Letter to the Galatians
We are saved by faith
1 How foolish you are, Gala tians! How could they bewitch you after Jesus Christ has been presented to you as crucified? 2 I shall ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by the practice of the Law, or by believing the message? 3 How can you be such fools: you begin with the Spirit and end up with the flesh!
4 So you have experienced all this in vain! Would that it were not so! 5 Did God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you, because of your observance of the Law or because you believed in his message? 6 Remember Abra ham: he believed God and because of this was held to be a just man. 7 Under stand then that those who follow the way of faith are sons and daughters of Abraham.
8 The Scriptures foresaw that by the way of faith, God would give true righteousness to the non-Jewish nations. For Godís promise to Abraham was this: In you shall all the nations be blessed. 9 So now those who take the way of faith re ceive the same blessing as Abraham who believed; 10 but those who rely on the practice of the Law are under a curse, for it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not always fulfill everything written in the Law.
11 It is plainly written that no one becomes righteous, in Godís way, by the Law: by faith the righteous shall live. 12 Yet the Law gives no place to faith, for according to it: the one who fulfills the commandments shall have life through them.
13 Now Christ rescued us from the curse of the Law by becoming cursed himself for our sake, as it is written: there is a curse on every one who is hanged on a tree. 14 So the blessing granted to Abraham reached the pagan nations in and with Christ, and we received the promised Spirit through faith.
The promise, not the Law, was the gift of God
15 Brothers, listen to this comparison. When anyone has made his will in the prescribed form, no one can annul it or add anything to it. 16 Well now, what God promised Abraham was for his descendant. Scripture does not say: for the descendants, as if they were many. It means only one: this will be for your descendant, and this is Christ. 17 Now I say this: if God has made a testament in due form, it cannot be annulled by the Law which came four hundred and thirty years later; Godís promise cannot be cancelled. 18 But if we now inherit for keeping the law, it is not because of the promise. Yet that promise was Godís gift to Abraham.
The Law was part of Godís pedagogy
19 Why then the Law? It was added because of transgressions; but was only valid until the descendant would come to whom the promise had been made; and it was ordained through angels by a mediator. 20 A mediator means that there are parties, and God is one.
21 Does the Law then compete with the promises of God? Not at all. Only if we had been given a Law capable of raising life, could righteousness be the fruit of the Law. 22 But the written Law has imprisoned all things under the power of sin, so that what was promised through faith in Jesus Christ, would be accomplished in those who be lieve.
We are now sons and daughters of God
23 Before the time of faith had come, the Law confined us and kept us in custody until the time in which faith would show up. 24 The Law then was serving as a slave to look after us until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. 25 With the coming of faith, we are no longer submitted to this guidance.
26 Now, in Christ Jesus, all of you are sons and daughters of God through faith. 27 All of you who were given to Christ through baptism, have put on Christ. 28 Here there is no longer any difference between Jew or Greek, or between slave or freed, or between man and woman: but all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And because you belong to Christ, you are of Abra hamís race and you are to inherit Godís promise.