, Paul goes on in verses 19-20 to explain that the purpose of the Law of Moses was because the Israelites continued to transgress against the Lord and that it was only when Jesus Christ came to fulfill the promise of Abraham that the Law of Moses became unnecessary to receive salvation.

I feel that Paul was trying to tell us Christians today that because Jesus Christ came to fulfill the promise of Abraham, we no longer need a “law” to reconcile our sin to the Lord, but we can now go to the Lord ourselves.

Jesus Christ came to fulfill the promise of Abraham, we no longer need a “law” to reconcile our sin to the Lord, but we can now go to the Lord ourselves.”

We later see in verses 21-22 that the Apostle Paul reminds the people of Galatia and us today that the Law of Moses wasn’t designed to bring salvation, but through Jesus Christ is where we would find our salvation, reconciliation, and justification.

Paul also tells the Galatians that if the Law of Moses did provide the path to salvation there would be no need for Jesus Christ to come to the Earth and die on the Cross.

As Christians, we should never forget that we were ALL once under the curse of sin and death until we were reconciled back to the Father.

In verse 22, Paul writes “22.  But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” What I like about this passage of Scripture is that Paul is not only reminding the people of Galatia, but us as Christians today that we all were once under the curse of sin and death; but it was only through those who believe and had faith IN Jesus Chris that the promise of redemption and reconciliation was given.

We later read in verses 24 and 25 that the Law of Moses was only given as a tutor; only bringing us to the revelation of Jesus Christ so that all people could be justified by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:24-25 says, “24. Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” What I found really fascinating with these verses is that after Jesus Christ died for our sins, the need for correction by a tutor became unnecessary.

“… we all were once under the curse of sin and death, but it was only through those who believe and had faith IN Jesus Chris that the promise of redemption and reconciliation was given.”

As we later see in verses 26, Paul tells the people of Galatia and us as Christians today that “26. For you, are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ.” and we see once again that phrase “through faith” and I really feel it’s important that we Christians today acknowledge that because it’s only THROUGH FAITH in Jesus Christ that we became justified and were reconciled back to God.

In verse 28, Paul clarifies what he spoke about in verse 26 about us all being sons of God because he mentions that it’s neither being the Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free, male or female that become accepted by Christ but that all people now have access to being justified by faith in Christ Jesus.

What I find very fascinating about this topic on being justified by faith is that it’s because of Christ’s death and resurrection that we as fallen human beings were then brought back to God and as such; we became sons and daughters of God and heirs to the promise of Abraham.

In the end, though, being justified by faith is only a small part of our relationship with Christ. Being justified or declared righteous by the death and resurrection of Christ is an amazing expression of God’s grace and how much He still cares and wants us fallen human beings to turn back to Him.

As sons and daughters of God through faith in Christ Jesus, we are to be the light of the world and show others the light of Christ that is on the inside of us.

So, What does being justified by faith mean to you?

Why do we still believe that we don’t deserve God’s grace and the promises He made to us?

If we are free from the curse of sin and death through Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, why then do we still fall victim to the desires of our flesh?

 

Stay tuned because next week we will be discussing what it means to be Heirs to Christ and the Promise of Abraham.

 

God’s Blessings,

Joshua Reid

 

Picture References

Author Unknown. “Galatians 3:13 (NKJV)”, https://bible.faithlife.com/bible/Ga3.13 . Accessed 8 Jun 2018.

Churcho1943. “07 the road of faith”, https://www.slideshare.net/chucho1943/07-the-road-of-faith . Accessed 8 Jun 2018.

Harrington, Cecily. “The Angels of God Class 4: The Angels are your Friends.”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/6250278/ . Accessed 8 Jun 2018.

Hines, Rogers. “14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/9199950/ . modified over 2 years ago, Accessed 7 Jun 2018.

Logan, Catherine. “Without shedding of blood there is no remission.”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/9191415/ . modified over 2 years ago, Accessed 7 Jun 2018.

Shadwell, Victoria. “The Seed Promise”, http://slideplayer.com/slide/3581182/ . Accessed 8 Jun 2018.

Turner, David. “Abram: Anxious For God’s Promise – Genesis 15:1-6”, 8 Jan 2015, https://www.slideshare.net/DavidTurner28/the-covenant-promise-gen-15 . Accessed 8 Jun 2018.

Advertisements

35 thoughts on “Justified by Faith – Galatians Bible Study Series (Part 3)

    • Thank you so much, Tammy, for your comment. It’s good to have you back in the blogosphere. I enjoy going in-depth with Scripture because we as Christians may sometimes, read over a passage of Scripture and on the surface we may get it, but if we really took the time to examine and see the underlying aspects of the passage of Scripture we read; we’ll begin to see how much more we still get to understand who God is and who He has been in our life.

      May God continue to use you as well, Tammy.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I guess I should have read His Perfect Timing’s blog before posting mine. I just nominated you for the Three Day Quote Challenge because of your varied interests and bible based blogs. I was looking forward to which quotes you would choose but I don’t want you to feel burdened by having to deal with two nominations on the same day. I realize they can be time consuming so if you don’t want to participate, or if you want to put this one off for later, it’s OK. Here’s the link to my post where I nominated you. https://wordpress.com/post/amazinggodstories.blog/860

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Linda for your comment and the nomination. I will definitely get to them in due time, so don’t worry.

      I pray that something was said on my blog that continues to encourage, uplift, inspire and impact your life for Christ.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Definitely. I really like the in depth study on Galatians that you’re doing, especially how you bring in other scriptures to help clarify what Paul is saying. I’m not currently involved in a bible study so your posts are filling that space in my life. 🙂

        Like

      • Oh, thank you so much, Linda. It’s great to see how my blog posts have given you something to look forward to in regards to your Bible Study.

        I love doing in-depth studies because for me, while I can probably get an understanding of the Scripture just from reading it; I really enjoy using my KJV and NKJV Study Bibles along with a journal because I love finding the meaning behind some of the words in Scripture and digging deep into Scripture and finding out how it can be applied to our everyday lives.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Keith for the nomination of your award; it’s really a blessing to see how God has taken this blog.

      I pray that something is said on my blog that continues to inspire, uplift, encourage, and impact lives for Christ.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much Jess for the nomination for the Mystery Blogger Award.

      This is my 4th award I’ve been nominated for in the last day or two and it’s great to see what God is doing through my blog in people’s lives.

      I just continue to pray that something is said on my blog that impacts, encourages, uplifts, and inspires you to live your life for Christ.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your comment, Boluwatife.

      I love doing in-depth Bible Studies because I love going deep into God’s Word and finding out what God has to say about my life and how we as Christians should live through the eyes of people of the Old and New Testament.

      Like

  2. We stand before God because of Christ… we have accepted this by faith and are justified… or judged righteous through Christ’s work on our behalf. How much more should we in gratitude continue to live in light of that by faith? Such an awesome post, Joshua! So packed with truth and inspiration for our daily walk. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Lynn.

      I like when you said, “We stand before God because of Christ… we have accepted this by faith and are justified… or judged righteous through Christ’s work on our behalf. How much more should we in gratitude continue to live in light of that by faith?” because we should continue to be grateful every day that Jesus came down to reconcile us back to Christ.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Amazing post! I’m coming in late to this bible study but will be sure to check out your other posts. This is so thorough and insightful, and made me really think about these passages and the message Paul was trying to get across. I like how you said that his message applies to modern day Christians. I know many times while reading scripture, I feel as though they have a way of writing directly to the children of God as whole. His message has a much wider audience than just Galatians! I also think the idea of finding salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus is one of the most interesting and influential topics in Christianity. It’s pretty incredible to realize and understand that we ourselves are unable to make things right with God but through Jesus we are given redemption, and we are able to be saved by grace through our faith. Again, awesome post and I’m excited to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s alright Upright Hearts about being late to the Bible Study and thank you for the comment.

      I really like when you said, “I also think the idea of finding salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus is one of the most interesting and influential topics in Christianity. It’s pretty incredible to realize and understand that we ourselves are unable to make things right with God but through Jesus we are given redemption, and we are able to be saved by grace through our faith. ” because it’s through Jesus Christ that we are reconciled back to God.

      Stay tuned because I’ll be expanding on this topic in Part 4 of my Galatians Bible Study Series.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amen, so true that “… a person can only be justified through faith and that keeping to the law to gain salvation is utterly incompatible with faith.” There’s nothing we can do in and of ourselves to earn salvation—no amount of good deeds, performing certain rituals or following certain rules, or paying homage to anything or anyone on this earth will get us to heaven. Salvation comes only through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus only.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great comment, Mia. I like when you said, “There’s nothing we can do in and of ourselves to earn salvation—no amount of good deeds, performing certain rituals or following certain rules, or paying homage to anything or anyone on this earth will get us to heaven. Salvation comes only through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus only.”

      I love your comment because there really is nothing that we can do by ourselves that can earn us salvation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, I’m so happy for the nominations people are giving you! I totally understand why you do not do most of them, but still. God is definitely moving in your blog and in your community. I remember last year when you struggling believing that. What a blessing to see how He is guiding you and using you for His kingdom and glory! This series is so in depth and I know each time I read I take out pieces to really focus on. Keep going!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you T.R. for your comment and your continuing words of encouragement. When I was nominated for the awards, I was shocked because I didn’t expect it. It’s truly amazing to see not only how far God has taken this blog in 11 months and all I know is; is that as long as I keep my focus on not only teaching others about the Bible through a Godly perspective but also keep focusing on God Himself; that God will continue to bless people through the blog.

      On a side note, I really am enjoying this in-depth study on the Book of Galatians and it’s amazing to see how God’s grace leads to Our redemption. It’s not by our own strength, but by the sacrifice of Jesus’s death on the Cross that we were redeemed. It’s almost a shame that it’s nearing the end.

      Liked by 1 person

Any Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s