Summary: Paul demonstrates from Scripture that salvation is by faith not law. It is impressive when you consider Paul is using only the Old Testament Scriptures of Geneses, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Habakkuk to establish that salvation is by faith.
A prominent Theologian was once asked, what is the deepest Theological truth you have ever come to understand. His response was, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” The beloved children’s song reveals deep theological truth. Jesus loves me, and I know this because the Bible tells me so. The Bible is the authority of our faith.
We should not take lightly that the Bible is God’s Word. The Bible has God for its author. There are many human authors with diverse personalities and different writing styles, but God supernaturally directed each writer, diverse as they were, to record His message with perfect accuracy from Moses writing of Geneses to John the beloved disciple writing of Revelation.
When the Ten Commandments were given, the voice of God was heard. The Mountain shook and there was fear of God in the people. The stone tablets were inscribed by the finger of God. Yet all of the Bible is no less authoritative for us even though God was using human writers with their own unique writing styles.
In these verses, Galatians 3:6-14 Paul is making his case for salvation by faith. He put forth a living faith, not a salvation based on law or works. He has already appealed to experience to underscore this in Galatians 3:1-5 asking them to think back to what happened.
Personal testimonies are powerful. But experience is a valid argument for truth only as it fits in the parameters of God’s revealed truth in Scripture. Paul underscores their experience by demonstrating that it is in line with Scripture.
Paul demonstrates from Scripture that salvation is by faith not law. It is impressive when you consider Paul is using only the Old Testament Scriptures of Geneses, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Habakkuk to establish that salvation is by faith and not by merit and good deeds or following the law.
Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. 8The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.” 12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.” 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Gospel Foretold to Abraham Galatians 3:6-9
Paul uses scripture to refute the Judaizers who taught that a mixture of faith and works is needed. That is not true. Don’t mix any self effort with faith in Christ. Don’t trust your baptism or your church membership for your salvation. Believe in Christ only. Salvation comes through faith alone.
The Old Testament teaches salvation by faith. We make a mistake if we think the Old Testament teaches salvation by obeying the law. It is not only the New Testament that teaches salvation by faith. The Old Testament teaches salvation by faith too. Galatians 3:6 says that Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.
Genesis 4:24-25 records how Abraham had failed God. He veered from the course of faith and had a child by his maid servant Hagar. He tried to accomplish God’s plans himself. It was not God’s work. Later he came to a point where he believed God by faith. Abraham did put his faith in God and he trusted Him. It was not obeying the law.
When Abraham trusted God the law was not even given yet. Galatians 3:17 say the law came 430 years later. The law was not given and Abraham was not circumcised yet. Paul uses scripture to refute the false teachers that were poisoning the churches he established. Paul uses the authority of scripture to establish that salvation by faith is God’s way.
Jesus too used the Old Testament scripture to establish doctrinal truth. He was establishing the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. In Matthew 22:32 Jesus quotes the scripture that says, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). This doctrine is based on the point being I am, not I was. God is not the God of the dead but the living. When the crowds heard this they were astonished. He asked them gave you not read the scriptures?