When we read Galatians 3, we hear the Good News of the Grace of Jesus. We hear that we are now under Grace and not under the Law. We’re free. We don’t have to “perform” well enough for God to love and accept us. When we believed in Jesus Christ, we were made right with God. Christ fulfilled God’s standards that we could never meet. He paid the price we could never pay. The Galatians didn’t realize they were living under a mixture of Law and Grace. Paul wrote to show them that, although they believed in Christ, they were still in bondage to the Law. His words hit home with us, too. Do we also live under a mixture of Law and Grace?
Paul writes in Galatians 3 of the covenant God made with Abraham. It is irreversible. God gave the promise to “Abraham and his child.” The "Abraham and his child" to which the promise was given represents Abraham and his descendant, Christ. The covenant with Abraham is one of Grace. There was no Law that Abraham had to keep to receive it. The Law wasn’t given to Moses until 430 years later. If the Law had been in effect at the time Abraham lived, some of his sins would have broken it. The Law God gave to Moses also didn't cancel the covenant of Grace that God had given to Abraham. If it had been canceled, God would have broken his promise.
Abraham's covenant of Grace is still in force—just as the Law is still active. Abraham’s covenant of Grace is received by faith through Jesus Christ, who perfectly fulfilled the requirements of the Law. Abraham's faith in God was credited to him as righteousness. His faith made him right with God. Jesus, as the perfect mediator to meet the Law’s requirements, has set us free. We are heirs to Abraham's promise, and faith in Jesus is credited to us as righteousness. Jesus has paid what the Law requires because we never can. We live in the freedom of His Grace and not in debt to our sins.
The Law exposes and gives power to sin (1 Corinthians 15:56). It doesn’t make us righteous. The only way we are made righteous is by faith in the Grace of Jesus. Those who depend on the Law to make and keep them right with God are cursed by the Law because it is impossible for them to keep the whole Law. They erroneously believe that their good performance will make them acceptable to God.
Only faith in Jesus sets you free from the condemnation and judgment of the Law. To perfectly keep the Law (which is still active just as every other covenant made by God is still active), you can't fail one Law. If you fail one Law, you have failed all of over 600 Laws. Only Jesus could perfectly mediate for our inability to keep the Law. He was our perfect sacrifice. He became the curse for us because we can’t save ourselves. In Jesus, we are free from having “to do anything” to be saved. We believe by faith, and faith in Jesus makes us righteous to God.
“Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses?” Paul asked the Galatians. “Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it” (Galatians 3:2-4, NLT)?
What about us? Do we strive to be perfect when Jesus has made us righteous by faith? We can't make ourselves righteous by keeping the Law. That becomes self-righteousness. After accepting Jesus as our Savior, do we bear the weight of guilt and shame which Jesus bore for us on the cross? Have we experienced the Grace of Jesus for nothing?
When we have a revelation of who we are in Christ, we are forever changed by the Holy Spirit. Living a righteous life doesn't come by self-effort. It comes from the gift of His Grace within us.
“The law was our guardian until Christ came.” Paul wrote. “It protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian” (Galatians 3:24-25, NLT).
If you believe the Good News of Jesus, you are accepted and approved by God. Jesus has made you worthy. Nothing you do makes you worthy. The Law is no longer your guardian. You live under Grace. You live by faith.
“You are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you” (Galatians 3:26,29, NLT).
The covenant of Grace that was given to Abraham is now also yours. You are heirs to God’s promise through faith in Christ! By faith, you are saved! Nothing of yourself! Christ makes you free! Nothing you do gives you freedom. You are a new creation in Christ! Nothing you have—nothing you do—has the power to give you a new life where the old is completely gone. Only Christ gives new life! Allow the Holy Spirit to teach you in His Word the new person that He has made you! Believe in the promises you have received in Christ!
Don’t be like the Galatians believers living under a mixture of Law and Grace. You decide under which covenant you live—whether you live under the Law or under Grace—whether you live by the flesh or by the Spirit. Choose the freedom of His Grace.
© 2022 Lynn Lacher