Geneva Study Notes
Previous Chapter/ Next Chapter
Geneva Study Notes
Galatians Chapter 3

Galatians 3:1
3:1 O {1} foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye
      should not obey the truth, {a} before whose eyes Jesus
      Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

 (1) The third reason or argument taken of those gifts of the
     Holy Spirit, with which they were endued from heaven after
     they had heard and believed the gospel by Paul's ministry.
     And seeing that they were so evident to all men's eyes,
     that they were as it were graphic images, in which they
     might behold the truth of the doctrine of the Gospel, just
     as much as if they had beheld with their eyes Christ
     himself crucified, in whose only death they ought to have
     their trust, he marvels how it could be that they could be
     so bewitched by the false apostles.
     (a) Christ was laid before you so notably and so plainly
         that you had a graphic image of him as it were
         represented before your eyes, as if he had been
         crucified before you.

Galatians 3:2
3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the {b} Spirit
    by the works of the law, or by the hearing of {c} faith?

    (b) Those spiritual graces and gifts, which were a seal as
        it were to the Galatians that the Gospel which was
        preached to them was true.
    (c) Of the doctrine of faith.

Galatians 3:3
3:3 {2} Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye
    now made perfect by the {d} flesh?

 (2) The fourth argument mixed with the former, and it is
     twofold.  If the Law is to be joined with faith, this were
     not to go forward, but backward, seeing that those
     spiritual gifts which were bestowed upon you are more
     excellent than any that could proceed from yourselves.  And
     moreover, it would follow, that the Law is better than
     Christ, because it would perfect and bring complete that
     which Christ alone began.
     (d) By the "flesh" he means the ceremonies of the Law,
         against which he sets the Spirit, that is, the
         spiritual working of the Gospel.

Galatians 3:4
3:4 {3} Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if [it be] yet
    in vain.

 (3) An exhortation by manner of reproach, so that they do not
     in vain suffer so many conflicts.

Galatians 3:5
3:5 {4} He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and
    worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of
    the law, or by the hearing of faith?

 (4) He repeats the third argument which was taken of the
     effects, because he had included certain other arguments
     along the way.

Galatians 3:6
3:6 {5} Even as {e} Abraham believed God, and it was accounted
    to him for righteousness.

 (5) The fifth argument which is of great force, and has three
     grounds.  The first, that Abraham was justified by faith,
     that is, by free imputation of righteousness according to
     the promise apprehended by faith.
     (e) See Romans 4:1-25.

Galatians 3:7
3:7 {6} Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same
    are the children of Abraham.

 (6) The second, that the sons of Abraham must be esteemed and
     considered as his sons by faith.

Galatians 3:8
3:8 {7} And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the
    heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto
    Abraham, [saying], {8} In thee shall all nations be {f}
    blessed.

 (7) The third, that all the people that believe are without
     exception included in the promise of the blessing.
 (8) A proof of the first and second grounds, from the words of
     Moses.
     (f) Blessing in this place signifies the free promise by
         faith.

Galatians 3:9
3:9 {9} So then they which be of faith are blessed {g} with
    faithful Abraham.

 (9) The conclusion of the fifth argument: therefore as Abraham
     is blessed by faith, so are all his children (that is to
     say, all the Gentiles that believe) blessed, that is to
     say, freely justified.
     (g) With faithful Abraham, and not by faithful Abraham, to
         show us that the blessing comes not from Abraham, but
         from him by whom Abraham and all his posterity is
         blessed.

Galatians 3:10
3:10 {10} For as many as are of the works of the law are under
     the curse: {11} for it is written, Cursed [is] every one
     that continueth not in all things which are written in the
     book of the law to do them.

 (10) The sixth argument, the conclusion of which is also in the
      former verse, taken from opposites, is this: they are
      accursed who are of the works of the Law, that is to say,
      who consider their righteousness to come from the
      performance of the Law.  Therefore they are blessed who
      are of faith, that is, those who have righteousness by
      faith.
 (11) A proof of the former sentence or proposition, and the
      proposition of this argument is this: cursed is he that
      does not fulfil the whole Law.

Galatians 3:11
3:11 {12} But that no man is justified by the law in the sight
     of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

 (12) The second proposition with the conclusion: but no man
      fulfils the Law.  The conclusion therefore is, that no man
      is justified by the Law, or, that all are accursed who
      seek righteousness by the works of the Law.  And there is
      added also this manner of proof of the second proposition,
      that is, righteousness and life are attributed to faith.
      Therefore no man fulfils the Law.

Galatians 3:12
3:12 {13} And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth
     them shall live in them.

 (13) Here is a reason shown of the former conclusion: because
      the law promises life to all that keep it, and therefore
      if it is kept, it justifies and gives life.  But the
      scripture attributing righteousness and life to faith
      takes it from the Law, seeing that faith justifies by
      imputation, and the Law by the performing of the work.

Galatians 3:13
3:13 {14} Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law,
     being made a curse for us: {15} for it is written, {h}
     Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

 (14) A preventing of an objection: how then can they be blessed
      whom the Lord pronounces to be accused?  Because Christ
      suffered the curse which the Law laid upon us, that we
      might be acquitted from it.
 (15) A proof of the answer by the testimony of Moses.
      (h) Christ was accursed for us, because he bore the curse
          that was due to us, to make us partakers of his
          righteousness.

Galatians 3:14
3:14 {16} That the blessing of Abraham might come on the
     Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the
     promise of the Spirit through faith.

 (16) A conclusion of all that was said before in the handling
      of the fifth and sixth reasons, that is, that both the
      Gentiles are made partakers of the free blessing of
      Abraham in Christ, and also that the Jews themselves, of
      whose number the apostle counted himself to be, cannot
      obtain that promised grace of the Gospel, which he calls
      the Spirit, except by faith.  And the apostle applies the
      conclusion in turn, both to the one and to the other,
      preparing himself a way to the next argument, by which he
      declares that the one and only seed of Abraham, which is
      made of all peoples, cannot be joined and grow up
      together in any other way but by faith in Christ.

Galatians 3:15
3:15 {17} Brethren, I speak {i} after the manner of men; Though
     [it be] but a man's covenant, yet [if it be] {k} confirmed,
     no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

 (17) He puts forth two general rules before the next argument,
      which is the seventh in order.  The first is, that it is
      not lawful to break covenants and contracts which are
      justly made, and are according to law among men, neither
      may anything be added to them.  The other is, that God did
      so make a covenant with Abraham, that he would gather
      together his children who consist both of Jews and
      Gentiles into one body (as appears by that which has been
      said before).  For he did not say, that he would be the
      God of Abraham and of his "seeds" (which thing nonetheless
      should have been said, if he had many and various seeds,
      such as the Gentiles on the one hand, and the Jews on the
      other) but that he would be the God of Abraham, and of his
      "seed", as of one.
      (i) I will use an example which is common among you, that
          you may be ashamed that you do not give as much to
          God's covenant as you do to man's.
      (k) Authenticated, as we say.

Galatians 3:16
3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He
     saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to
     thy seed, {18} which is {l} Christ.

 (18) He puts forth the sum of the seventh argument, that is,
      that both the Jews and the Gentiles grow together in one
      body of the seed of Abraham, in Christ alone, so that all
      are one in Christ, as it is afterward declared in
      Galatians 3:28.
      (l) Paul does not speak of Christ's person, but of two
          peoples, who grew together in one, in Christ.

Galatians 3:17
3:17 {19} And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was
     confirmed before of God {m} in Christ, the {20} law, which
     was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul,
     that it should make the promise of none effect.

 (19) The eighth argument take by comparison, in this way: if a
      man's covenant (being authenticated) is firm and strong,
      much more is God's covenant.  Therefore the Law was not
      given to cancel the promise made to Abraham with respect
      of Christ, that is to say, the end of which depended upon
      Christ.
      (m) Which pertained to Christ.
 (20) An enlarging of that argument in this way: moreover and
      besides that the promise is of itself firm and strong, it
      was also confirmed by virtue of being in place for a long
      time, that is, for 430 years, so that it could in no way
      be broken.

Galatians 3:18
3:18 {21} For if the {n} inheritance [be] of the law, [it is] no
     more of promise: but God gave [it] to Abraham by promise.

 (21) An objection: we grant that the promise was not cancelled
      by the covenant of the Law, and therefore we join the Law
      with the promise.  No, the apostle says, these two cannot
      stand together, that is, that the inheritance should both
      be given by the Law and also by promise, for the promise
      is free.  And from this it follows that the Law was not
      given to justify, for by that means the promise would be
      broken.
      (n) By this word "inheritance" is meant the right of the
          seed, which is, that God should be our God, that is to
          say, that by virtue of the covenant that was made with
          faithful Abraham, we that are faithful might by that
          means be blessed by God as well as Abraham.

Galatians 3:19
3:19 {22} Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because
     of {o} transgressions, {p} till the seed should come to
     whom the promise was made; {23} [and it was] {q} ordained
     by {r} angels in the hand of a mediator.

 (22) An objection which rises from the former answer: if the
      inheritance is not by the Law (in the least way) then why
      was the Law given after the promise was made?  In order,
      the apostle says, to reprove men of sin, and so to teach
      them to look to Christ, in whom at length that promise of
      saving all people together should be fulfilled; the Law
      was not given in order to justify men.
      (o) That men might understand by discovering their sins
          that they are only saved by the grace of God, which he
          revealed to Abraham, and that in Christ.
      (p) Until the partition wall was broken down, and that
          full seed sprang up, made of two peoples, both of Jews
          and Gentiles.  For by this word "seed" we may not
          understand Christ alone by himself, but coupled and
          joined together with his body.
 (23) A confirmation of the former answer taken from the manner
      and form of giving the Law: for it was given by angels,
      striking a great terror into all, and by Moses a mediator
      coming between.  Now they that are one need no mediator,
      but they that are in any way separated, and that are at
      variance one with another, do.  Therefore the Law itself
      and the mediator were witnesses of the wrath of God, and
      not that God would by this means reconcile men to himself
      and abolish the promise, or add the Law to the promise.
      (q) Commanded and given, or proclaimed.
      (r) By the service and ministry.

Galatians 3:20
3:20 Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, {24} but God is
     one.

 (24) A taking away of an objection, lest any man might say that
      sometimes by consent of the parties which have made a
      covenant, something is added to the covenant, or the
      former covenants are broken.  This, the apostle says, does
      not come to pass in God, who is always one, and the very
      same, and like himself.

Galatians 3:21
3:21 {25} [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God
     forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have
     given life, verily righteousness should have been by the
     law.

 (25) The conclusion uttered by a manner of asking a question,
      and it is the same that was uttered before in Galatians 3:17,
      but proceeding from another principle, so that the argument
      is new, and is this: God is always like himself: therefore
      the Law was not given to abolish the promises.  But it would
      abolish them if it gave life, for by that means it would
      justify, and therefore it would abolish that justification
      which was promised to Abraham and to his seed by faith.  No,
      it was rather given to bring to light the guiltiness of all
      men, to the end that all believers fleeing to Christ, might
      be freely justified in him.

Galatians 3:22
3:22 But the {s} scripture hath concluded {t} all under sin,
     that the {u} promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be
     given to them that believe.

     (s) By this word "scripture" he means the Law.
     (t) All mankind, and whatever comes from mankind.
     (u) In every one of these words, there lies an argument
         against the merits of works: for all these words,
         promise, faith, Christ, might be given, to believers,
         are against meritorious works, and not one of them can
         be included as a meritorious work.

Galatians 3:23
3:23 {26} But before faith came, we were kept under the law,
     shut up unto {x} the faith which should afterwards be
     revealed.

 (26) Now there follows another handling of the second part of
      this epistle, the state of which was this: although the
      Law (that is, the whole government of God's house
      according to the Law) does not justify, is it therefore to
      be abolished, seeing that Abraham himself was circumcised,
      and his posterity held still the use of Moses' Law?  Paul
      affirms that it ought to be abolished, because it was
      instituted for that end and purpose, that is should be as
      it were a schoolmaster, and keeper to the people of God,
      until the promise indeed appeared, that is to say, Christ,
      and the Gospel manifestly published with great efficacy by
      the Spirit.
      (x) The reason why we were kept under the Law, is set down
          here.

Galatians 3:26
3:26 {27} For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ
     Jesus.

 (27) Because age does not change the condition of servants, he
      adds that we are free by condition, and therefore, seeing
      we are out of our childhood, we have no more need of a
      keeper and schoolmaster.

Galatians 3:27
3:27 {28} For as many of you as have been {y} baptized into
     Christ have {z} put on Christ.

 (28) Using the words "many of you", lest the Jews should think
      themselves free from the ordinance of baptism, he
      pronounces that baptism is common to all believers,
      because it is a outward sign of our delivery in Christ, to
      the Jews as well as to the Greeks, that by this means all
      may be truly one in Christ, that is to say, that promised
      seed to Abraham, and inheritors of everlasting life.
      (y) He sets forth baptism, as opposed to circumcision, which
          the false apostles bragged so much of.
      (z) The Church must put on Christ, as it were a garment,
          and be covered with him, that it may be thoroughly
          holy, and without blame.

Galatians 3:28
3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor
     free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all {a}
     one in Christ Jesus.

     (a) You are all one: and so is this great union and
         conjunction signified.



Geneva Study Notes
Previous Chapter/ Next Chapter

Bible Study  The Bible · Bible Concordance · Bible Dictionary · Bible Commentary · Audio Bible · Sermons · Online Books  
Daily  Daily Devotions · Bible Reading · Daily News · Radio-Hymns-Music-Poetry  Christian Radio · Hymnals ·
Other Items of Interest  Heaven · Search Site · Contact Us · Copyright · Home · Go To Prior Page