GALATIANS CHAPTER THREE

OBSERVATIONS

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand in accordance with the framework in which it was written: a framework which is defined by the normative rules of language, context and logic - rules which do not impose undue, unintended meanings to the text , and which largely limit the observer to the content offered by Paul's epistle to the Galatians and his other writings. In order for any passage from elsewhere to be considered, it must have a relationship with the context at hand, such as a Scriptural quotation or a specific cross reference in the passage at hand by the author. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture. Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

****** EXCERPT FROM GAL 2 ******

OR SKIP TO NEXT SECTION

(Gal 2:19-21) No One Can Keep The Law Of Moses Or Any Law To Be Justified Before God Unto Eternal Life, So Attempting This Is Intended To Lead One To Be Conscious Of Being Under God's Condemnation Unto Eternal Death. This In Turn Is Intended To Lead One Then To Choose To Trust Alone In Christ Alone Apart From Law In Order to Be Justified Unto Eternal Life So That One Might Live To God. The Believer Has Been Crucified With Christ And May No Longer Have To Live A Self-Centered Life, For Christ Lives In Him So That The Believer's Life May Be Christ Centered. For If Righteousness Comes Through Law, Then Christ Died Needlessly

(Gal 2:19 NASB) "For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. (Gal 2:20 NASB) I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Gal 2:21 NASB) I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." =

In Gal 2:19, Paul offers confirmation of the value and purpose of the Law relative to justification unto eternal life,

"For through the Law I died to the Law,

[Paul stipulates that through the Law in the sense of through attempting to keep the Law of Moses in order to be justified unto eternal life he died to the Law in the sense of being persuaded of the truth that there is no way he (or anyone) could keep the Law, (or any law) to be justified before God unto eternal life. Hence he died to the Law in the sense that he realized that eternal death was inevitable for him (and everyone) who tries to keep the Law, or any human doing, to the end of receiving justification unto eternal life. The Law itself - any law or human doing - is dead / useless to man as a means for justification before God unto eternal life. Paul's recognition of his inevitable eternal death via attempting to keep the Law of Moses, i.e., via human doing led to his believing alone in Christ's sacrifice alone for his sins which brought him eternal life, for which the Law was in part established - to make men conscious of their sins and seek justification through the grace of God via a moment of faith alone in His Son alone, (Ro 3:20 )]:

so that I might live to God,"

[Paul's death to the Law which evidently led to his decision to believe alone in Christ Jesus alone for eternal life, (Gal 2:16), was so that he might live to God. The phrase rendered "so that he might live to God" is in the subjunctive mood which signifies objective possibility, i.e., an enablement to live for God, but not a certainty that one would choose to live moment to moment to God. So the word rendered "live" has the sense of

(1) having eternal life and

(2) having an opportunity for a blessed temporal life before God. The means of the latter (#2) is not addressed here in Gal 2, but later in chapters 5 & 6]

The last verse in Galatians chapter two provides a final / summary statement for the chapter. Paul states that he does not nullify the grace of God, because if righteousness comes through the Law, (or any law, i.e., human doing), then Christ died needlessly; and the grace of God is nullified. Since man cannot rise to the standard of God's Righteousness by his conduct, then it is only by God's grace through a moment of faith alone in what Christ Jesus did on the cross alone that man will be declared righteous unto eternal life.

On the other hand, the actions of Peter, Barnabas, and the other Jewish believers at Antioch nullified the meaning of God's grace, especially relative to being declared righteous unto eternal life and living by faith in the Son of God apart from human doing. Paul had been accused of not declaring that all believers, Jew and Gentile alike, had to live as Jews relative to being circumcised and keeping the Law of Moses. But Paul restated that if salvation is indeed by works of the Law or any human doing, then Christ had died in vain; and there was no grace of God available to mankind toward salvation and living for God at all!

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM GAL 2 ******

I) [Gal 3:1-29]:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?

(Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?

(Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

(Gal 3:4 NKJV) Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?

(Gal 3:5 NKJV) Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? - 

(Gal 3:6 NKJV) Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' [Gen 15:6]

(Gal 3:7 NKJV) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

(Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' [Gal 12:3]

(Gal 3:9 NASB) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer [lit., the believing one] [cp Gal 3:7]

(Gal 3:10 NASB) For as many as are of the works of [law] are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, to perform them.' [Dt 27:26 Septuagint]

(Gal 3:11 YLT) and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17]

(Gal 3:12 NASB) However, the [law] is not of [i.e., based on] faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices [these things - the precepts of the Law] shall live by [them]' " [Lev 18:5]

(Gal 3:13 NASB) Christ 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' -[Dt. 21:23]

(Gal 3:14 NASB) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

(Gal 3:15 NKJV) Brethren, I speak in the manner of men [lit., according to man]: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.

(Gal 3:16 NASB) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to One, 'And to your Seed,' that is, Christ.

(Gal 3:17 YLT) and this I say, a covenant confirmed before by God [in] Christ, [the] Law, that came four hundred and thirty years after, [does] not set aside, to make void the promise,

(Gal 3:17 NASB) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

(Gal 3:18 NKJV) For if the inheritance is of the Law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

(Gal 3:19 NIV) Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:53] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5]

(Gal 3:20 NASB) Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.

(Gal 3:21 NKJV) Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law.

(Gal 3:22 NASB) But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

(Gal 3:23 NASB) But before faith came, we were kept in custody under ... law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

(Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

(Gal 3:25 NASB) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

(Gal 3:26 NASB) For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

1) (Gal 3:26) Manuscript Evidence

TR, WH, NU Sinaiticus, B, C, D, Maj and all versions have "the faith in Christ Jesus"

P46, cop(sa), 6 have "faith[fulness] of Christ Jesus"

1739, 1881 have "the faith[fulness] of Jesus Christ"

The first variant is unusual in that it does not exactly repeat any other similar phrase in Galatians. Previously, Paul used the expressions "faith of Jesus Christ" (2:16; 3:22) and "faith of christ" (2:16), but never "faith of Christ Jesus." Furthermore, the reading in P46 lacks the article before "faith", which would seem to convey the meaning "Christ Jesus' faith" or "Christ Jesus' faithfulness". This unusualness could speak for the originality of the reading, from which the others deviated. However, the scantiness of evidence cannot warrant an adoption of this reading. The second variant appears to be scribal assimilation to 2:16 and 3:22.

(Gal 3:27 NKJV) For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

(Gal 3:28 NASB) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:29 NKJV) And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

A) (Gal 3:1-5) PAUL ASKED, 'YOU FOOLISH GALATIANS, WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU, BEFORE WHOSE EYES JESUS CHRIST WAS PUBLICLY PORTRAYED [BY PAUL] AS HAVING BEEN CRUCIFIED? DID YOU RECEIVE THE SPIRIT BY THE WORKS OF LAW, OR BY HEARING WITH FAITH? ARE YOU SO FOOLISH? HAVING BEGUN BY THE SPIRIT, ARE YOU NOW BEING PERFECTED IN THE FLESH? HAVE YOU SUFFERED SO MANY THINGS IN VAIN - IF INDEED IN VAIN? THEREFORE HE WHO IS SUPPLYING THE SPIRIT TO YOU AND IS WORKING MIRACLES AMONG YOU, DOES HE DO IT BY THE WORKS OF LAW, OR BY THE HEARING OF FAITH?'

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified? (Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal 3:4 NKJV) Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain? (Gal 3:5 NKJV) Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? -" =

1) (Gal 3:1a) Manuscript Evidence

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?" =

C, Dcorr, Psi, 0278, 33, 1881, Maj, K, L, P, byz have "who bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?"

WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, B, Dorg, F, G, 1739, it, cop, 33org, bo, Gries, Lach, Treg, Alf, Word, Tisc, Weis, Sod, UBS, various modern editions have "who bewitched you?"

The WH NU reading has better manuscript support than what is behind TR. The addition of the phrase, "that you should not obey the truth" was evidently borrowed from 5:7 which has the similar rebuke.

2) (Gal 3:1b) Manuscript Evidence

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?" =

WH NU, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, P, Psi, 0278, 33*, 1739, cop have "Christ was portrayed as having been crucified"

TR, D, F, G, 33c, Maj, it have "Christ was portrayed as having been crucified among you"

The manuscript evidence (both early and diverse) for the WH NU reading is vastly superior to that for TR. The extra fill-in rendered "among you" found in the majority of manuscripts is a scribal attempt to clarify that the portrayal of the crucified Jesus Christ took place among the Galatians. In his preaching to the Galatians and his life among them, Paul "portrayed" or "placarded" (as in a public display or poster) the dying Jesus. This vivid picture should have been enough to counteract all their fascination with the Judaizers.

3) (Gal 3:1-5) Paul Asked, 'You Foolish Galatians, Who Has Bewitched You, Before Whose Eyes Jesus Christ Was Publicly Portrayed [By Paul] As Having Been Crucified? Did You Receive The Spirit By The Works Of Law, Or By Hearing With Faith? Are You So Foolish? Having Begun By The Spirit, Are You Now Being Perfected In The Flesh? Have You Suffered So Many Things In Vain - If Indeed In Vain? Therefore He Who Is Supplying The Spirit To You And Is Working Miracles Among You, Does He Do It By The Works Of Law, Or By The Hearing Of Faith?']:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified? (Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? (Gal 3:4 NKJV) Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain? (Gal 3:5 NKJV) Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? -" =

At the end of chapter 2, Paul emphatically stated that through the Law he died to the Law so that he might live to God. He did not nullify the grace of God by what he preached relative to how one received salvation unto eternal life. For Paul declared that if righteousness came through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. So salvation does not come through the Law - through human doing, but through a moment of faith alone in the death of Christ Jesus alone in payment for the sins of all mankind.

Whereupon in Gal 3:1, author Paul began a chastisement of the Galatian believers, "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?" Notice the impersonal term "Galatians," as opposed to the word rendered "brothers," which he used earlier in 1:11. Paul calls the Galatians "foolish" in the sense of their being irrational and absurd to take up a doctrine which nullified the death of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, on the cross for the sins of all mankind - after they had completely relied upon Christ for salvation and sanctification until they turned to the Law of Moses instead. Their complete reversal from justification by faith alone in Christ alone to dependence upon their own performance under the Law of Moses was to Paul as if they were bewitched - cast under an evil spell. The words rendered "publicly portrayed as having been crucified" imply Paul's vivid, graphic, public and undeniably clear portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ to the Galatians as the sole means by which through faith in Him salvation unto eternal life might be received - and this is Who the Galatians had believed in for salvation and for walking faithfully in the temporal life. Note that the verb rendered "having been crucified" is in the perfect tense portraying a completed action with ongoing results implying that a moment of faith in Christ's crucifixion has an everlasting result of eternal life. So there was never any need to do anything else in order to insure ones salvation and for walking faithfully in the temporal life but to trust alone in Christ alone for these things. Hence Paul's conclusion was that the Galatian believers were without excuse for turning to legalism for justification and for walking faithfully in the temporal life.

Then, in Gal 3:2, in order to emphasize the serious consequences of turning to law for justification and for walking faithfully in the temporal life, Paul asks the Galatians a rhetorical question, "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?" This question implies that the Galatian believers had experienced, as a result of the reception of the indwelling of the Spirit, the reception of a new ability / abilities to express one or more miraculous spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues, healing, prophesying, word of knowledge, etc., (ref Gal 3:5, ). Since the reception of such spiritual gifts was exclusively a result of receiving the Spirit of God by hearing the gospel of eternal life and believing in it; then at the first moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from observing the Law of Moses, the Spirit was received and those gifts would have been notably exercised in those Galatian lives. So the answer to Paul's rhetorical question should have been immediately understood by the Galatian believers: that it is through the Spirit of God that justification and walking faithfully in the temporal life are received via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone apart from any human doing. This is the answer that is implied within the context of Paul's rhetorical question in Gal 3:2. Note taht it is only by the grace of God that human doing by the believer in Christ Jesus, which is flawed at best, (cf. 1 Jn 1:8, 10), is credited to the believer as walking by faith unto temporal righteousness, (cf. 1 Jn 1:7, 9).

In Gal 3:3a, Paul again refers to the Galatian believers as foolish, "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit." When each one of the Galatians believed in Christ Jesus, it began the indwelling of and the work of the Spirit of God in them, including miraculous spiritual gifts which were notably exercised by them, (ref. Gal 3:5). And it was God through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone apart from human doing, Who credited each believer with the Righteousness of Christ, (Phil 3:9). And it was the Spirit of God Who provided the capacity within each believer in order to perfect each one unto temporal righteousness moment to moment as the believer walks by faith. And all of this was a result of each one having expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ Jesus alone -apart from human doing!

Whereupon, Paul then wrote in Gal 3:3b, "are you now being perfected by the flesh?" i.e., are you now going to try to perfect yourself by your own efforts without the Spirit of God by attempting to keep the Law of Moses apart from the grace of God? The answer to the question is a rhetorical "no!"

Then in Gal 3:4, Paul asks them, "Have you suffered so many things in vain - if indeed it was in vain?" implying that the Galatian believers had indeed been suffering as a result of their new found faith in Christ Jesus, which includes the miraculous deeds that were being worked by the Spirit through them within their midst, (ref. Gal 3:5), evidently to confirm their salvation, and to be a witness for Christ to others. But all of this faithfulness in Christ through the Spirit brought persecution upon them, primarily at the hands of the Judaizers who were pursuing Paul and Barnabas where ever they went in order to counter their missionary work with their demands that one be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses:

a) [Compare Acts 14:1-10; 19-22]:

(Acts 14:1 NASB) "In Iconium they [Paul and Barnabas, (ref. Acts 13:50)] entered the synagogue of the Jews together, and spoke in such a manner that a large number of people believed, both of Jews and of Greeks.

(Acts 14:2 NASB) But the Jews who disbelieved stirred up the minds of the Gentiles and embittered them against the brethren.

(Acts 14:3 NASB) Therefore they spent a long time there speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, Who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.

(Acts 14:4 NASB) But the people of the city were divided; and some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.

(Acts 14:5 NASB) And when an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and the Jews with their rulers, to mistreat and to stone them,

(Acts 14:6 NASB) they became aware of it and fled to the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the surrounding region;

(Acts 14:7 NASB) and there they continued to preach the gospel.

(Acts 14:8 NASB) At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked.

(Acts 14:9 NASB) This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well.

(Acts 14:10 NASB) said with a loud voice, 'Stand upright on your feet.' And he leaped up and began to walk.

(Acts 14:19 NASB) But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead.

(Acts 14:20 NASB) But while the disciples stood around him, he got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with Barnabas to Derbe.

(Acts 14:21 NASB) After they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,

(Acts 14:22 NASB) strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying, 'Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.' "

Note that it is clear here in Acts chapter 14 that these supernatural expressions of the Spirit were not the result of works of law, i.e., human doing but from hearing that leads to faith in Christ Jesus alone to be justified unto eternal life and receive the Spirit of God as Paul declared to the Galatian believers in Gal 3:3-5.

In Acts 14:22, Paul warned the new Galatian believers that they would suffer tribulation / persecution.

And in Gal 3:4, Paul indicated that persecutions / suffering followed the conversions of the Galatian believers. But after they abandoned God's grace which was received via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone in order to keep the Law of Moses, Paul reminded them that if they did not turn back to God's grace, their sufferings for Christ would be in vain.

The message of Gal 3:1-4 is clear: once one becomes a believer he is exhorted to remain in the faith unto perfection, i.e., unto spiritual maturity as a lifelong pursuit. This is what Paul is exhorting the Galatian believers who departed from the faith to do from the beginning of the chapter:

(Gal 3:1 NASB) "You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as [having been] crucified?

(Gal 3:2 NASB) This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?"

And then, notice the two rhetorical questions posed in verse 3,

(Gal 3:3 NASB) "Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?"

Paul is saying here that for the Galatian believers to depart from the faith is foolish, especially after they had evidence of the Spirit of God performing miracles through them, (Gal 3:5; cf Acts 14:3). They were rejecting the availability of the Spirit of God's working within them to perfect them in the faith, unto spiritual maturity throughout their mortal lives. This would be a great loss which would make their firsthand suffering for Christ in vain in the sense of their losing the opportunity to be perfected in the faith, to grow in spiritual maturity by the Spirit of God should they not return to trusting in the Spirit to perfect them instead of attempting to do that by themselves by trying to keep the Law of Moses - the latter an exercise in futility.

Some contend that the Galatian believers who departed from the faith unto legalism considered in their own minds that their suffering and other experiences such as the Spirit working miracles through them were in vain, in the sense of being worthless, profitless - a waste of time and effort which provoked their persecution and suffering to no good end - in view of their new efforts to keep the Law of Moses toward the reception of eternal life and / or the attainment of spiritual maturity in their mortal lives. This mindset which implies a denial of the truth of the gospel that Christ actually did atone for mankind's sins, His resurrection being proof of that, and faith alone in Him alone justifies the believer unto eternal life, (cf. 1 Cor 15:18-19; 29-32), whether it was held by the Galatian defectors or not, however, is not in view in Galatians chapter 3 because the context of the chapter is not a defense of the truth of the gospel, (cf. 1 Cor 15:18-19; 29-32); but an exhortation to the Galatian believers to return to grace salvation and spiritual growth through faith - to that which they had begun with, especially in view of the miracles that the Spirit of God was working through them: namely the ongoing work of the Spirit within them through faith alone in Christ alone apart from law / any human doing toward spiritual maturity throughout their mortal lives. The context of Galatians chapter 3 implies that the suffering and other experiences such as the Spirit working miracles through them might indeed be in vain should they not return to a life of faith in Christ wherein the Spirit may continue to perfect them in the faith toward spiritual maturity, (Gal 3:3). Should they not return, they would lose the benefit of an ongoing life via the grace of God through the work of the Spirit. Their suffering when they first believed relative to this would indeed have been in vain.

So the last phrase in Gal 3:4 rendered "if indeed it was in vain?" is a restatement of the preceding phrase in verse 4, "Have you suffered so many things in vain?" The Greek word "eige" rendered "if indeed," emphasizes the word "if" to convey the sense of 'for the sake of argument, let's assume that your suffering was in vain.' For the sake of argument, then; Paul wrote that if those believers in Galatia permanently abandoned salvation by grace through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, for the ongoing futile effort throughout the rest of their temporal lives of keeping the Law of Moses in order to be saved / stay saved / mature in the faith, etc., then they would indeed lose rewards for future faithfulness, and they would not have the opportunity to reach spiritual maturity. Their suffering for the cause of Christ when they first believed in Him would be in vain in the sense that they would have cut themselves off from Christ for the rest of their temporal lives losing future opportunities to be so rewarded and have the opportunity to reach spiritual maturity.

On the other hand, all is not lost; for they, by the grace of God, had already secured eternal life and will receive their rewards for their past sufferings and faithfulness when they suffered persecution because they were faithful to the grace of God, (Gal 4:11; 1 Co 3:11-15; 15:2, 17-19, 29-32; 2 Th 1:5-7; 2 Jn 8; Heb 6:10).

So the question remains to be answered whether or not the suffering of the Galatian believers who had defected to the Law was in vain - which depends upon their repenting of their legalism or not. The tone of these verses is one of hope that they would choose to return to grace and continue to be rewarded for their consequent sufferings - their future faithfulnesses, instead of being disciplined for their lack of grace unto legalism for the rest of their temporal lives. If not, then their initial suffering was in vain because they never repented and returned to a life of grace.

The rhetorical question in Gal 3:5 which reads, "Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], [i.e., by any human doing, especially the Law of Moses which the Judaizers were advancing] or by the hearing of faith," is from God's point of view. The rhetorical question in Gal 3:2 is similar. It reads, "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith?" It is from the point of view of the Galatians, asking them on what basis it was that they received God's Spirit. It asks on what basis is the Spirit working miracles in the Galatian believers. The past tense of the question in verse 2, "did you receive the Spirit" looks back in time to the initial moment of the Galatians' faith in Christ when they received the Spirit. The present participles in verse 5, "[is supplying] the Spirit to you" and the Spirit "[is working] miracles among you" have in view the ongoing work of the Spirit within the believer's life which produces ongoing blessing in the believers temporal lives. Just as eternal life began through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, and not as the result of any human doing; so it is a matter of faith apart from law  to receive by the grace of God temporal spiritual blessing in the believer's life via the Spirit of God.

B) (Gal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

(Gal 3:6 NKJV) "Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' [Gen 15:6] (Gal 3:7 NKJV) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' (Gal 3:9 NASB) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer [lit., the believing one] [cp Gal 3:7] =

1) (Gal 3:6-9) Manuscript Evidence

According to Tertullian (Marc. 5:3), Marcion omitted these verses because he did not want to make a spiritual connection between the faith of the NT believers and the faith of Abraham of the OT.

2) (Gal 3:6) Abraham Believed In God's Plan For His Eternal Destiny And It Was Credited To Him As Righteousness. Abraham Was Thereby Justified Unto Eternal Life Before He Was Circumcised - Long Before God Instituted The Law Through Moses For Purposes Other Than To Attain Eternal Life Through Works

(Gal 3:6 NKJV) "Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' [Gen 15:6]" =

Abraham believed in God's plan for his eternal destiny and it was credited to him as Righteousness in the sense that Abraham was imputed with, i.e., reckoned as having, the attribute of the Absolute Righteousness of God which qualified him to have eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God. Abraham was thereby justified unto eternal life before he was circumcised - long before God instituted the Law through Moses for purposes other than to attain eternal life through works.

The Judaizers were erroneously claiming that Scripture supported their point of view by falsely maintaining that Moses was their teacher of their false doctrines. But Paul went centuries further back in time and wrote of Abram [Abraham], the father of the Jewish people. He wrote that Abram's faith in God's promise of eternal life was accepted by God and credited to Abram [Abraham] as the Righteousness of God unto eternal life before he was circumcised, (cf. Gen 15:1-6; 17:24; Phil 3:9) - long before God instituted the Law of Moses for purposes other than to attain eternal life through works, (Gal 3:17). How then could the Judaizers insist that circumcision and the Law of Moses were essential to receiving eternal life - some even insisting that one must be a Jew?

Note that Paul's statements presuppose that the Galatian Gentile believers had knowledge of Abraham. This is not an oversight on his part, as he often preached from Scripture to verify what he preached to Jew and Gentile alike.

a) [Compare Gen 12:1-7]:

i) God Promises That Abram [Abraham] Will Be Father Of A Great Nation Leading To Eternal And Temporal Blessings For Abram & All Peoples - Jews And Gentiles - Through Abram [Abraham]

(Gen 12:1 NASB) '''Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you;

(Gen 12:2 NASB) And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing;

[God's promise to Abram [Abraham] to make him into a great nation and to be a blessing was a promise which was not fulfilled in Abraham's physical lifetime. It could only be fulfilled if Abraham is resurrected and permitted into the Eternal Kingdom of God living eternally so as to continue to experience seeing his posterity become a great nation with uncountable offspring and thereby actually be a blessing to people of all nations as he lived on in the Eternal Kingdom of God]:

(Gen 12:3 NASB) And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.'

(Gen 12:4 NASB) So Abram went forth as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him. Now Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 

(Gen 12:5 NASB) Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan.

(Gen 12:6 NASB) Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

(Gen 12:7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your [Seed] I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD Who had appeared to him.' " '''

******

i_a) [Compare Gen 12:7 with Gal 3:16]:

(Gen 12:7) "The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your [Seed] I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD Who had appeared to him."

(Gal 3:16 NASB) "Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to One, 'And to your Seed,' that is, Christ."

i_a_1) (Gen 22:16-18) The Seed Is Christ

(Gen 22:16 NASB) "And [the Angel of the LORD, v. 15)] said, 'By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son,

(Gen 22:17 NASB) indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies.

(Gen 22:18 NASB) In your Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice."

The phrase in Gen 22:18 rendered "In your Seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My [the Angel of the LORD] voice" is defined by the Apostle Paul in Gal 3:16 as Jesus Christ Himself.

Note that the Hebrew word transliterated "zera," and the equivalent Greek word in the Septuagint "spermati" rendered "Seed" may be singular or plural depending upon context, as it is in English. In the instances of Gen 12:7, 13:15 and 24:7, the singular Seed fits best, especially in the light of Gal 3:16 referring to Christ as the Seed.

i_b) (Gen 12:3) God Promises Eternal Life To Abram [Abraham]

(Gen 12:3 NASB) "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' " =

God is promising Abram that even after he dies, all peoples - all nations - from now on will be blessed "through" him. This is saying that through Abraham's procreation - which at the time of the promise he had not had one child born to him - the nations of the world will be forever blessed. Abram soon thereafter understood this as the ultimate blessing - eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God through his Seed, a Savior, (Who is Jesus Christ), (cf. Gen 15:1-6; Heb 11:17-19; Jn 8:56; Gal 3:16).

i_b_1) [Compare Gal 3:8]:

(Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, [He (God)] preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' [Gen 12:3]

The phrase rendered "in you" [in Abram] does not mean anyone who is a physical descendant of Abram because the phrase which follows, "all the families of the earth will be blessed," by definition includes descendants of all peoples / all races. This refutes the Judaizers' claim that Gentiles must become circumcized and uphold the Law of Moses and thereby become Jews who will then be blessed through Abram. Gentiles cannot change their physical descendancy to being descendants of Abram in order to be blessed with eternal life through circumcision and keeping of the Law of Moses. This is not physically possible through a ritual or by perfectly keeping the Law of Moses.

Futhermore, the phrase "in you" does not mean that what Abram did would directly provide benefit to all peoples of the earth throughout history. For there is no evidence of Abrams's life and accomplishments benefitting all of the families of the earth throughout history.

On the other hand, the phrase "in you [Abram] all the families of the earth will be blessed" can and does refer to a spiritual benefit that is universally available to all mankind throughout the ages, even from the time of Adam and Eve [in the seed of the woman ], as a result of what God has promised when any individual of any family / race on the earth believes in what God has provided for him through a Descendant / Seed of Abram, Jesus Christ.

i_b_2) [Compare John 8:56]:

(Jn 8:56 NASB) [Jesus said]: "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."

Abram [Abraham] could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God was going to bring a Savior from Abram's line to provide payment for the sins of the world so that anyone believing in the Savior will be imputed with / receive the Righteousness of God unto eternal life. For outside of God doing it through Jesus Christ - through One of Abram's Descendants Who Is God, Abram all by himself did not have the capacity to save the world. So when Abram [Abraham] followed God's instructions indicated in Gen 12:1 by leaving his home, his business, the highly developed civilization in Ur and even his people including his family and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, [remember that Abram [Abraham] was a wealthy man, (v 5)], this would soon lead to his expressing a moment of faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world through a coming Savior / Descendant of Abraham. Abram's eventual believing in God's promises of the future would result in his personal salvation unto eternal life. Abram would be justified upon his trusting in God's provision of a future Savior through his seed which Scripture records occurred later on when God reiterated His promise to Abram in Gen 15:1-6.

At the time of Gen 15:1-6, Abram would trust in God's promise of eternal life through the Seed, singular, of Abram - a coming Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, (Jn 8:56). God then credited Abraham with His Righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting. And only through Abraham's experiencing the Eternal Kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill His promise to bless Abram by actually seeing his countless offspring in the Eternal Kingdom.

b) [Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

i) God Repeats His Promise To Abram [Abraham]

(Gen 13:14 NASB) "The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separted from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(Gen 13:15 NASB) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your [Seed] [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever.' "

Note: due to the word rendered "forever" in view here is the Eternal Kingdom of God.

c) [Compare Gen 15:1-6]:

i) Abram Believed In God's Plan For His Eternal Destiny And It Was Credited To Him As Righteousness. Abraham Was Thereby Justified Unto Eternal Life Before He Was Circumcised And Long Before God Instituted The Law Through Angels And Entrusted It To Moses For Purposes Other Than To Attain Eternal Life Through Works

(Gen 15:1 NASB) "After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.'

(Gen 15:2 NASB) Abram said, 'O LORD God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(Gen 15:3 NASB) And Abram said, 'Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.'

(Gen 15:4 NASB) Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This man will not be your heir, but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.'

(Gen 15:5 NASB) And He took him outside and said, 'Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your [seed] be.'

[" 'So shall your offspring (lit. your seed, plural = descendants) be.' " =

In order for Abram to have countless offspring and be blessed by it in his own life he would have to have eternal life. The next verse indicates that God credited His perfect Righteousness to Abram which is to say that Abram was granted entry into the Eternal Kingdom of heaven, i.e., eternal life]:

(Gen 15:6 NASB) Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a visual image to Abram to go with His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This image was painted by God across the star studded night time heavens. Billions of stars were visible to Abraham; and God promised that just as the universe contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants in his lifetime - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. The number of stars in the day were in fact so numerous as to be virtually uncountable - representing to Abraham an infinite number. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an infinite number of descendants obviously over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. In other words, God promised eternal life to Abraham. Abraham believed God's promise. And God then declared Abraham to have the position of being perfectly righteous - of having the imputed Righteousness of God - as a result of Abraham's faith, thus qualifying him for spending the rest of eternity with God in His Eternal Kingdom. This was not just an image of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into oblivion. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - himself being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time. And when Abraham believed in this spectacular promise of God, then God accounted to Abraham the gift of absolutely perfect righteousness - that kind of righteousness that God requires that a man must possess in order to spend eternal life with Him, (Gen 15:6; Phil 3:9; Ro 3:22; 4:5; 2 Cor 5:21). And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled, implying payment for the sins of the whole world so that all who trust in His payment might be declared Righteous unto eternal life.

d) [Jn 8:56]:

i) Jesus Christ, The Apostles John And Paul And The Author Of The Book Of Hebrews Confirm That Abram [Abraham] Was Saved By Faith Alone In The Seed Of Abram, Jesus Christ Alone Unto Eternal Life

(Jn 8:56 NASB) [Jesus said to the Jews]" 'Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.' "

Our Lord is saying here in Jn 8:56 that during Abraham's lifetime on earth he rejoiced at the thought of seeing the glory of the Messiah Jesus Christ's triumph over sin - demonstrating that he, Abraham, truly was justified unto eternal life.

The nature of Abraham's faith was essentially the same as that of the NT believer despite the difference in time. Abraham and all those of his time and before looked forward to something God would do, whereas individuals after the Cross look back to what God has provided, in Christ - the Seed of Abraham.

ii) [Ro 4:1-3]:

(Ro 4:1 NASB) "What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?

["has found" = The matter of how to be justified unto eternal life, i.e., saved. Cp Ro 3:21-31]

(Ro 4:2 NASB) For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

(Ro 4:3 NASB) For what does the Scripture say?

[And here Paul quotes Gen 15:6]:

'Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'

[Dr John Danish states, (Audio Tape #77 Ro-38 side 2)]:

"...For the Jews, Abraham was the great dividing point of all human history......

Before Abraham there was this stream of humanity and it was all Gentiles. With Abraham, the stream of humanity of Gentiles continued, but God brought off a side stream which today we know as Jews......

Abraham was the turning point of all history .... in terms of the fact that God said, 'Now I am going to set in motion a program which is going to bring My authority into operation on this earth. It's going to be recognized and .... welcomed. And I'm going to do it through the Jewish people ..........

The new stream of humanity known as the Jews [was brought by God] for the explicit purpose of bringing the authority of God on this earth to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth to replace the kingdom of man, in other words, to have human viewpoint replaced by divine viewpoint.

Now this plan of God for establishing His kingdom authority on the earth was presented as a promise to Abraham to become heir of the world. This promise, or this covenant, with Abraham included a Savior for eternal life. This was involved in the promise to Abraham that he would be a blessing to all nations. In Galatians chapter 3 verse 8, Paul explains that to us when he says, "And the Scripture foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham saying, 'In thee shall all nations be blessed.' "

So here you have this phrase, " 'In [you] shall all nations be blessed.' " specifically identified by Paul here in Galatians as being an expression relative to the gospel. While all nations were going to be blessed in Abraham, God meant, 'I'm going to send you a Savior that will resolve the sin problems so that people can have absolute righteousness in order to enter heaven.' So Abraham indeed was given the gospel. Abraham was told how to [have eternal life]. And he believed the promise that God gave him, he was [declared Righteous unto eternal life] .......

..... consequently Abraham was justified simply by faith apart from works.

iii) [Heb 11:17-19]:

(Heb 11:17 NASB) '''By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his [one and only] son;

By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son,

(Heb 11:18 NASB) it was he to whom it was said, "In Isaac your descendants shall be called [i.e., named]." '''

(Heb 11:19 NKJV) concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense."

[Danish, cont.]:

"Hebrews 11:19 indicates that Abraham understood and believed in resurrection after death; and he believed in the gospel of salvation, (Gen 15:6). Abraham believed that God would resurrect him so that he would see his posterity of millions, (Gen 12:1-3; 15:4-6; Heb 11:8-19). This is the justification that God "accounted" to Abraham as "righteousness" unto eternal life, (Gen 15:5).

The Apostle Paul comments on God's covenant with Abraham relative to it including the gospel of salvation unto eternal life for Abraham and all individuals who exercise faith in God's plan:

iv) [Gal 3:6-8, 13-16]:

(Gal 3:6 NKJV) Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' [Gen 15:6]

(Gal 3:7 NKJV) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

[i.e., the Covenant blessing of eternal life is one which is available by faith alone for all mankind: Jew and Gentile alike. Those who have trusted alone in Christ alone are sons of Abraham - not in a physical sense so as to receive Covenant blessings meant for physical descendants but in a spiritual sense so as to receive the blessing of eternal life - whether Jew or Gentile]

(Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, [He (God)] preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' [Gen 12:3]

[Notice that Paul indicates that God's Covenant with Abraham is in essence the gospel of salvation unto eternal life for all mankind. And the central Figure of that plan of salvation is the Seed, singular, of Abraham: the Messiah Savior, Jesus Christ, Himself]:

(Gal 3:13 NASB) Christ 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' -[Dt. 21:23]

(Gal 3:14 NASB) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

["so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." = so that Gentiles too might receive the "the promise of the Spirit", i.e., eternal life and the consequent indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, (ref. Eph 1:13-14), "through faith".. So one of the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant is made available to all mankind, Jews and Gentiles alike: eternal life. And continuing in Galatians chapter 3]:

(Gal 3:15 NKJV) Brethren, I speak in the manner of men [lit., according to man]: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.)

(Gal 3:16 NASB) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to One, 'And to your Seed,' that is, Christ.

[So the promise of eternal life was given by God to Abram as a result of his faith through the seed - the descendants of Abraham which number would be innumerable. The eternal life coming through a specific Seed / Descendant of Abraham - Who is Christ]

iv_a) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(Isa 9:6 NASB) "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And The government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace."

(Isa 9:7 NASB) There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom,

[Note: A throne and a kingdom of the physical seed of David Who is a Descendant of Abraham]

To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness  From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this."

3) (Gal 3:6-9) Only those Who Are Of Faith Alone In The Seed Of Abraham Alone - In Christ Jesus - Are Sons Of Abraham Unto Eternal Life - Jews And Gentiles. And Scripture Having Foreseen That God Would Justify The Gentiles By Faith, [He (God)] Preached The Gospel To Abraham Beforehand Saying, "In You All The Nations Shall Be Blessed." So Then Those Who Are Of Faith - Jew And Gentile Alike - Are Blessed With Abraham, The Believer In Christ Jesus.

(Gal 3:6 NKJV) "Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' [Gen 15:6] (Gal 3:7 NKJV) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, [He (God)] preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' [Gal 12:3] (Gal 3:9 NASB) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer [lit., the believing one] [cp Gal 3:7]" =

The Apostle Paul concludes about what he wrote in (Gal 3:6 NKJV) "Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness," for eternal life as follows:

(Gal 3:7 NKJV) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, [He (God)] preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' [Gen 12:3] (Gal 3:9 NASB) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer [lit., the believing one]" [cp Gal 3:7]

In Gal 3:7, Paul uses a strong imperative to the Galatian believers: he tells them to "know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham" to remind them that all who are of faith regardless of ethnic origin, i.e. those who have expressed a moment of faith alone in the Seed of Abraham - the Messiah / Savior Jesus Christ alone - Jew or Gentile - will be justified unto eternal life and are thereby descendants / sons of Abraham in a spiritual sense relative to the reception of / the inheriting of eternal life through the Seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, regardless of their ethnic origins or any other factors. This is as opposed to those who insist upon circumcision, keeping the Law of Moses, or any law, or only those who are physical descendants of Abraham can be saved, as the Judaizers insisted upon for salvation.

Note that the Scripture referred to in Gal 3:7, namely Gen 12:3, actually did not exist as we know it at the time of Abram, having been authored by Moses who came 430 years later. On the other hand, the phrase in Gal 3:8 which Paul wrote referring to Gen 12:3 and rendered "And the Scripture, having forseen that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, [He (God)] preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed..' actually records what occurred between and Abram and God which God relayed to Moses to write down in the work that he authored.

In Gal 3:8, Paul stipulated that Scripture having foreseen in the sense of having foretold that God would justify the Gentiles by faith [He (God)] preached the gospel to Abram saying, 'In you [Abram] all the nations shall be blessed,' [Gen 12:3] in order to corroborate what he had previously written in Gal 3:7: that only those who are of the faith of Abraham are sons of Abraham:

a) [Compare Gen 12:3 with Gal 3:5, 7 & 9]:

(Gen 12:3 NASB) "And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.' "

Whereupon Paul concluded his point that salvation is for Jews and Gentiles by faith alone in Gal 3:9 by restating in yet another way the answer to the rhetorical question he asked in verse 5 and first answered in verse 7:

(Gal 3:5 NKJV) "Therefore He Who [is supplying] the Spirit to you and [is working] miracles among you, does He do it by the works of [law], or by the hearing of faith? -"

vs

(Gal 3:7 NKJV) "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham."

vs

(Gal 3:9 NASB) "So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer [lit., the believing one]"

Gal 3:9 answers the rhetorical question of 3:5: that it is those who are of faith who are so blessed being given the gift of God's Righteousness unto eternal life along with Abraham, who had faith - who believed in a coming Messiah / Savior through his seed / his  descendants. Since the blessing of Abraham is declared to have been intended for the Gentiles also, i.e., all the families of the earth, (Gen 12:3); then it can only be by faith alone in Christ alone.

Note that all individuals who are justified unto eternal life have been or will be justified by faith alone in a coming Messiah Savior alone since the time of Adam and Eve through the seed of the woman, of whom Abram is a descendant .

******

C) (Gal 3:10-12) JUSTIFICATION BEFORE GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE BY LAW - BY SOME STANDARD OF HUMAN DOING - REQUIRES ABSOLUTE PERFECTION - GOD'S ABSOLUTE RIGHTEOUSNESS. THERE IS NO PROVISION FOR FORGIVENESS OF TRANSGRESSIONS UNDER THE LAW OF MOSES OR ANY LAW UNTO ETERNAL LIFE; NOR ROOM FOR ERROR. SO IT IS EVIDENT THAT NO ONE CAN BE JUSTIFIED BY LAW BEFORE GOD. THE ONE WHO IS RIGHTEOUS BY FAITH IS THE ONE WHO WILL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE AND WILL LIVE OUT HIS TEMPORAL LIFE IN A RIGHTEOUS MANNER AS HE LIVES BY THAT SAME FAITH. KEEPING THE LAW IS NOT BASED ON FAITH, BUT UPON HUMAN DOING. HE WHO PRACTICES LAW, MUST LIVE BY THE LAW WITHOUT ERROR - AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY FOR MAN

(Gal 3:10 NASB) "For as many as are of the works of [law] are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, to perform them.' [Dt 27:26 Septuagint] (Gal 3:11 YLT) and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, [cf. Gal 2:16] because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17] (Gal 3:12 NASB) However, the [law] is not of [i.e., based on] faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices [these things - the precepts of the Law] shall live by [them]' " [Lev 18:5] =

In Gal 3:10, Paul returns to Scripture to conclude that anyone who puts himself under law - rules governing human behavior - in order to be justified before God will inevitably be cursed and not blessed because no man is able to perfectly keep those rules. And this especially applies to the Book of the Law of Moses which Paul refers to when he quotes from Deuteronomy from the Septuagint version:

******

1) [Compare Dt 27:26 Septuagint]:

(Dt 27:26 Septuagint) "Accursed is every man whoever shall not adhere to all the words of this law [Law of Moses] to do them. [And shall all the people say, 'Amen' "]

Author Paul quoted from Deuteronomy 27:26 Septuagint in Gal 3:10. These words were spoken by Moses to Israel at Abel-Shittim east of the Jordan shortly before his death on Mount Nebo. They were carried out when Israel renewed its covenant with God at Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim (Joshua 8:30-35).
Moses had been instructed that six tribes were to stand on Mount Gerizim, the Mount of Blessing, and six on Mount Ebal, the Mount of Cursing. The Levites were to recite the 12 curses found in Deuteronomy 27:15-26. After each curse the people were to respond with "Amen." The curses emphasized pagan idolatry and gross immorality which God's covenant people were to avoid. Whereas the first 11 curses placed a ban on specific acts of disobedience, the 12th was more comprehensive, especially as found in the Septuagint.

The Law of Moses meets the standard of God's perfect Righteousness by which standard all men will be judged no matter what legal system they choose to attempt to obey. It demanded perfection and the breaking of only one command even once brings a person under the curse of God. Since everybody fails at some point, all mankind - Jew and Gentile alike are under the curse of God. The proposition that a person can be justified by God through human effort is thus completely destroyed. So if a man will not come to God on the basis of faith alone in the atonement made by Christ alone, he must be judged by his works measured against the Mosaic Law's perfect standard and thereby inevitably be condemned.

In Gal 3:11a Paul once again declared that it is evident that no one is justified by law - by any human doing before God: "and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident," (Gal 3:11a YLT).

2) [Compare Gal 2:16]:

(Gal 2:16 YLT) "having known also that a man is not declared righteous by works of law, if not through the faith of Jesus Christ, also we in Christ Jesus did believe, that we might be declared righteous by the faith of Christ, and not by works of law, wherefore declared righteous by works of law shall be no flesh')"

Then in Gal 3:11b, Paul writes, quoting from Habakkuk, (Gal 3:11b YLT) "because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17]

3) [Gal 3:11b Greek Interlinear]:

"hoti ......ho ...dikaios .............Ek pistEOs zesEtai"

"because the .righteous [one] .by .faith ......will live"

The verse is best rendered from the word order of the Greek text annotated above from which one will accurately conclude the following: A man is not righteous before the exercise of his faith, he becomes righteous by the exercise of a moment of faith alone in Christ alone by which he will live, i.e., have eternal life; and he will live out his temporal life in a righteous manner as he lives it by that same faith - not by any human doing. So the order is - faith, justification, life - temporal and eternal.

4) [Compare Hab 2:4]:

(Hab 2:4 NASB) "Behold, as for the proud one, (v. 6), his soul is not right within him; [Hebrew and Septuagint  Greek word order]: But a righteous man by his faith will live."

The proud one [the one who is self-righteous, the Babylonian, (vv. 6-20)] his soul within him is not right - not righteous - with God. But the righteous soul - the one declared righteous before God through faith in Him will live out his temporal life, the years appointed to him and forever in eternity, not so the self-righteous one.

By quoting the Old Testament in Gal 3:11, Paul showed that even during the dispensation of Law, legal obedience was not the basis for a justified standing before God  because, as the Prophet Habakkuk wrote, The righteous by faith will live," (Hab 2:4).

Most versions have "the righteous [man] / the just will / shall live by faith" [NASB, NKJV, HCSB, ASB, KJV, NIV]. Only a few like the YLT follows the correct word order:

5) [Compare Gal 3:11 YLT]:

(Gal 3:11 YLT) "and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, [cf. Gal 2:16] because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17]"

The improper word order for Hab 2:4 / Gal 3:11 / Ro 1:17 as it appears in most versions, could easily be misconstrued to mean that those that are righteous before God are those who live by being faithful to law, despite the fact that the context of the verses which precede and follow indicates that man cannot faithfully keep the Law and will remain accursed if he tries to be righteous by any kind of human doing.

So then in Gal 3:12, which reads, "However, the [law] is not of [i.e., based on] faith; on the contrary, 'He who practices [these things - the precepts of the Law] shall live by [them]' " [Lev 18:5], the writer and apostle Paul affirms that keeping the Law is mutually exclusive from anything to do with faith. And anyone who endeavors to keep the precepts of the Law of Moses must live by them without fault in order to be justified before God as righteous, otherwise one will be accursed as it is stipulated in Dt 27:26.

5) [Compare Lev 18:5]:

(Lev 18:5 NASB) "You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the LORD."

Only perfect performance of the Law can win God's approval under the Mosaic Law, or the equivalent for Gentiles, (cf. Ro 2:14-15), but since that is not achievable, the Law of Moses or any law can only condemn a person, (cf. Jas 2:10). But this is purposely intended to cause one to cast himself upon the mercy of God and trust alone in His Son, Jesus Christ alone for forgiveness of sins unto eternal life, (Gal 3:19-22 ).

D) (Gal 3:13-14) CHRIST REDEEMED US - JEWS AND GENTILES - ALL MANKIND - FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW, HAVING BECOME A CURSE FOR US IN OUR STEAD - FOR IT IS WRITTEN, 'CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE'

(Gal 3:13 NASB) Christ 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' - [Dt. 21:23]

(Gal 3:14 NASB) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

1) (Gal 3:13) Christ Redeemed Us - Jews And Gentiles - All Mankind - From The Curse Of the Law, Having Become A Curse For Us In Our Stead - For It Is Written, 'Cursed Is Everyone Who Hangs On A Tree'

(Gal 3:13 NASB) "Christ 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' -[Dt. 21:23]" =

All men - Jews and Gentiles - are under the curse of the Law, i.e., a perfect code of behavior which no one can keep perfectly and are thereby condemned by it, (Ro 7:1; Gal 3:11). Although the Law of Moses was specifically directed to Israel, nevertheless, it was the standard by which God measured all men to meet His perfect standard of righteousness to justify them unto eternal life. Since no man can act in a perfectly righteous manner - which the context of Galatians chapter 3 has established, then it was Christ Who redeemed "us" in the sense of all men, by becoming a curse for all men, by actually being executed as a criminal for evil which He did not commit but which the whole world did: Christ atoned for the sins of the whole world:

a) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

(1 Jn 2:2 NASB) "and He Himself [Jesus Christ the Righteous, (v. 1)] is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

The Greek verb "Exegorasen" rendered "redeemed" in the phrase "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law" in Gal 3:13 is in the aorist tense signifying a completed, once for all time action; in the indicative mood signifying a statement of fact indicating a completed position; and it is a compound verb consisting of "egorasen" meaning to purchase, and the prefix "Ex" meaning out of. Hence "Exegorasen" means "to purchase out of being subject to the curse of the Law, i.e., to purchase mankind out of the slave market of sin - once for all time - so that one may never need to remain in it .

****** EXCERPT FROM REDEMPTION STUDY ******

DEFINITION OF REDEMPTION

[The New Scofield Study Bible, NIV, C.I. Scofield, D.D., Editor, Oxford Univ Press, NY, 1967, p. 1179]:

" 'Redemption' means to deliver by paying a price. The work of Christ fulfilling the O.T. types and prophecies of redemption is set forth in three principal Greek words:

(1) AgorazO, to buy in the market (from agora, market). Man is viewed as a slave 'sold...to sin' (Rom 7:14) and under sentence of death (Ezek 18:4; Jn 3:18-19; Rom 6:23) but subject to redemption by the purchase price of the blood of the Redeemer (1 Cor 6:20; 7:23; 2 Pet 2:1; Rev 5:9; 14:3-4).

(2) ExagorazO, to buy out of the market, i.e., to purchase and remove from further sale (Gal 3:13; 4:5; Eph 5:16; Col 4:5), speaking of the finality of the work of redemption.

(3) lutroO, to loose or set free (Lk 24:21; Ti 2:14; 1 Pet 1:18), noun form, lutrOsis (Lk 2:38; Heb 9:12). Compare also 'redeemed' (lit. to make redemption, Gk epoiEsen lutrOsin, Lk 1:68), and 'deliverance' (intensive form, apolutrOsis) used commonly to indicate release of a slave (Lk 21:28; Rom 3:24; 8:23; 1 Cor 1:30; Eph 1:7, 14; 4:30; Col 1:14; Heb 9:15; 11:35). Redemption is by sacrifice and by power (Ex 14:30); Christ paid the price, the Holy Spirit makes deliverance actual in experience (Rom 8:2)."

[J. Dwight Pentecost states in his book,"Things Which Become SOUND DOCTRINE," Revell Publishing, Westwood N.J., 1965, p. 76)]:

"This word ["Exegorasen" (Gal 3:13)] emphasizes the result of the redemption, the result of the purchase by the blood of Christ. When we were purchased out from the curse of the Law and bondage to sin we were purchased out so completely and effectively that we can never be returned to that slave market again... The Apostle tells us that when Christ redeemed us in a redemptive act, and purchased us for Himself by the payment of a price, He redeemed us [in the sense of] purchased us out of the slave market [of sin] in order that we might be delivered from its bondage forever."

[Notice the phrase, 'that we might be delivered' from its bondage forever which infers potential and depends upon whether or not an individual takes that step of trusting alone in Christ alone unto eternal life]

details on redemption

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM REDEMPTION STUDY ******

1 cont.) (Gal 3:13) Christ Redeemed Us - Jews And Gentiles - All Mankind - From The Curse Of the Law, Having Become A Curse For Us In Our Stead - For It Is Written, 'Cursed Is Everyone Who Hangs On A Tree' (cont.)

(Gal 3:13 NASB) "Christ 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' -[Dt. 21:22-23]" (cont.) =

To support what he wrote in Gal 3:13a, Paul then quoted once more from Scripture, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree." The context of the phrase is that anyone who is hung on a tree has committed a sin worthy of death and is therefore hung on a tree:

c) [Compare Dt 21:22-23]:

(Dt 21:22 NASB) "If a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,

(Dt 21:23 NASB) his corpse shall not hang all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him on the same day (for he who is hanged is accursed of God), so that you do not defile your land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance."

In OT times criminals were executed (normally by stoning) and then displayed on a stake or post to show God's divine rejection. When Christ was crucified, it was evidence He had come under the curse of God. The manner of His death was a great obstacle to faith for Jews until they realized the curse He bore was for them, (Isa chapter 53 )

This answers how Christ redeemed mankind, i.e., by becoming a curse of us - a substitutionary redemption whereby Christ took the penalty of all guilty lawbreakers - all mankind - upon Himself. Thus the 'curse of the Law' was transferred from sinners / all mankind to Christ, the sinless One (cf. 2 Cor 5:21).

2) (Gal 3:14a) Manuscript Evidence

(Gal 3:14 NASB) "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." =

WH Sinaiticus, B have "Jesus Christ"

TR NU and all other manuscripts have "Christ Jesus"

3) (Gal 3:14b) Manuscript Evidence

(Gal 3:14 NASB) "in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." =

TR, WH, NU, P99, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, D2, Psi, 0278, 33, 1739, Maj, syr, cop have "the promise of the Spirit" is included in versions

P46, D*c, F, G, it(b), Marcion have "the blessing of the Spirit"

It is possible that the variant is the result of some scribe(s) accidentally copying the word rendered "blessing" from the first part of the verse. But it is also possible that some scribe(s) introduced the word rendered "promise" in anticipation of the following verses, which focus on the promise made to Abraham now received by all who believe in Christ. However, the documentary evidence slightly favors the TR, WH, NU reading.

4) (Gal 3:14) Christ Redeemed Us - Jews And Gentiles - All Mankind - From The Curse Of the Law, Having Become A Curse For Us In Our Stead - For It Is Written, 'Cursed Is Everyone Who Hangs On A Tree' In Order That In Christ Jesus The Blessing Of Abraham Might Come To The Gentiles, So That We Would Receive The Promise Of The Spirit Through Faith

(Gal 3:13 NASB) "Christ 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' -[Dt. 21:22-23] (Gal 3:14 NASB) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." =

Gal 3:14a provides the answer as to why Christ redeemed us - Jews and Gentiles, all mankind - from the curse of the Law: it was in order that in Christ Jesus, in the sense of through a moment of faith alone in Him alone, the blessing God promised to Abraham of the blessing of eternal life to all the families of the earth would come to pass for any individual who would choose to believe in Christ - Jew or Gentile.

a) [Compare Gal 3:8]:

(Gal 3:8 NKJV) "And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.' " [Gal 12:3]

And Gal 3:14b states more of why Christ redeemed all mankind: so that it was so that all mankind would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith, Who will provide sanctification - growth in the faith toward spiritual maturity.

b) [Compare Gal 3:2-3]:

(Gal 3:2 NASB) "This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of [law], or by hearing with faith? (Gal 3:3 NASB) Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?"

E) (Gal 3:15-18) BROTHERS, I SPEAK ACCORDING TO MAN: THOUGH IT IS ONLY A MAN'S COVENANT, YET IF IT IS CONFIRMED, NO ONE ANNULS OR ADDS TO IT. THE PROMISES WERE SPOKEN BY GOD TO ABRAHAM AND TO HIS SEED, HE DOES NOT SAY, 'AND TO SEEDS' AS REFERRING TO MANY, BUT RATHER TO ONE, 'AND TO YOUR SEED,' THAT IS, CHRIST. AND THIS I [PAUL] SAY, A COVENANT CONFIRMED BEFORE BY GOD IN CHRIST; WHAT I AM SAYING IS THIS: THE LAW, WHICH CAME FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS LATER, DOES NOT INVALIDATE A COVENANT PREVIOUSLY RATIFIED BY GOD SO AS TO NULLIFY THE PROMISE. FOR IF THE INHERITANCE - [WHICH IS AN ETERNAL ONE] - IS OF THE LAW, IT IS NO LONGER OF PROMISE; BUT GOD GAVE IT TO ABRAHAM BY PROMISE

(Gal 3:15 NKJV) "Brethren, I speak in the manner of men [lit., according to man]: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. (Gal 3:16 NASB) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to One, 'And to your Seed,' that is, Christ. (Gal 3:17 YLT) and this I say, a covenant confirmed before by God [in] Christ, [the] Law, that came four hundred and thirty years after, [does] not set aside, to make void the promise, (Gal 3:17 NASB) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. (Gal 3:18 NKJV) For if the inheritance is of the Law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise." =

1) (Gal 3:15-16) Brothers, I Speak According To Man: Though It Is Only A Man's Covenant, Yet If It Is Confirmed, No One Annuls Or Adds To It. Now The Promises Were Spoken By God To Abraham And To His Seed, He does Not Say, 'And To Seeds' As Referring To Many, But Rather To One, 'And To Your Seed,' That Is Christ.

(Gal 3:15 NKJV) "Brethren, I speak in the manner of men [lit., according to man]: Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it. (Gal 3:16 NASB) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as referring to many, but rather to One, 'And to your Seed,' that is, Christ. " =

In Gal 3:15, Paul defended what he wrote about in Gal 3:6-9. He provided proof of the validity, permanence and immutability of God's covenant / promise to Abraham and his seed, which He unilaterally ratified for the benefit of Abraham, his descendants and all the families of the earth. It was totally dependant upon God's promise through the Seed of Abraham Who is Christ and nothing else. So the Law when it came 430 years later did not nullify the promise.

a) [Compare Gal 3:6-9]:

(Gal 3:6 NKJV) "Just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.' [Gen 15:6]]

(Gal 3:7 NKJV) Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.

(Gal 3:8 NKJV) And the Scripture, [having foreseen] that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.'

(Gal 3:9 NASB) So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer [lit., the believing one] [cp Gal 3:7]

At the beginning of Gal 3:15, Paul addresses the Galatians as "brethren" for the first time in this chapter, returning to a brotherly tone he initiated earlier in 1:2, 11 and 2:4. But more than that, he provides a logical argument for the validity, permanency and immutability of the promises of God To Abraham including that of eternal life through the Seed of Abraham for Abraham, his descendants and all of the families of the earth. Paul's point is that God's promises are defined by the parameters by which covenants / agreements are made amongst men. The Greek word "diatheken" in Gal 3:15 which is rendered covenant or agreement appears in Gen 15:18 in the Septuagint as a rendering for the Hebrew word, "bĕrth," in Gen 15:18 Old Testament Hebrew. Both words refer to a covenant / agreement amonst men, especially the covenant / promises that God unilaterally "kārat," rendered "cut" / made or ratified with Abraham, his descendants and all the families of the earth through Abraham's Seed. In the case of Gal 3:15, either rendering of covenant or agreement fits the context: "Brethren, I speak in the manner of men" in the sense of according to the parameters of covenants / agreements amongst men especially relative to the covenant / promises God made with Abraham, his descendants and all the families of the earth.

Then Paul wrote, "Though it is only a man's covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it." This is especially true of the promise / covenant in view because it was unilaterally ratified by God alone. When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself, (Gen 15:1-21).

Whereupon, Gal 3:16 more specifically refers to the promises which were spoken by God to Abraham and to his Seed, ["spermati," singular] Who is Christ. Paul writes that He [God] does not say, 'And to seeds,' ["spermasin," plural] as referring to many, but rather to One, 'And to your Seed,' ["spermati," singular] - that is Christ." So Paul is emphasizing the singular meaning of the word rendered "Seed" in Gal 3:16. But this is not to say that that same Greek word "spermati," in its singular form cannot have a meaning which refers to a plurality of descendants. It depends upon the context. Sometimes both meanings apply at the same time.

In the same way, the Hebrew word "bĕzar'ăkā" meaning "seed" in a corresponding / parallel Old Testament passage using the Greek equivalent in Paul's writings to "spermati," singular may be taken as referring to one individual or a plurality of individuals, or both, depending upon context:

b) [Compare Gen 22:18]:

(Gen 22:18 NASB) "In your Seed ["bĕzar'ăkā" = Seed, singular] all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice," [Ref. Gen 18:19; 22:3, 10; 26:5 ]

Note that both the singular and the plural meanings of "bĕzar'ăkā" are in view in Gen 22:18. For the context not only indicates that it is in the Seed of Abraham, in the sense of through the merits of - the Seed, singular of Abram / Abraham that all the descendants of Abram / Abraham and all the nations of the earth, i.e., all mankind shall be blessed - implying that it is the particular Seed, singular, Who is Christ Who is to come Who is in view because only He has that capacity. Of the many other descendants of Abram, of the innumerable number of all mankind - no other man - has such a capacity as that of the Seed of Abraham, Who is Christ to fulfill the promises of God -

but the unique Seed, singular of Abraham is the One Who has come through the seed / descendants, plural of Abraham. Hence the plural meaning of "bĕzar'ăkā" is in view in Gen 22:18 as well.

In the case of Gal 3:16, Paul's qualification / definition of the Greek word "spermati," singular "Seed" in Gal 3:16 does not refer to Abram's / Abraham's many descendants, but to the One Seed / to the One Descendant of Abraham, Who is Christ, in and through Whom alone will come in the sense of be provided the promises God made to Abraham to Abraham himself, to all of his descendants and to all the families of the earth - all mankind forever - to those who believe as Abraham believed. Although it is true that the promises God spoke to Abraham included Abraham and all of Abraham's descendants, (as well as including all of the families of the earth); only One Descendant of Abraham will be qualified to actually be in the sense of make provision for the fulfillment of those promises for Abraham, his descendants and all of mankind - through faith; and that is Christ, the Promised Messiah to come, Who is both God and Man.

c) [Compare Isa 9:6-7]:

(Isa 9:6 NASB) "For a child will be born to us [Israel], a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince Peace.

(Isa 9:7 NASB) There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish."

d) [Compare Mt 1:1]:

(Mt 1:1 NASB) "The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham."
[Note that Jesus is a Descendant of - a Son of Abraham]

e) [Compare Heb 11:17-19]:

(Heb 11:17 NASB) "By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;

(Heb 11:18 NASB) it was he to whom it was said, 'In Isaac your seed [descendants] shall be called.' [Gen 21:12]

(Heb 11:19 NASB) He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type,"

[A "type" in the sense of a figure symbollic of and pointing to the One to come, Who is Christ - the Seed of Abraham through Whom the God's promises to Abraham would be fulfilled]

2) (Gal 3:17) Manuscript Evidence

(Gal 3:17 YLT) "and this I say, a covenant confirmed before by God [in] Christ, [the] Law, that came four hundred and thirty years after, [does] not set aside, to make void the promise,

(Gal 3:17 NASB) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise." =

WH, NU, P46, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, P, Psi, 33, 1739, cop have "a covenant previously confirmed by God".

TR, D, F, G, I, 0176, 0278, Maj, it, syr have "a covenant previously confirmed by God in Christ"

The manuscript evidence for the WH NU reading is very good, having support from the four earliest manuscripts (the first four listed above) as well as others. The manuscript evidence for TR is fairly good, but not as early. Influenced by the previous verse and by 3:22-29, where Christ figures significantly in the new covenant, it is likely that some scribe(s) thought it helpful to elucidate that, though the covenant was confirmed by God, it was done so in Christ.

3) (Gal 3:17-18) And This I [Paul] Say, A Covenant Confirmed Before By God In Christ; What I Am Saying Is This: The Law, Which Came Four Hundred And Thirty Years Later After, Does Not Invalidate A Covenant Previously Ratified By God, So As To Nullify The Promise. For If The Inheritance - [Which Is An Eternal One] - Is Of The Law, It Is No Longer Of Promise; But God Gave It To Abraham By Promise

(Gal 3:17 YLT) "and this I say, a covenant confirmed before by God [in] Christ, [the] Law, that came four hundred and thirty years after, [does] not set aside, to make void the promise,

(Gal 3:17 NASB) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise.

(Gal 3:18 NKJV) For if the inheritance is of the Law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise." =

Gal 3:17 has in view the promises that God spoke to Abraham in Gal 3:16. The key promise that God gave to Abraham and his Seed, Who is Christ, which cannot be nullified or even modified in the slightest: the provision of eternal life through the Seed, Who is Christ, so that Abraham, all of his descendants and all the families of the earth - all mankind - might have the opportunity to have eternal life through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone - God's unilaterally ratified covenant / promise to Abraham which includes all the families of the earth .

Whereupon in Gal 3:17-18, author Paul concluded, "And I say, a covenant confirmed before by God [in] Christ, the Law of Moses which came 430 years later , [after the Abrahamic Covenant / Promise], does not invalidate that covenant promise previously ratified by God alone, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is of the Law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise - unilaterally ratifying it right after He declared Abram / Abraham to be justified by faith alone in fulfilling what He promised.

a) [Compare Gen 15:7-21]:

(Gen 15:1 NASB) "After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.'

(Gen 15:2 NASB) Abram said, 'O LORD God, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(Gen 15:3 NASB) And Abram said, 'Since You [the LORD] have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.'

(Gen 15:4 NASB) Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, 'This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.'

(Gen 15:5 NASB) And He took him outside and said, 'Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.' And He said to him, 'So shall your descendants be.'

(Gen 15:6 NASB) Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Gen 15:7 NASB) And He [God] said to him, [Abram] 'I am the LORD Who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.

(Gen 15:8 NASB) He said, 'O LORD God, how may I know that I will possess it?'

(Gen 15:9 NASB) So He said to him, 'Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.'

(Gen 15:10 NASB) Then he brought all of these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.

(Gen 15:11 NASB) The birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away.

(Gen 15:12 NASB) Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him.

(Gen 15:13 NASB) God said to Abram, 'Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.

(Gen 15:14 NASB) 'But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions.

(Gen15:15 NASB) 'As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age.

(Gen 15:16 NASB) 'Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.'

(Gen 15:17 NASB) It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.

(Gen 15:18 NASB) On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, 'To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates:

(Gen 15:19 NASB) the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite

(Gen 15:20 NASB) and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim

(Gen 15:21 NASB) and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.' "

3 cont.) (Gal 3:17-18 cont.) And This I [Paul] Say, A Covenant Confirmed Before By God In Christ; What I Am Saying Is This: The Law, Which Came Four Hundred And Thirty Years Later After, Does Not Invalidate A Covenant Previously Ratified By God, So As To Nullify The Promise. For If The Inheritance - [Which Is An Eternal One] - Is Of The Law, It Is No Longer Of Promise; But God Gave It To Abraham By Promise, (cont.)

(Gal 3:17 YLT) "and this I say, a covenant confirmed before by God [in] Christ, [the] Law, that came four hundred and thirty years after, [does] not set aside, to make void the promise, (Gal 3:17 NASB) What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. (Gal 3:18 NKJV) For if the inheritance is of the Law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise." =

When God made His covenant of grace with Abraham, he was still an uncircumcised Gentile. In fact, it would be 24 years later that Abraham and all male members of his clan were circumcised which did not annul or modify the covenant, (Gen 17:23-27).

Further the Abrahamic Covenant was not annulled by the much later event at Mount Sinai when God gave the Jews the Law of Moses.

This is so because if the inheritance - the unilateral promise of God, His covenant of grace with Abraham - is to be modifies to be now exclusively based on law - on perfect human doing, of being dependent upon faithfully obeying the precepts of the Mosaic Law, then the promise is no longer freely based on God's unilateral promise to Abraham / all mankind through faith in the Seed, Who is Christ. This implies that God would have contradicted Himself in an untrustworthy manner, reneging on His previous agreement which He unilaterally ratified, completely changing the terms of the contract. But, Paul reasons, God gave His promise unilaterally to Abraham and to all mankind and God being Who He is - Absolutely Sovereign, Immutable and Reliable, that settles the matter! Furthermore, this is the only tenable way for man to attain eternal life.

F) (Gal 3:19-22) WHY, THEN, PAUL ASKS, WAS THE LAW GIVEN AT ALL? IT WAS ADDED BECAUSE [LIT., FOR THE SAKE] OF TRANSGRESSIONS UNTIL THE SEED TO WHOM THE PROMISE REFERRED TO HAD COME. THE LAW WAS GIVEN THROUGH ANGELS AND ENTRUSTED TO A MEDIATOR. NOW A MEDIATOR IS NOT FOR ONE PARTY ONLY; WHEREAS GOD IS ONLY ONE. IS THE LAW THEN AGAINST THE PROMISES OF GOD? CERTAINLY NOT! FOR IF THERE WAS GIVEN A LAW WHICH COULD HAVE GIVEN LIFE, TRULY RIGHTEOUSNESS WOULD HAVE BEEN BY THE LAW. BUT THE SCRIPTURE HAS SHUT UP [ALL THINGS] UNDER SIN, SO THAT THE PROMISE BY FAITH IN JESUS MIGHT BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE.

(Gal 3:19 NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because, [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:53] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5] (Gal 3:20 NASB) Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. (Gal 3:21 NKJV) Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law. But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe." =

1) (Gal 3:19) Manuscript Evidence for Gal 3:19

(Gal 3:19 NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because, [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:53] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5] =

TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, A, B, C, D2, Psi, 0176(vid), 33, 1739, Maj and all English versions have "Why then the Law? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed should come."

D* has "Why then the Law? It was established on account of the traditions, until the Seed should come."

F, G, it have "Why then the law of deeds? It was established until the Seed should come."

P46 has "Why then the law of deeds [? It was] until the Seed should come."

In the earliest manuscripts of the NT there were no question marks (so P46). Therefore, a scribe copying this verse could read the first words as "Why then the Law?" or as "Why then the law of transgressions?" to "deeds," as in the second and third variants. Although the resultant change is nearly as difficult, it connotes the law requiring one's deeds or actions to fulfill it. The original scribe of D made an interesting change - from "transgressions" to "traditions," which was later corrected.

2) (Gal 3:19) Why, Then, Was The Law Given At All? It Was Added Because [lit., For The Sake] Of Transgressions Until The Seed To Whom The Promise Referred To Had Come

(Gal 3:19 NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:53] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5] =

In Gal 3:19a and in the light of Gal 3:17-18 which established the fact that the eternal inheritance of God's promise to Abraham, his seed / his descendants and all the families of the earth by faith alone is valid, permanent and immutable - not dependant upon the Law of Moses, or any law; Paul asks the question, "Why, then, was the Law given at all?" And in Gal 3:19b Paul provides an answer, "It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed to Whom the promise referred to had come." Notice that the answer indicates that the Law neither replaced, nor modified, nor took precedence over God's promises to Abram / Abraham. Instead the Law of Moses was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions - unlawful actions - until the Seed, Who is Christ through Whom the promise would be fulfilled had come. This implies that the purpose of Law of Moses would be fulfilled in Christ in a number of ways,

a) [Mt 5:17]:

(Mt 5:17 NASB) " [Jesus said] 'Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill."

The Greek word "parabaseōn" rendered "transgressions" in Gal 3:19 - literally, "false steps" or "lapses," denotes obstinate and intentional violations of known commandments - sins that have no excuse. Paul provides as his first answer to the question "Why, then, was the Law given at all?" was that the Law "was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions." The phrase can mean either that the Mosaic Law was given to restrain transgressions or that the Law was given to make the transgressions known. In view of Paul's choice of the word "transgressions" (parabasis) rather than "sin" (hamartia) in this context and of his discussion of the purpose of the Law elsewhere, (cf. Ro 3:20; 4:15; 5:13, 20; 7:7), the word rendered "transgressions" best fits the context because transgressions are defined as specific violations of commandments that are known, especially in this context - known commandments from the Law of Moses which represents the Righteousness of God, (Gal 3:21; Ro 7:12; Dt 6:25). So to violate a commandment from the Law of Moses is to violate the Righteousness of God. Whereas the other Greek word, "hamartia" rendered "sins," refers to all things unrighteous, known or unknown. Paul indicates that the knowledge of those commandments inevitably caused more transgressions in sinful man, (cf Ro 5:20) - which is all men, i.e., willful, sinful rebellion against the commands of that Law.

In Romans, Paul argues that "through the law we become conscious of sin" (3:20) and that "where there is no law there is no transgression" (4:15). The point is that though sin was in the world before the giving of the law, sin was not always known as such. The Law reveals sin as sin. Hence, it may be said that it is the Law that turns sin into transgression - transgression of law - and even accentuates it, (Ro 5:20). By this act, the Mosaic Law performs the function of showing man's need of a Savior, (ref. Gal 3:22; Ro 3:19-20).

When men learned of certain precepts of the Law of Moses, they knowingly violated them. Each and every violation is sufficient to disqualify one from being justified unto eternal life by trying to keep the Law of Moses to that end, (Jas 2:10). On the other hand the promise that God gave to Abraham, his descendants and all the families of the earth provides eternal life via a moment of faith alone in the Seed of Abraham alone, Who is Christ. So when a sinner, which has in view all mankind, (except the One Who was to come, Jesus Christ), becomes conscious of the Law which represents the standard of the Righteousness of God, he reacts by transgressing it instead of obeying it. So the introduction of the Law of Moses resulted in mankind who became knowledgeable in that Law committing more sins. The Law of Moses exposed the innate sinfulness of mankind - all men except Christ, bringing to man's attention that without the grace of God, eternal life is an impossibility via keeping the statutes of the Law.

So Paul is declaring that the Law of Moses was given not to save man but rather to reveal his sin. And it was temporary "until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come, implying that the purpose of the Law of Moses would be fulfilled in Christ when He came for a number of reasons.

******

3) (Gal 3:19a) Why, Then, Was The Law Given At All? Reasons Are As Follows

(Gal 3:19a NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed to Whom the promise referred to had come." =

a) To Reveal The Righteousness Of God - The Standard Of Righteousness That God Demands For Eternal Life And A Proper Relationship With Him In The Temporal Life

i) [Compare Lev 18:5]:

(Lev 18:5 NASB) [The LORD, speaking to Moses said, (v. 1)]: " 'So you shall keep My statutes and My judgments, by which a man may live if he does them; I am the LORD."

Lev 18:5 promises a good life here and eternal life hereafter - the whole OT context of faith in God and trust in His promises, including those given in the symbolism and typeology of the sacrifices detailed in the Book of Leviticus. Notice that keeping the statutes of the Law resulted in living out the temporal life with blessing, enjoyment, fulfillment.

ii) [Compare Gal 3:21]:

(Gal 3:21 NKJV) "Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law."

Gal 3:21 stipulates that the Mosaic Law is not against the promises of God, so if keeping a law could have given eternal life, but it is man that is not capable, truly righteousness would have been by the Mosaic Law indicating that the Law is righteous.

ii) [Compare Ro 7:12]:

(Ro 7:12 NASB) "So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good."

This implies that the character of the provisions of the Mosaic Law is an absolutely Righteous one - every statute.

iii) [Compare Ro 2:20b]:

(Ro 2:20b) "[the Jews, (vv. 14, 17-18)] Having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,"

Notice that it is stipulated in Ro 2:20b, "You [Jews] have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!"

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's Righteousness.

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people.

b) To Provide A Rule Of Conduct / Life For Jews - Especially Those Who Are Of The Faith Of Abraham During The Old Testament Period Before The Establishment Of The Body Of Believers In Christ, The Church - An Example For The Rest Of Mankind To Follow, Leading To The Knowledge Of And Faith In The One True God And His Salvation Through His One And Only Son Through Faith Alone In Him Alone

i) [Exodus chapters 20-23]:

c) To keep the Jews a distinct people - the people of the one true God

ii) [Compare Lev 11:44-45]:

(Lev 11:44 NASB) " 'For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.

(Lev 11:45 NASB) 'For I am the LORD Who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.' "

iii) [Compare Lev 20:7-8, 26]:

(Lev 20:7 NASB) " 'You shall consecrate yourselves therefore and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.

(Lev 20:8 NASB) You shall keep My statutes and practice them; I am the LORD Who sanctifies you.

(Lev 20:26 NASB) Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the peoples to be Mine"

iv) [Compare Dt 7:6; cf. Dt 14:1ff]:

(Dt 7:6 NASB) "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."

This was the specific reason for the Law - setting the Israelites to the one true God apart from the peoples of the world who did not worship Him. This was in order to characterize God as holy and unique. The Law was to be a blessing to them physically and spiritually such as the dietary laws and the clothing laws. The Jews were to be distinct from all other people in a variety of ways, such as their worship habits (Lev 1, 7, 16, 23), their eating habits (Lev 11:1-47), their sexual habits (Lev 12), their clothing habits, Lev 19:19, and even the way they cut their beards (Lev 19:27). Other passages for this point include Ex 19:5-8 and 31:13.

d) To Provide Israel With Occasions For Individual And Corporate Worship Of God

i) [Compare Lev 23]:

e) To Reveal Sin To Israel And To All Mankind Through Israel's Experience At Failing To Keep The Law - To Demonstrate All Of Mankind's Utter Sinfulness And Helplessness Before A Holy And Righteous God, To Lead One To Seek Eternal Life Via A Moment Of Faith Alone In The Sacrifice Of His Son For Sins Alone

The Law was given Israel to prove mankind's utter sinfulness and helplessness. This is indicated in Paul's own experience in Romans chapter 7.

i) [Ro 7:7-13]:

(Ro 7:7 NASB) "What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would nothave come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' "

(Ro 7:8 NASB) 'But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

(Ro 7:9 NASB) I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive and I died;

(Ro 7:10 NASB) and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me;

(Ro 7:11 NASB) for sin, taking an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.

[That the Law was holy and righteous is obvious as stated by Paul in Ro 7:12-13 as follow]:

(Ro 7:12 NASB) So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

(Ro 7:13 NASB) Therefore did that which is good become a cause of death for me? May it never be! Rather it was sin, in order that it might be shown to be sin by effecting my death through that which is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful."

Apart from the life of Jesus Christ in His perfect and sinless humanity, (2 Cor 5:21), there has been universal failure to keep such laws as God has revealed to mankind. The Law was never given as a means for salvation or justification. The Law became a curse to Israel (ref. Gal 3:10) bringing them condemnation (2 Cor 3:9) and death (Rom. 7:10-11) and to all mankind by the example of her failure. A beneficial effect of the Law was to drive Israel to Christ as the only Savior and Mediator.

ii) [Compare Ro 3:19-20 cf. Gal 3:11, 24]:

(Ro 3:19 NASB) "Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God;

(Ro 3:20 NASB) because by the works of ... law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through law comes knowledge of sin."

iii) [Compare Ro 5:20]:

(Ro 5:20 NASB) The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

Notice that the Law increased sin, revealing the sinfulness of mankind. It represented to mankind what is holy and righteous as the God of Israel is holy and righteous.

f) To Shut Up Everyone Under Sin, So That The Promise By Faith In Jesus Christ Might Be Given To Those - Jew And Gentile - Who Believe. The Law Thus Became Our Tutor To Lead Us To Christ, So That We May Be Justified By Faith

i) [Compare Gal 3:22-24]:

(Gal 3:22 NASB) "But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

(Gal 3:23 NASB) But before faith came, we were kept in custody under ... law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

(Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith."

g) To Make A Person Sin More

i) [Compare Ro 5:20, cf. 7:7-13]:

(Ro 5:20 NASB) "The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

h) To Serve As A Wall Of Partition Between Jew And Gentile - Until It - The Law - Was Abolished

i) [Compare Eph 2:14-15]:

(Eph 2:14 NASB) "For He Himself is our peace, [having made the both] groups into one and [having abolished] [the dividing wall of the] barrier [of enmity (v. 15)] between us,

(Eph 2:15 YLT) [having abolished (v. 14)] the enmity [between both groups] in His flesh, [having annulled] the Law of the commands [contained] in ordinances ... that the two [groups] He might create in Himself into one new man, making peace,"

Eph 2:14-15 goes on to declare that Christ has made, in the sense of created, both groups - Jewish believers and Gentile believers - into one group which is neither Jew nor Gentile, but one new creation in Christ Jesus, (cf. Gal 3:28; 2 Cor 5:17) - Christ having abolished in His flesh, (Eph 2:15), the dividing wall - literally, the middle wall of the partition in the sense of the dividing wall that is the barrier - the Mosaic Law, the "enmity" between the two groups, (Eph 2:15) - resulting in no godly reason for there to be enmity between one another in this temporal life, nor in eternity. Neither Jew nor Gentile believer in Christ Jesus can claim superiority over the other. Both must rely on the grace of God for the temporal and eternal life through faith in His Son.

i) To Serve As An Example Of The Righteousness Of God By Which Christ Did Live And Thus Qualify Himself In His Perfect Sinless Humanity Without A Sin Nature To Die In Payment For The Sins Of The Whole World In Order To Provide The Gift Of His Righteousness To Those Who Trust Alone In Him Alone For Eternal Life

i) The Law represents the Righteousness of God - the standard of righteousness that God demands for eternal life and for a proper relationship with Him in the temporal life in every statute

[Compare Gal 3:21]:

(Gal 3:21 NKJV) "Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law."

Gal 3:21 stipulates that the Mosaic Law is not against the promises of God, so if keeping a law could have given eternal life, but it is man that is not capable, truly righteousness would have been by the Mosaic Law indicating that the Law is righteous.

[Compare Ro 7:12]:

(Ro 7:12 NASB) "So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good."

This implies that the character of the provisions of the Mosaic Law is an absolutely Righteous one - every statute.

[Compare Ro 2:20b]:

(Ro 2:20b) "[the Jews, (vv. 14, 17-18)] Having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,"

Notice that it is stipulated in Ro 2:20b, "You [Jews] have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!"

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's Righteousness.

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people.

******

ii) Christ in His Humanity lived a perfect life under the Law without sin

[1 Pet 1:18-19]:

(1 Pet 1:18 NASB) "Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

(1 Pet 1:19 NASB) but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."

This implies that Christ led a life that was without sin, no blemishes, no spots, internally or externally.

[1 Pet 2:21-22]:

(1 Pet 2:21 NASB) "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps,

(1 Pet 2:22 NASB) 'Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth."

[Heb 4:15]:

(Heb 4:15 NASB) "For we do not have a high priest Who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One Who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."

Jesus truly suffered in temptation without succombing to any temptation. Morally and spiritually Jesus could not have sinned. In this manner, He was truly impeccable. His very nature would not allow Him to sin.

[2 Cor 5:21]:

(2 Cor 5:21 NASB) "He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."

[Col 2:9]:

(Col 2:9 NASB) "For in Him [in Christ, (v. 8)] all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,"

Since Jesus is both God and Man, His Human nature cannot be in conflict with His Diety which is immutable; hence both must be morally pure and incapable of sin.

[Gal 3:13]:

(Gal 3:13 NASB) "Christ 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."

Man's redemption required a price: the once for all time shed blood of Jesus Christ without blemish or defect - both His life and His nature.

[Heb 7:26-27]:

(Heb 7:26 NASB) "For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;

(Heb 7:27 NASB) Who does not need daily, like those hight priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for allwhen He offered up Himself."

[Col 1:22]:

(Col 1:22 NASB) yet He [Christ, (vv. 10-21)] has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach"

The only way man could be reconciled to a holy and perfect God was with a holy and perfect offering, which we would not have had if Jesus Christ was neither without sin nor a sin nature.

iii) The Humanity of Jesus Christ has a perfect nature, not a sin nature as some contend

[1 Pet 1:18-19]:

(1 Pet 1:18 NASB) "Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

(1 Pet 1:19 NASB) but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."

[Gal 3:13]:

(Gal 3:13 NASB) "Christ 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."

Man's redemption required a price: the once for all time shed blood of Jesus Christ without blemish or defect - both His life and His nature.

[Heb 7:26-27]:

(Heb 7:26 NASB) "For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;

(Heb 7:27 NASB) Who does not need daily, like those hight priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself."

[Col 1:22]:

(Col 1:22 NASB) yet He [Christ, (vv. 10-21)] has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach"

The only way man could be reconciled to a holy and perfect God was with a holy and perfect offering, which we would not have had if Jesus Christ was neither without sin nor a sin nature.

So Adam was the representative head of mankind relative to being responsible for sin becoming the intrinsic nature within of all humans born thereafter - after the Fall - in the world

[Compare Ro 5:12, 18]:

(Ro 5:12 NASB) "Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned [in Adam] -

(Ro 5:18 NASB) So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men."

[Compare Eph 2:3]:

(Eph 2:3 NASB) "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."

Note that the sin nature is passed on to all mankind through Adam, not Eve, although she sinned first - by God's decree which God inspired Paul to write in Ro 5:12 and 18. There is no biological evidence that the male seed contains the inherited trait of a sin nature, and the female seed does not, as some contend. Furthermore, Eph 2:3 says that we "were by nature children of wrath," not by the father's nature. So the responsibility for the sin nature being passed down through descendants is decreed by God to be that of the male and that settles the matter. Since Jesus did not descend from a human father but by the Holy Spirit Whose nature is perfect, He did not have a sin nature.

[Mt 1:20]:

(Mt 1:20 NASB) "But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child Who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit."

Note that even though Eve was the first person to sin, according to Scripture, sin entered through Adam and not through Eve:

[Lk 1:35]:

(Lk 1:35 NASB) "The angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the Holy Child shall be called the Son of God."

These two passages imply that the Son of God will have a perfect, sinless nature, not a sinful one.

There is no evidence in the Bible that Jesus needed or experienced rebirth. He did not need to be 'born again,' because He was born without a sin nature.

[Heb 4:15]:

(Heb 4:15 NASB) "For we do not have a high priest Who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but One Who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."

[Heb 7:26]:

(Heb 7:26 NASB) "For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens."

Since Jesus is without sin, then sin cannot be one of His essential qualities or attributes. You cannot have a sin nature, and be without sin. Therefore, Christ's nature is not sinful. His nature is "holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens."

[Compare Jas 1:13]:

(Jas 1:13 NASB) "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God;' for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone."

The statement in Jas 1:13 does not mean that because Jesus was tempted, He could fail that temptation, any more than God could fail such a temptation, for Jesus Christ is both God and Man. His Humanity cannot have a different nature than from His Diety.

[Ro 8:3-4]:

(Ro 8:3 NASB) "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned in the flesh,

(Ro 8:4 NASB) so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

[Heb 2:14-18]:

(Heb 2:14 NASB) "Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,"

The phrase rendered "in the likeness of sinful flesh" does not indicate that Jesus' Humanity had a sin nature, merely a likeness of sinful man, but without the sin nature. Compare Heb 2:14, "He Himself likewise also partook of the same." Neither verse can be used to confirm that that Jesus had a sin nature.

For if that were the case, then the correct expression would be, "in sinful flesh," - not in a likeness of sinful flesh. In other words, "men are sinners. Jesus appeared as a man." Therefore, Jesus appeared in the likeness of a sinner, though He was not a sinner.]

(Heb 2:15 NASB) and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

(Heb 2:16 NASB) For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

(Heb 2:17 NASB) Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

(Heb 2:18 NASB) For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted."

The phrase indicating that Jesus Christ was "made like His brethren in all things" does not demand that He have a sin nature, for the passage further qualifies "all things" to be "so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people," which rules out having a sin nature because it would disqualify Him if He had such a nature. Furthermore, being "tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted," does not necessitate that He have a sin nature with the capacity succomb to that temptation. His perfect Humanity without a sin nature qualifies Him to be tempted in the sense of having the opportunity in that Humanity to sin and suffer that temptation but with no capacity to sin. Certainly, in His Humanity He could experience human temptations but not decide to succomb to them at any time.

[Eph 2:3]:

(Eph 2:3 NASB) "Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath even as the rest."

If Jesus Christ were as Eph 2:3 depicts man with a sin nature, it would not be possible for Him to provide a sinless and holy sacrifice as a child of God's wrath.

[Compare Dt 17:1 (cf. Ezek 43:22-23)]:

(Dt 17:1 NASB) "You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep which has a blemish or any defect, for that is a detestable thing to the LORD your God."

God is holy. He cannot accept imperfect sacrifices! To have a sinful nature is definitely to have a defect.

[Compare Heb 9:14]:

(Heb 9:14 NASB) "How much more will the blood of Christ, Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

How could Jesus have had a sin nature if His offering up of Himself was without blemish?

[Jn 1:1, 14]:

(Jn 1:1 NASB) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and [God] was the Word.

(Jn 1:14 NASB) And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His [God's] glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

The glory of God in the Word became flesh, Jesus Christ leaves no room for the sin nature.

iv) Christ died in payment for the sins of the whole world - all mankind - in order to provide the gift of His Righteousness unto eternal life to all those who trust alone in Him alone for eternal life - old and new testament saints throughout history

[1 Jn 2:2 ]:

(1 Jn 2:2 NASB) "and He Himself is the propitiation [satisfaction] for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

[Jn 3:16 ]:
(Jn 3:16 NIV) "For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

[Ro 3:21-28 ]:

(Ro 3:21 NASB) "But now apart from ... law the Righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

(Ro 3:22 NASB) even the Righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe: for there is no distinction;

(Ro 3:23 NASB) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Ro 3:24 NASB) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

(Ro 3:25 NASB) Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His Righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed [by OT saints];

(Ro 3:26 NASB) for the demonstration, I say, of His Righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

(Ro 3:27 NASB) Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.

(Ro 3:28 NASB) For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law."

4) (Gal 3:19a-19b) WHY, THEN, WAS THE LAW GIVEN AT ALL? IT WAS ADDED BECAUSE [LIT., FOR THE SAKE] OF TRANSGRESSIONS UNTIL THE SEED WHO IS CHRIST TO WHOM THE PROMISE REFERRED TO HAD COME

(Gal 3:19a-b NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come." =

The phrase rendered [the Law] "was added because of transgressions until the Seed [Who is Christ] to Whom the promise referred to had come," has in view a period of time - an economy or a dispensation in which God uniquely established the Law of Moses for a number of purposes, not the least of which was as a rule of life for God's chosen people, Israel; by which they were to conduct themselves as an example of godliness before God and the rest of the world as a characterization of Who God is. Furthermore, they were to be a voice of the salvation through faith alone in the Seed of Abraham alone - Who is Christ. Abraham and his descendants through Isaac, including the people of Israel had failed miserably to do this. So God phased the economy of the Law out to replace it with another economy - that of grace as a ruling factor in which Jews and Gentiles who had trusted alone in Christ alone were now assigned to be the representatives of Jesus Christ, the Son of God to represent His salvation to the world through faith alone in Him alone, replacing the Jew who had failed to keep the Law. Now both Jewish and Gentile believers were under the key ruling factor of the grace of God to be an example of godliness before God and before the rest of the world as a characterization of Who God is and a message of His salvation by grace through faith in His Son.

****** EXCERPT FROM STUDY ON DISPENSATIONS ******

[Renald E. Showers states, (THERE REALLY IS A DIFFERENCE! A COMPARISON OF COVENANT AND DISPENSATIONAL THEOLOGY, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., Bellmawr, N.J., 1991, p. 27-53)]:

THE DISPENSATION OF PROMISE

INTRODUCTION

The fourth dispensation extended from God’s call of Abraham to the giving of the Mosaic Law at Mount Sinai. The Scripture portion which covers this dispensation is Genesis 12 - Exodus 18.

NEW RULING FACTOR: GOD'S PROMISES TO ABRAHAM

Since man had failed to obey God on the basis of human government , the restraint by the Holy Spirit, and human government, God started a fourth dispensation by instituting promise as a new ruling factor. The fact that promise began as a significant factor with God’s special dealings with Abraham is made evident by such passages as Galatians 3:15-22 and Hebrews 6:13-15. A principle is a ruling factor if it makes a difference in the way people live. God intended His promises to Abraham and his descendants to make a difference in the way that they would live. Hebrews 11:8-30 demonstrates the fact that God’s promises did make such a difference in the lives of Abraham and his descendants. Thus, promise functioned as a ruling factor.

The fourth dispensation had four ruling factors which God used to govern Abraham and his descendants: human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, plus divine promise. Dispensational Theologians have named the fourth dispensation after the new ruling factor, since that is the factor which made the fourth dispensation distinct from the third.

GOD'S PERSONAL PROMISES TO ABRAHAM

The special revelation which God gave to Abraham and his descendants for the fourth dispensation is recorded in Genesis 12:2-3; 13:14-17; 15; 17:1-2; and 22:16-18. God made personal promises to Abraham: He would bless him, make his name great, give him innumerable physical descendants tantamount to having everlasting life, make him the father of a multitude of nations, give him the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession, and bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him.

GOD'S NATIONAL PROMISES CONCERNING ISRAEL

God made national promises concerning Israel: He would bring Israel into existence as a nation and make it great, give Israel the land of Canaan forever, and establish the Abrahamic Covenant with the nation as an everlasting covenant.

[Compare Isa 60:1-22]:
(Isa 60:1 NASB) "Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

(Isa 60:2 NASB) For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you.

(Isa 60:3 NASB) Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

(Isa 60:4 NASB) Lift up your eyes round about and see; They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from afar, And your daughters will be carried in the arms.

(Isa 60:5 NASB) Then you will see and be radiant, And your heart will thrill and rejoice; Because the abundance of the sea will be turned to you, The wealth of the nations will come to you.

(Isa 60:6 NASB) A multitude of camels will cover you, The young camels of Midian and Ephah; All those from Sheba will come; They will bring gold and frankincense, And will bear good news of the praises of the LORD.

(Isa 60:7 NASB) All the flocks of Kedar will be gathered together to you, The rams of Nebaioth will minister to you; They will go up with acceptance on My altar, And I shall glorify My glorious house.

(Isa 60:8 NASB) Who are these who fly like a cloud And like the doves to their lattices?

(Isa 60:9 NASB) Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; And the ships of Tarshish will come first, To bring your sons from afar, Their silver and their gold with them, For the name of the LORD your God, And for the Holy One of Israel because He has glorified you.

(Isa 60:10 NASB) Foreigners will build up your walls, And their kings will minister to you; For in My wrath I struck you, And in My favor I have had compassion on you.

(Isa 60:11 NASB) Your gates will be open continually; They will not be closed day or night, So that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, With their kings led in procession.

(Isa 60:12 NASB) For the nation and the kingdom which will not serve you will perish, And the nations will be utterly ruined.

(Isa 60:13 NASB) The glory of Lebanon will come to you, The juniper, the box tree and the cypress together, To beautify the place of My sanctuary; And I shall make the place of My feet glorious.

(Isa 60:14 NASB) The sons of those who afflicted you will come bowing to you, And all those who despised you will bow themselves at the soles of your feet; And they will call you the city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.

(Isa 60:15 NASB) Whereas you have been forsaken and hated With no one passing through, I will make you an everlasting pride, A joy from generation to generation.

(Isa 60:16 NASB) You will also suck the milk of nations And suck the breast of kings; Then you will know that I, the LORD, am your Savior And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.

(Isa 60:17 NASB) Instead of bronze I will bring gold, And instead of iron I will bring silver, And instead of wood, bronze, And instead of stones, iron. And I will make peace your administrators And righteousness your overseers.

(Isa 60:18 NASB) Violence will not be heard again in your land, Nor devastation or destruction within your borders; But you will call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.

(Isa 60:19 NASB) No longer will you have the sun for light by day, Nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And your God for your glory.

(Isa 60:20 NASB) Your sun will no longer set, Nor will your moon wane; For you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, And the days of your mourning will be over.

(Isa 60:21 NASB) Then all your people will be righteous; They will possess the land forever, The branch of My planting, The work of My hands, That I may be glorified.

(Isa 60:22 NASB) The smallest one will become a clan, And the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time."

GOD'S UNIVERSAL PROMISES

God also made a universal promise: He would give blessing to all families of the earth through Abraham’s line of descent - the Seed of Abraham, (ref. Gen 15:1-6; Gal 3:16) - the Redeemer Who would come through Israel .

SECONDARY RULES GOVERNING MANKIND

a) From Abraham will come a great nation & other nations. Gen.12:2; 17:5

b) Abraham will be blessed by God and have a great name. Gen. 12:2

c) Those who bless Abraham will be blessed, those who curse will be cursed. Gen.12:3

d) All families of earth will be blessed in Abraham. Gen. 12:3

e) Abraham and his descendants will have the Promised Land forever. Gen. 13:15

f) Ishmael will cause trouble and will have trouble with everyone. Gen. 16:12

g) All male babies from Abraham and his house to be circumcised. Gen. 17:10

******

CONCLUSION: FAILURE AGAIN

The responsibility of Abraham and his descendants during the fourth dispensation was to obey God on the basis of human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, and promise, i.e., the promises were to serve as a rule of life as an example of godliness before God as a testimony of Who God  is and of His salvation through the Seed of Abraham, Who is Christ. This is so that He might bless them and be magnified by their faithfulness - when they were faithful. This responsibility subjected Abraham and his descendants to the following test: Would they obey God on the basis of these four ruling factors?

Abraham and his descendants failed to be an example of God's Righteousness to the world, testifying to Who God is and of His salvation. They failed the test of the fourth dispensation. On several occasions they disobeyed God as the result of lapses of faith concerning the fulfillment of His promises. Abraham fathered Ishmael through Hagar. Twice he lied concerning his wife Sarah. Isaac lied concerning Rebecca. Jacob was a great deceiver. The Jews did not return from Egypt to Canaan after the famine of Joseph’s time ended. Apparently they forgot that their destiny was related to the land of Canaan rather than to Egypt.

This failure brought divine judgment. Throughout their history the Jews have continued to have problems with Ishmael’s descendants. Through time they were subjected to slavery and threatened with annihilation in Egypt.

THE DISPENSATION OF THE MOSAIC LAW

INTRODUCTION

The fifth dispensation began when Moses was given the Law on Mount Sinai and continued until our Lord was crucified on Mt Calvary, when it was interrupted before it came to a final close, leaving 7 years to complete as prophesied in Daniel chapter 9 and as examined in the study of this passage:

Ref:[] (DANIEL 9:24-27)

The tearing of the veil in the Temple in Jerusalem when Christ died, (Mt 27:51), indicated that the Law was no longer in effect as a rule of life since the veil was intended to separate the believers from the Holy of Holies sanctuary in the Temple and from dealing directly with God which was the Levitical Priest's job for the believer according to Mosaic Law provisions. Now the believer himself had the same direct access and New Testament passages indicate that the believer was now his own priest with access directly to God:

[1 Peter 2:9]:

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."

The final 7 years of the Mosaic Law period will commence when the Grace Age period closes with the rapture, (catching up), of all the church age saints to meet the Lord in the stratosphere Who will then take them back to heaven with Him, (1 Thes 4:13-18), leaving no believers on earth who are part of that dispensation until the Second Coming.

Ref: []

[Showers, cont.]:

"The Scripture portion which covers the dispensation of the Mosaic Law is Exodus 19:1 through Matthew 27:56 - through Mark 15:41 - through Luke 23:49, and - through John 20:30.

[And for the final 7 years of that dispensation we have Revelation chapters 6-19]

NEW RULING FACTOR: THE MOSAIC LAW

Since Abraham and his descendants had failed to obey God on the basis of the four ruling factors of the fourth dispensation, God began a fifth dispensation by instituting the Mosaic Law as a new ruling factor.

FOUR OTHER RULING FACTORS ARE CONTINUED:

The fifth dispensation had five ruling factors which God used to govern the people of Israel: human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, plus the Mosaic Law.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE MOSAIC LAW

The central core of the Mosaic Law was written on tablets of stone. The Law inflicted the death penalty upon those who broke a number of its precepts. Thus, the Mosaic Law was a totally external way of God’s administering His rule over Israel. For this reason, the Apostle Paul declared that the Mosaic Law functioned as a pedagogue (an external moral restrainer, Gal. 3:23-25). Dispensational Theologians have named the fifth dispensation after the new ruling factor because that is the factor which made the fifth dispensation distinct from the fourth.

The special revelation which God gave to Israel for the fifth dispensation is recorded in Exodus 20 - Deuteronomy. It consisted of the Mosaic Law with its 613 commandments. These gave in detail God’s will for the moral, civil, and ceremonial aspects of Israel’s life []

SECONDARY RULES GOVERNING HUMAN BEHAVIOR

a) The detailed Law of God from Ex. 19-Dt. 34 made Israel a Nation. Ex. 19:5-8

b) Obedience brings blessings to entire nation: Ex. 19:5-6; Lev. 26:3; Dt. 28:1-4;Dt. 29:9. Disobedience brings punishments to entire nation: Lev. 26:14-26; Dt. 11:10-17; Dt. 28:15-68.

c) Israel will be a separated, holy nation of God's priests. Ex. 19:5-6; Ex. 34:14

d) Restoration is promised when they return to Lord from disobedience. Dt. 30:2-9

e) Israel promised a future King (God) and kingdom under Him. Dt. 30:3-9; I Sam. 7:12-16

f) Strict dietary laws which restrict eating of unclean creatures. Lev. 3:17; 11:2-47 7. The National sign of the Sabbath as a day of rest. Ex. 31:13-17; Ex. 35:2-3

CONCLUSION: FAILURE

Israel’s responsibility during the fifth dispensation was to obey God on the basis of human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and the Mosaic Law. This responsibility subjected the Jews to the following test: Would they obey God on the basis of these five ruling factors?

The people of Israel failed to be an example of God's Righteousness to the world testifying to who God is and of His salvation. Israel failed the test of the fifth dispensation. The Jews broke the Mosaic Law repeatedly (Jer. 31:32; Ezek. 16). God was forced to tell them that they had a heart of stone (Ezek. 36:26; Zech. 7:12). This was His way of saying that their inner control center was inflexible. It refused to bend, to conform to the Mosaic Law as an expression of God’s rule over them. Also, during this dispensation Israel rejected its Messiah and had Him crucified.

This failure brought God’s judgment upon Israel. The nation suffered many judgments during the fifth dispensation. Among the worst were the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities and Israel’s temporary removal from its place of blessing (Rom. 11) and worldwide dispersion as the result of its rejection of Christ...

[Note that the worst discipline of all on the nation Israel will be yet to come in the Tribulation Period when God's wrath will pour out on all the nations of the earth and Israel will be the focal point, (Rev chapters 6-19)]

...Toward the end of the dispensation God will remove the Holy Spirit’s restraint of evil (2 Th. 2:7-8), apostate organized Christendom will be destroyed (Rev. 17:16), God will pour out divine judgments upon the world (Rev. 6-19), and God will crush the revolt of the unsaved (Rev. 19:17-21). "

THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE

INTRODUCTION

Before the sixth dispensation is examined, several important truths concerning the grace of God should be considered. First, in the Scriptures the grace of God deals with far more than salvation from sin. For example, it was by the grace of God that Noah survived the flood (Gen 6:8), that Israel was restored to its homeland after the Babylon captivity (Ezra 9:8), and that the afflicted were sustained in their trials (Prov. 3:34). It is by the grace of God that believers are given spiritual gifts and ministries (Rom. 12:6, Gal. 2:9). Indeed, the grace of God has so many facets that Peter called it "the manifold grace of God" (1 Pet. 4:10).

NEW RULING FACTOR: GRACE

[Showers, cont.]

"Although the grace of God was functioning throughout Old Testament times, it began to function in some new sense as a result of the ministry of Jesus Christ in His first coming. John indicated this when he wrote, "the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). John appeared to be making this new function of grace parallel with the function of the Mosaic Law. The Mosaic Law never functioned as a way of salvation (Gal. 2:16), but it did function as a rule of life (a ruling factor). In light of this, John is saying that grace began to function as a rule of life (a ruling factor) as a result of Christ’s ministry in His first coming...

...Other passages indicate that grace began to function as a ruling factor as a result of Christ’s ministry. Paul wrote to believers in the present (sixth) dispensation, "you are not under the law but under grace" (Rom. 6:14). In this passage the function of grace which Paul had in mind is parallel with the function of the Mosaic Law. In other words, grace has now taken over the function which the Mosaic Law had in the previous dispensation. As noted earlier, the Mosaic Law never functioned as a way of salvation, but it did function as a ruling factor. Thus, the function of grace which Paul had in mind in this passage is that of a ruling factor. This is indicated further by the word under which implies being under rule. Paul was saying that believers in the present dispensation are now under grace, rather that the Mosaic Law, as a ruling factor. Thus, while grace continues to function as the way of salvation during this present (sixth) dispensation, it has assumed the additional function of a ruling factor as a result of Christ’s ministry in His first coming.

In Titus 2:11-12 Paul indicated that one of the functions of the grace of God is that of "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world." The word teaching means to "practice discipline, correct, give guidance." Thus, Paul was saying that grace practices discipline over believers for the purpose of prompting them to reject a godless lifestyle and to adopt a godly one. Paul stated that the grace of God is functioning as a ruling factor 'in this present world.' The word which is translated world means age.4 Grace is the ruling factor which uniquely characterizes the dispensation during this present age...

[The sixth dispensation extends from the day of Pentecost, (Acts chapter 2), to the Rapture, (1 Thes 4:13-18; 2 Thes 2:1-12) and includes Mt 27:57; Mk 15:42; Lk 23:50 and John 19:31 to Rev 6:1]

...Israel clearly demonstrated man’s inability to obey God on the basis of the five ruling factors (including the external Mosaic Law) of the fifth dispensation. Thus, God began a sixth dispensation by instituting His grace as a new ruling factor.

...The sixth dispensation has five ruling factors which God uses to govern people: human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, plus grace. It should be noted that the Mosaic Law is not a ruling factor in the present dispensation. God intended it to be in effect only until the ministry of Christ (Gal. 3:19, 23-25; cp. Rom. 6:14, 1 Cor. 9:20)...

[Note: neither all nor any part (Ceremonial, Moral, or Civil) of the Mosaic Law is a ruling factor in the present dispensation. (See Gal. 5:4)]

...As a ruling factor for the believer, grace consists of two things: a confirmed favorable disposition toward God (the law of God in the heart, Rom 7:22; 2 Cor 3:3-11; Heb 8:8-12 - fulfilled in part in believers during this age via the indwelling Holy Spirit) and the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Dispensational Theologians have named the sixth dispensation after the new ruling factor because that is the factor which makes the sixth dispensation distinct from the fifth.

The special revelation which God gave for the sixth dispensation is recorded in the latter part of the Gospels, the Book of Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation 1-19. Unsaved Jews and Gentiles are to receive the gift of righteousness through faith in Christ. The organized Church is to fulfill the Great Commission, to maintain a pure membership, to discipline unruly members, to prevent false teaching from existing within it, and to contend earnestly for the true faith. Individual believers are to live sensible, godly lives, to be associated with a local church, to evangelize and make disciples, and to use spiritual gifts properly.

Man’s responsibility during the sixth dispensation is to obey God on the basis of human conscience, the restraint by the Holy Spirit, human government, promise, and grace. This responsibility subjects man to the following test: Does man obey God on the basis of these five ruling factors?

SECONDARY RULES GOVERNING HUMAN BEHAVIOR

a) Acts 1:8 All Believers shall be witnesses of Christ: Evangelism. I Cor. 1:17; Gal. 1:6-9

b) Acts 1:8 All believers are indwelt with Holy Spirit: Spirit Life. I Cor. 6:19-20; Gal. 4:6; 5:16-26; Eph. 1:13-14; 5:9

c) Acts 1:11 Christ will return for His Church: Blessed Hope. I Thes 4:13-18; Titus 2:13

d) Mt. 28:19-20 The Church shall make disciples: Spiritual Growth. Gal. 2:4; Eph. 4:11-16; II Tim. 2:2; Titus 2:4

e) Acts 15:29-29 The Church shall abstain from idolatry: Worship God. Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12:1-31; Heb. 10:25

f) Acts 15:29 The Church shall keep from fornication: Marriage & Purity. 1 Cor. 5 & 7; Eph. 5:3; Heb. 13:4

g) Acts 15:29 The Church shall keep from things strangled and from blood: Sanctity of Life.

CONCLUSION

Man fails the test of the sixth dispensation. The majority of unsaved Jews and Gentiles do not accept the gift of righteousness. Organized Christendom does not fulfill the Great Commission, maintain a pure membership, discipline unruly members, prevent false teaching from existing within it, and contend earnestly for the true faith. Individual believers do not always live sensible, godly lives, associate with a local church, evangelize and make disciples, and use spiritual gifts properly....

...This failure during this present dispensation brings God’s judgment and chastisement. God chastens and even brings premature physical death to some believers for disobedience (Acts 5:1-6; 1 Cor. 5:1-5; 11:27-32; Heb. 12:5-13; 1 Jn 5:16). He puts some local churches out of existence (Rev. 2:5)."

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM STUDY ON DISPENSATIONS ******

5) (Gal 3:19c) THE LAW WAS GIVEN TO ISRAEL THROUGH ANGELS AS REPRESENTATIVES OF GOD AND ENTRUSTED TO A MEDIATOR, MOSES

(Gal 3:19c NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:38, 53; Heb 3:22; Ps 68:17] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5] =

Paul goes on to write in Gal 3:19c that the Law was given to Israel through angels. These angels were evidently assisting God Who had already spoken to Moses about the Law in detail as stipulated in Exodus chapters 19-23 and elsewhere . Note that the text of these passages in Exodus and elsewhere have in view the Lord God Who spoke to Moses and not the Angel of the LORD, Who is God in angelic form, as some contend in order to force these passages to agree with the other passages that stipulate that the Law was given by angels, (plural). But the phrase in the Hebrew rendered "the Angel of the LORD" is singular, not plural; and it always reads from the Hebrew transliterated "mal'ak Yĕhw" rendered "angel of [the] LORD," never using the Hebrew "ĕlōhȋm" which means God, which is plural and not singular. So the texts of the passages which stipulate that the LORD God spoke to Moses giving him the Law in Exodus and elsewhere do not have words in them that might be construed to refer to an angel or angels or the Angel of the LORD at all.

a) [Compare Dt 33:1-3 Septuagint compared with YLT]:

(Dt 33:1 Septuagint) "This is the blessing which [blessed Moses the man of God] the sons of Israel before his decease.

(Dt 33:1 YLT) "And this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death,

(Dt 33:2 Septuagint) And he said, The LORD [from out of Sinai is come], and he appeared upon Seir to us. And he hastened from out of mount Paran with myriads [tens of thousands] of Kadesh at his right were angels with him.

(Dt 33:2 YLT) and he [says]: - 'Jehovah from Sinai [has] come, And [has] risen from Seir for them; He [has] shone from mount Paran, And [has] come with myriads [= tens of thousands] of holy ones; At His right hand are springs for them.

(Dt 33:3 Septuagint) And he spared his people, and all the ones being sanctified by your hands; these [under you are]: and he received of his words the Law which [gave charge to us Moses], an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob."

(Dt 33:3 YLT) Also He is loving the peoples; All His holy ones are in [your] hand, And they - they sat down at [your] foot, Each He [lifts] up at [your] words,"

b) [Compare Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 15:136]:

Josephus records Herod as saying: "We have learned the noblest of all our doctrines and the holiest of all laws through angels sent from God."

c) [Compare Acts 7:38, 53]:

(Acts 7:38 NASB) "This is the one [Moses] who was in the congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you."

(Acts 7:53 NASB) "You [Israel] who received the Law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it."

d) [Compare Heb 2:2]:

(Heb 2:2 NASB) "For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty,"

e) [Compare Ps 68:17]:

(Ps 68:17 NASB) "The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands; The LORD is among them as at Sinai, in holiness."

This giving / ordination of the Law to Moses by God and a holy host of angels was an event of grandiose proportions in the spiritual world.

Throughout the history of the world - of creation from the very beginning of when God created angelic beings , angels have participated with and for God in His ministrations with mankind.

****** EXCERPT FROM NAVE'S TOPICAL BIBLE ON ANGELS' PARTICIPATION WITH GOD RE: MANKIND ******

ANGEL (a spirit)
Have knowledge of, and interest in, earthly affairs
Mat 24:36 Luke 9:31 Luke 15:7 Luke 15:10 1Ti 5:21 1Pe 1:12
See FUNCTIONS OF
FUNCTIONS OF
Guard the way to the tree of life
Gen 3:24
Law given by
Acts 7:53 Gal 3:19 Heb 2:2
Medium of revelation to prophets
2Ki 1:15 Dan 4:13-17 Dan 8:19 Dan 9:21-27 Dan 10:10-20 Zec 1:9-11 Acts 8:26 Acts 23:9 Gal 3:19 Heb 2:2 Rev 1:1 Rev 5:2-14 Rev 7:1-3 Rev 7:11-17 Rev 8:2-13 Rev 9-20 Rev 22:6 Rev 22:16
Remonstrates with Balaam
Num 22:22-27
Announces the birth of Samson
Jdg 13
Announces the birth of John the Baptist
Luke 1:11-20
Announces the birth of Jesus
Mat 1:20 Mat 1:21 Luke 1:28-38 Luke 2:7-15
Warns Joseph to escape to Egypt
Mat 2:13
Ministers to Jesus after the temptation
Mat 4:11 Mark 1:13 John 1:51
Ministers to Jesus during his passion
Luke 22:43
Present at the tomb of Jesus
Mat 28:2-6
Present at the ascension
Acts 1:11
Will be with Christ at His second coming
Mat 25:31 Mark 8:38 2Th 1:7 Jude 1:14 Jude 1:15
Will be with Christ at the judgment
Mat 13:39 Mat 13:41 Mat 13:49 Mat 16:27 Mat 24:31 Mat 25:31 Mark 13:27
MINISTRANT TO THE RIGHTEOUS
Gen 16:7 Gen 24:7 Gen 24:40 Ex 23:20 Ex 23:23 Ex 32:34 Ex 33:2 Num 20:16 1Ki 19:5-8 2Ki 6:17 2Ch 18:18 Ps 34:7 Ps 68:17 Ps 91:11 Ps 91:12 Ps 104:4 Eccl 5:6 Isa 63:9 Dan 6:22 Dan 7:10 Mat 4:6 Luke 4:10 Luke 4:11 Luke 16:22 John 1:51 John 5:4 Acts 5:19 Acts 5:20 Acts 10:3-6 Acts 12:7-10 Heb 1:7 Heb 1:14 Heb 13:2
EXECUTE JUDGMENTS UPON THE WICKED
Gen 19:1-25 2Sa 24:16 2Sa 24:17 1Ch 21:15 1Ch 21:16 2Ki 19:35 2Ch 32:21 Isa 37:36 Ps 35:5 Ps 35:6 Ps 78:49 Mat 13:41 Mat 13:42 Mat 13:49 Mat 13:50 Acts 12:23 Acts 27:23 Acts 27:24 Jude 1:14 Jude 1:15 Rev 7:1 Rev 7:2 Rev 9:15 Rev 15:1
UNCLASSIFIED SCRIPTURES RELATING TO
Num 22:35 Deut 33:2 2Ki 6:17 Job 4:15-19 Job 38:7 Ps 8:5 Ps 68:17 Ps 103:20 Ps 103:2 1Ps 104:4 Ps 148:2 Isa 6:2 Isa 6:5-7 Ezek 1:4-25 Ezek 10 Dan 4:13 Dan 4:17 Dan 8:13 Dan 8:14 Dan 9:21-23 Zec 1:12-14 Zec 6:5 Mat 4:6 Mat 4:11 Mat 13:41 Mat 13:42 Mat 17:3 Mat 18:10 Mat 24:31 Mat 24:36 Mat 25:31 Mat 26:53 Mark 1:13 Mark 8:38 Mark 9:4 Luke 9:30 Luke 9:31 Luke 12:8 Luke 12:9 Luke 15:7 Luke 15:10 John 1:51 Acts 7:53 Acts 8:26 Gal 3:19 Eph 1:20 Eph 1:21 Eph 3:10 Col 1:16 Col 2:10 2Th 1:7 1Ti 3:16 1Ti 5:21 Heb 1:4 Heb 1:5 Heb 1:7 Heb 1:13 Heb 2:2 Heb 2:5 Heb 2:7 Heb 2:16 Heb 12:22 Heb 13:2 1Pe 1:12 1Pe 3:22 2Pe 2:11 Rev 4:8-11 Rev 5:9-11 Rev 7:9 Rev 7:10 Rev 10:1-6 Rev 14:10 Rev 18:1-3 Rev 19:10 Rev 22:8 Rev 22:9
APPEARANCES OF
To Abraham
Gen 18:2 Gen 22:11-18
To Hagar, in the wilderness
Gen 16:7
To Lot, in Sodom
Gen 19:1-17
To Jacob, in his various visions
Gen 28:12
To Moses
Ex 3:2
To the Israelites
Ex 14:19 Jdg 2:1-4
To Balaam
Num 22:31
To Joshua, "the captain of the Lord's host,"
Jos 5:15
To Gideon
Jdg 6:11-22
To Manoah
Jdg 13:6 Jdg 13:15-20
To David, at the threshing floor of Araunah
2Sa 24:16 2Sa 24:17 1Ch 21:15 1Ch 21:16
To Elijah
1Ki 19:5
To Elisha while he lay under the juniper tree
2Ki 6:16 2Ki 6:17
To Daniel, in the lions' den
Dan 6:22 Dan 8:16 Dan 9:21 Dan 10:5-10 Dan 10:16 Dan 10:18 Dan 12:5-7
To Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace
Dan 3:25 Dan 3:28
To Zechariah, in a vision
Zec 2:3 Zec 3:1 Zec 3:2 Zec 4:1
To Joseph, in a dream
Mat 1:20 Mat 2:13 Mat 2:19
At the transfiguration of Jesus
Mat 17:3 Luke 9:30 Luke 9:31
To Mary, concerning Jesus
Luke 1:26-38
To Zacharias
Luke 1:11-20 Luke 1:26-38
To the shepherds
Luke 2:9-11 Luke 2:13 Luke 2:14
To Jesus, after His temptation
Mat 4:11
In Gethsemane
Luke 22:43
At the tomb of Jesus
Mat 28:2-5 Mark 16:5-7 Luke 24:23 John 20:12
At the ascension
Acts 1:10 Acts 1:11
To Peter and John, while in prison
Acts 5:19
To Philip
Acts 8:26
To Cornelius, in a dream
Acts 10:3 Acts 10:30-32
To Peter, in prison
Acts 12:7-11
To Paul, on the way to Damascus
Acts 27:23
To John, on the island of Patmos
Rev 1:1 Rev 5:2 Rev 7:11 Rev 10:9 Rev 11:1 Rev 17:7 Rev 19:10 Rev 22:8

****** END OF EXCERPT FROM NAVE'S TOPICAL BIBLE ON ANGELS' PARTICIPATION WITH GOD RE: MANKIND ******

5 cont.) (Gal 3:19c (cont.) THE LAW WAS GIVEN TO ISRAEL THROUGH ANGELS AS REPRESENTATIVES OF GOD AND ENTRUSTED TO A MEDIATOR, MOSES, (cont.)

(Gal 3:19c NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:38, 53; Heb 3:22; Ps 68:17] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5] (cont.) =

On the other hand, Exodus chapters 19-23 have God speaking to Moses and giving him ordinances of the Law of Moses, beginning with the first ten commandments. Note that it is neither the angels nor an angel in view who are / is speaking to Moses in this passage as some contend because they have falsely determined that the Hebrew word transliterated "ĕlōhȋm" is to be translated "angels." The Hebrew word transliterated "ĕlōhȋm" which is plural appears in Ex 20:1 with the Hebrew word transliterated "waydabbēr" rendered "and He spoke," singular which only makes sense if it is referring to God Who is referred to in plurality and is customarily accompanied by a singular verb. It cannot refer to angels, plural with a singular verb. Furthermore, angels cannot be referred to because the context of God speaking to Moses in Exodus chapters 19-23 is clearly established by the Hebrew word "yĕhāwh" rendered LORD in chapter 19:5. The word "ĕlōhȋm" can only be translated as God or the LORD God when it is accompanied by "yĕhāwh" as it repeatedly appears in this 5 chapter passage. So the Hebrew word "ĕlōhȋm" beginning with 20:2, 5, 7, 10, 12 etc., etc, especially when it appears with "yĕhāwh," i.e., "yĕhāwh ĕlōheykā" must be translated the LORD your God. This phrase cannot refer to angels at all as the One speaking to Moses and providing details of the Law to him. Angels are neither God, gods nor LORD. Nevertheless, angels did participate with God in giving the Law to the mediator, Moses for the people of Israel as was previously determined .

Furthermore, the text of these passages in Exodus and elsewhere have in view the Lord God and not the Angel of the LORD Who spoke to Moses. Some contend that the Angel of the LORD, Who is God in angelic form is in view in order to force these passages to agree with the other passages that stipulate that the Law was given by angels, (plural). But the phrase rendered "the Angel of the LORD" is singular, not plural; and it always reads from the Hebrew transliterated "mal'ak Yĕhw" rendered "the angel of [the] LORD," never using the Hebrew "ĕlōhȋm" for God, which is plural and not singular. So the texts of the passages which stipulate that the LORD God spoke to Moses giving him the Law in Exodus and elsewhere do not have words in them that might be construed to refer to an angel or angels or the Angel of the LORD at all.

f) [Compare Ex 20:1-3, Chapters 21-23]:

(Ex 20:1 NASB) "Then God spoke all these words, [to Moses, (cf. v. 19:21)] saying,

(Ex 20:2 NASB) 'I am the LORD your God, ["yĕhāwh ĕlōheykā"] Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

(Ex 20:3 NASB) You shall have no other gods before Me." ....

Chapter 21 = Ordinances for the people

Chapter 22 = Property Rights

Chapter 23 = Sundry Laws

The rest of Exodus concerns Offerings, Tabernacle and Priest preparations, etc. and then more detailed ordinances in Leviticus chapters 1 through 11 - all spoken directly by the Lord God, to Moses in detail, (cf. Lev 1:1-11ff). The LORD continued to speak to Moses especially at Mt Sinai instructing him in all sorts of subjects throughout the Book of Leviticus and Numbers. The Book of Deuteronomy is largely Moses' account of what the LORD instructed him and Israel's history after the Exodus until his death. Nevertheless the angels were always there ministering to God's people as He directed them.

On the other hand, since the Word of God does not cover every moment and event in the lives of the people of God or any other group of people, or persons; and since it is a limited number of recorded events and teachings throughout a period of thousands of years of the history of mankind; then the rest of those moments not so recorded in Scripture includes innumerable accounts which evidently involve angelic ministrations under the direction of the LORD God to the people of God, in view of the many citations of such involvement in Scripture already stipulated and more , in coordination with God's efforts to instruct Moses in the ordinances of the Law and Moses' administration / mediation of that Law to the people of Israel.

5 cont.) (Gal 3:19c cont.) THE LAW WAS GIVEN TO ISRAEL THROUGH ANGELS AS REPRESENTATIVES OF GOD AND ENTRUSTED TO A MEDIATOR, MOSES, (cont.)

(Gal 3:19c NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:38, 53; Heb 3:22; Ps 68:17] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5] (cont.) =

Furthermore, in the last phrase of Gal 3:19c, it stipulates that the Law was entrusted to a mediator, evidently Moses, from what Scripture details in Ex 19-23, through whom God communicated the details of the Law to Moses beginning on Mt Sinai in Exodus chapters 19-31; implying a conditional covenant which depended not only on God but on the people being obedient to the commands. On the other hand, the Promises of God to Abraham, his seed and all the families of the earth was unilaterally ratified by God implying that the promises were unconditional .

The Law of Moses was given to Israel through angels and entrusted to a mediator indicating that there were conditions to be met by the people of Israel - a matter of merit. This made the Law of Moses unlike the Promises because the Promises which were given to Abraham by God were ratified unilaterally by Him - making them unconditional. Blessings have been received as men have chosen to be favorable towards God, His grace and His promises, nevertheless it is completely a matter of God's foreordination and sovereignty ; and at the same time it is a matter of man's volition - not meritorious at all .

The means by which God communicates and acts with men cannot be used to determine the relative importance of what He has said or done, as some have contended that Gal 3:19 determines that the Promise is superior to the Law. The manner in which the Promises were given to Abraham by God, via visions and ratified unilaterally by God while Abram was in a deep sleep, (Gen 15:1ff), does not make it superior or inferior or equal to the Law of Moses which was given by God and through angels to Israel and entrusted to a human mediator, Moses, (Ex 19-31). Angels have continually represented and continue to represent God for many things to minister to mankind, including Abraham and his family, (Gen 18:1-5; 22:11-18; 16:7; 19:1-17; 28:12 ); as well as have human mediators chosen by God to ministrate to mankind, such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Prophets - especially God's Son Jesus Christ, the Apostles, etc., etc. And then there is the ongoing, ever present work of God the Holy Spirit throughout the ages in all things.

Furthermore the Promises that God gave to Abraham, his descendants and all the families of the earth in a vision as a rule of life did not succeed and were phased out . And the Law was introduced as a rule of life for God's chosen people, Israel; among its myriad of purposes . Nevertheless, the promises are everlasting and remain to be completely fulfilled in the future.

There is nothing in Scripture that declares the institution of the Law to be superior or inferior to the other dispensations, as some contend. Each served its purposes and continues to serve its purposes as stipulated in Scripture. Note that the Law of Moses will once again be a rule of life for Israel during the 7 year Tribulation period in the future   and perhaps be memorialized in the Millennial Rule and Eternity Future.

6) (Gal 3:19c-21) THE LAW WAS GIVEN THROUGH ANGELS AND ENTRUSTED TO A MEDIATOR, MOSES. A MEDIATOR IS NOT FOR ONE PARTY ONLY: IN THIS CASE IT WAS MOSES WHO WAS MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL - REQUIRING OBEDIENCE. WHEREAS THE PROMISES WERE UNILATERALLY MADE AND RATIFIED BY GOD ALONE TO ABRAHAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS AND TO ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH. SO IS THE LAW THEN AGAINST THE PROMISES? CERTAINLY NOT! IF THERE WAS GIVEN A LAW WHICH COULD HAVE GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE, TRULY RIGHTEOUSNESS WOULD HAVE BEEN BY THE LAW

(Gal 3:19c NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:38, 53; Heb 3:22; Ps 68:17] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5]. (Gal 3:20 NASB) Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. (Gal 3:21 NKJV) Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law." =

In Gal 3:19c Paul establishes the fact that God gave the Law through angels to Israel through a mediator, Moses, (Gal 3:19; cf. Ex 24:12; Dt 3:19ff; Jn 1:17).

Then in Gal 3:20a, Paul goes on to write that a mediator is not for one party only, but for more than one party. A covenant involving a mediator has more than one set of participants, each set with its own list of requirements in order to satisfy that covenant. In the case of the covenant of the Law of Moses, both God and the people of Israel were participants, wherein the people were required to keep the statutes of the Law in order to receive the benefits of temporal blessings, (or disciplines), and eternal life from the Benefactor, God, (Ex 2  4:12; Dt 3:19ff; Jn 1:17).

Note that the mediator to whom the Law was enstrusted for the sake of the people of Israel cannot be Jesus Christ, as some contend, because the passages in the Old Testament to which Paul refers in the giving of the Law to Israel do not have Him in view as the Seed of Abraham the Messiah Savior to come. Besides that since Jesus Christ is God, and since it is God Who is the other party in the giving of the covenant, then it cannot be that God would be entrusted with being mediator of His own covenant / contract / agreement with Israel. He is One of the parties in the covenant!

Whereupon, in Gal 3:20b, Paul writes that God is only one in the sense that the Promises that were given directly to Abraham in a covenant agreement which were unilaterally ratified by God alone, involved only one Person Who is God as sole Participant and Benefactor. So it is God alone Who is responsible for fulfilling His promises given to Abram / Abraham, his seed through Isaac and to all the families of the earth, without having to participate in order  to earn any of those promises by some kind of action - they were totally by the grace of God, unmerited favor. Abraham, his descendants and the families of the earth are not stipulated as having to do anything. Albeit, throughout the time of this covenant which is everlasting from the time it was ratified, as the beneficiaries of the covenant are faithful and act in a faithful manner, the benefits are poured out upon them by the Benefactor, God.

Although the Abrahamic Covenant - God's unilateral promises to Abraham, to his descendants and to all the families of the earth - are unconditional on the part of to whom the promises are made, i.e., all mankind; nevertheless when certain conditions are met which are due to voluntary actions by man that are prompted by them being inspired by the grace of God because of His promise(s) to them, the blessings God promised inevitably come - unconditionally.

Note that as previously established, the differences between the Covenant of Promise and the Covenant of the Law do not make either inferior or superior with respect to the outcome that is intended for each. Each Covenant served and continues to serve its purpose. One purpose of the Law was to be a rule of life in order to provide a means by which the beneficiaries could demonstrate to mankind, godly living and prosperity and demonstrate Who the God is Whom they serve. Included in this purpose of the Law was for the people of Israel to demonstrate to the world that they were the chosen people of God, set apart to godliness as an example to the rest of the world. On the other hand, the Law was also a means to prove out the incapacity of man to be righteous at the same time. Whereupon the Law was not perfectly obeyed by Israel, far from it. Nevertheless this purpose of the Law was fulfilled and continues to be fulfilled by many who refuse to accept that the Law has been replaced by God's grace, so that men might turn from trying to justify themselves before God by what they do, to rely on the mercy of God through faith alone in His Son alone to provide propitiation for sins unto eternal life - a key purpose of the Law. Another purpose of the Law related to this was to show that if the Seed of Abraham Who is Christ could fulfill the Law it would qualify Him to provide a substitutionary payment for mankind's sins. He did live by it perfectly and thus was qualified as a perfect Man to make His substitutionary payment for the sins of all mankind which He paid for 2,000 years ago to make eternal life available for all mankind by faith alone, .

On the other hand, one purpose of the Promises of God to Abraham was to serve as a rule of life for Abraham and his descendants as an example of godliness before God so that He might bless them and be magnified by their faithfulness - when they were faithful. This had some success, but in the end did not succeed. It was replaced by the Law of Moses toward that end - which also failed for the same end. Another of the purposes of the Promises of God to Abraham was to corroborate God's absolute sovereignty in the complete fulfillment of those promises despite the flawed condition of mankind and the fallen angels - so far God has a perfect record of this, beginning with the atonement of Jesus Christ, a fufillment of God's key promise to Abraham, his descendants and all the families of the earth, to be fufilled in all those who choose to exercise a moment of faith alone in Christ's atonement alone for eternal life. Note that in anticipation of His promise of a Messiah / Savior, God passed over the sins of those in OT times who trusted in Christ's propitiation to come. Whereupon when that promise was fulfilled, God's Righteousness and Sovereignty were upheld.

a) [Compare Ro 3:21-25 ]:

(Ro 3:21 NASB) "But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

(Ro 3:22 NASB) even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

(Ro 3:23 NASB) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

(Ro 3:24 NASB) being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

(Ro 3:25 NASB) whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed."

God redeemed the sins of mankind through a public display of Christ Jesus' propitiation, (atoning sacrifice), in His blood in order to demonstrate God as righteous because God had left unpunished the sins committed by those who lived before the atoning work of Christ. Hence the atonement justified God (as righteous) because it fulfilled God's promise of a future propitiation for sins. So now no one can accuse God of being unrighteous for passing over the sins of OT believers .

6 cont.) (Gal 3:19c-21cont.) THE LAW WAS GIVEN THROUGH ANGELS AND ENTRUSTED TO A MEDIATOR, MOSES. A MEDIATOR IS NOT FOR ONE PARTY ONLY: IN THIS CASE IT WAS MOSES WHO WAS MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE ISRAEL - REQUIRING OBEDIENCE. WHEREAS THE PROMISES WERE UNILATERALLY MADE AND RATIFIED BY GOD ALONE TO ABRAHAM AND HIS DESCENDANTS AND TO ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH. SO IS THE LAW THEN AGAINST THE PROMISES? CERTAINLY NOT! IF THERE WAS GIVEN A LAW WHICH COULD HAVE GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE, TRULY RIGHTEOUSNESS WOULD HAVE BEEN BY THE LAW, (cont.)

(Gal 3:19c NIV) "Why, then, was the Law given at all? It was added because [lit., for the sake] of transgressions until the Seed [Gal 3:16] to Whom the promise referred to had come. The Law was given through angels [Dt 33:2; Acts 7:38, 53; Heb 3:22; Ps 68:17] and entrusted to a mediator [Ex 20:19; Dt 5:5]. (Gal 3:20 NASB) Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. (Gal 3:21 NKJV) Is the Law then against the promises [of God]? Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law." = (cont.)

b) (Gal 3:21) Manuscript Evidence

TR, WH, NU, Sinaiticus, S, C, D, (F, G), Psi, 33, 1739, Maj, it, syr, cop have "the promises of God."

P46, b, it(d) have "the promises."

104 has "the promises of Christ."

Though the TR, WH and NU readings have solid manuscript support, they lack the evidence of the two earliest manuscripts P46 and B. Therefore, it is quite possible that the shorter wording, "the promises" is original, which was then expanded into two forms: (1) "the promises of God" (probably influenced by Ro 4:20 and 2 Cor 1:20) and (2) "the promises of Christ." The translators of NEB and REB favored the shorter reading, and NLT notes it out of respect for the ancient testimony of P46 and B.

Finally, in Gal 3:21, given the significant differences that Paul has presented between the Law and the promises of God in this chapter, Paul then asks the question, "Is the Law then against the promises [of God]?" His answer is, "Certainly not! For if there [was given] a law which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the Law." God gave both the Law and promises, but for different purposes. And it was not the purpose of the Law to give life. So Paul emphatically establishes once more that the Law, any law, could not have as one of its purposes that of providing blessings in the temporal life or for being justified unto righteousness unto eternal life. Nevertheless, Paul remarks that if any law could do that, truly righteousness - the Righteousness of God - would have been by the Law of Moses. This indicates that the Law of Moses is representative of the perfect Righteousness of God. The problem is that all men are sinful by nature and unable to be righteous in order to justifiably receive temporal blessings and eternal life from God.

b) [Compare Gal 2:16]:

(Gal 2:16 YLT) "having known also that a man is not declared righteous by works of law, if not through ... faith [in] Jesus Christ, also we in Christ Jesus did believe, that we might be declared righteous by ... faith [in] Christ, and not by works of law, wherefore declared righteous by works of law shall be no flesh' "

c) [Compare Gal 3:11]:

(Gal 3:11 YLT) "and that in law no one is declared righteous with God, is evident, because 'The righteous by faith shall live;' " [Hab 2:4; Ro 1:17]

d) [Compare Ro 3:9-10]:

(Ro 3:9 NASB) "What then? Are we better than they? [Jews, (v. 1)] Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin;

(Ro 3:10 NASB) as it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; [Ps 14:1-4; 53:1-3]"

So one of the purposes of the Law was to reveal sin to Israel and to all mankind through Israel's experience at failing to keep the Law - to demonstrate that all of mankind is utterly sinful and helpless before a Holy and Righteous God to lead onto seek eternal life via a moment of faith in the sacrifice of His Son for sins.  on the purposes of the Law.

Theoretically salvation unto eternal life could have come by the Law if mankind did not have a sin nature and did not sin, (cf. Ro 7:12-25). Whereupon man could keep the Law perfectly which represents the Righteousness of God and thereby have eternal life with God. But that did not work the first time in the Garden of Eden.

G) (Gal 3:22-25) BUT THE SCRIPTURE HAS SHUT UP ALL THINGS UNDER SIN, SO THAT THE PROMISE BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST MIGHT BE GIVEN TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE. BUT BEFORE FAITH CAME, WE WERE KEPT IN CUSTODY UNDER LAW, BEING SHUT UP TO THE FAITH WHICH WAS LATER TO BE REVEALED. THEREFORE THE LAW HAS BECOME OUR TUTOR TO LEAD US TO CHRIST, SO THAT WE MAY BE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH. BUT NOW THAT FAITH HAS COME, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A TUTOR.

(Gal 3:22 NASB) "But the Scripture has shut up [all things] under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. (Gal 3:23 NASB) But before faith came, we were kept, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. (Gal 3:24 NASB) Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (Gal 3:25 NASB) But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." ==

Having established that the Law cannot be a means by which one might achieve eternal life, (cf Gal 2:16, et. al., )  author Paul then reiterates that the reason is that as Scripture has declared that under its authority everyone is locked up / imprisoned under sin in the sense that Scripture, like the Law which is part of Scripture has made all mankind who endeavors to know / read it accurately, acknowledging its authority as being true and the Word of God, aware of the utter sinfulness of mankind - mankind's inability to do anything righteous and thus be justified before God with anything that he does, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe - not by works, but by faith, implying by the grace of God - as a gift, not by works, (Eph 2:8-9).

****** EXCERPT FROM GAL 2 ******

2:17b

Galatians chapter four