The Foolish Christians of Galatia
(1) You Galatians are absolute fools! Who put a curse on (bewitched) you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as being crucified.
(2) I want to learn one thing from you: did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the works of the law of Moses, or by believing what you heard? (3) Why are you such fools? You began your Christian life in the Holy Spirit, are you now trying to become complete by the efforts of your sinful nature (flesh)? (4) Have you suffered so many things for nothing—if it really was for nothing? (5) So again I ask you, does God give you his Holy Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law of Moses, or by believing what you heard?
The Faith of Abraham
(6) So also, look at what it says about Abraham in Genesis 15:6, “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (7) Therefore, understand that those who have faith are the children of Abraham. (8) The Bible (Old Testament) foresaw that God would justify (declare righteous) the nations by faith, and announced the gospel (good news) in advance to Abraham, as it is written in Genesis 12:3, “All nations will be blessed through you.” (9) So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith!
(10) For all who depend on the works of the law of Moses are under a curse, as it is written in Deuteronomy 27:26, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the law of Moses.” (11) You can be certain, no one is made right with God (declared righteous, justified) by keeping the law of Moses, because as it is written in Habakkuk 2:4, “The righteous will live by faith.” (12) The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, as it tells us in Leviticus 18:5, “Those who do these things will live by them.” (13) Jesus Christ redeemed (rescued) us from the curse of the law of Moses by becoming a curse for us, for as it is written in Deuteronomy 21:23, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” (14) He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham would come to the nations through Jesus Christ, so that through faith we would receive the promise of the Holy Spirit!
The Covenant Promises to Abraham
(15) My brothers and sisters, let me give you a human example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human contract after it has been mutually agreed upon (ratified), so it is with the covenant of God.
(16) The promises were given to Abraham and to his seed, because Genesis 12:7 does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning only one person, who is Christ. (17) This is what I mean: the law of Moses—given 430 years after God gave his promises to Abraham—does not set aside (annul) the covenant previously established by God and so do away with (make meaningless) his promise to Abraham. (18) For if the inheritance depends on the law of Moses, then it no longer depends on the promise of God; but God in his grace gave his covenant to Abraham through a promise!
The Law of Moses Leads Us to Jesus Christ
(19) Some of you will ask, “Why, then, was the law of Moses given at all?” The law was added by God because of sins until the Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ), to whom the promise referred, had come. The law of Moses was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator (a go-between). (20) However, a mediator implies more than one party; but God is one.
(21) Some of you will ask, “Therefore is the law of Moses opposed to the promises of God?” Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then God’s righteousness would certainly have come by the law. (22) But God’s word has imprisoned everything under the power of sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ would be given to whoever believes.
(23) So before the coming of faith in Jesus Christ we were all held captive under the law of Moses—being imprisoned until the coming faith in Christ was revealed. (24) So the purpose of the law of Moses was to serve as our guardian until Christ came so that we would be made right with God (declared righteous, justified) by faith.
One in Jesus Christ
(25) But now that faith in Christ has come, we are no longer under the guardianship of the law of Moses. (26) So in Jesus Christ you are now all God’s children through faith, (27) because all of you who were water-baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (28) There is neither Jew nor non-Jew, slave nor free, male nor female, because you are all one in Jesus Christ. (29) And if you belong to Jesus Christ, then you are Abraham’s children (seed) and heirs according to the promise.