Galatians 3:1- 14

Living By Faith


One evening after dinner, a five-year-old boy named Brian noticed that his mother had gone out. Brian asked his father – Dad where did mom go? His father answered “Mommy is at a Tupperware party.” This explanation satisfied him for only a moment.

Puzzled, he asked, “What’s a Tupperware party, Dad?” The Dad figured a simple explanation would be the best approach. “Well, Brian, at a Tupperware party, a bunch of ladies sit around and sell plastic bowls to each other.” Brian nodded, indicating that he understood this curious pastime. Then he burst into laughter. “Come on, Dad,” he said. “What is it really?”

Well, in the same way that Brian had a hard time accepting that women would go to such a party, - Paul is struggling w/ the fact that the Christians in the region of Galatia were turning from God’s grace to the law

A)In our study last time we looked at the first 3 verses of Ch.3 – where Paul had a 3 fold approach to his Galatian – Brothers & sisters


B) V.1 He shakes them up - O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?


C) The Amplified Version, "O you poor and silly, thoughtless, unreflecting and senseless Galatians.- Who has ………..


D)This was not a situation where the Galatians had been improperly taught. 1) The sufficiency of the cross had been "clearly portrayed among them".


E) Paul had made it clear – that Jesus was all they needed to be right with God - so how did they get so confused?   / Judiazers ……….keep the law!


Its as if the legalist had cast some kind of spell on them{ Bewitched

A)Guys, legalism is extremely seductive. It strikes a chord in our fallen thinking. Everything around us says its our performance that matters.

B)Its what we've heard from parents, and teachers, and coaches, and bosses. "Just do it" - is the Nike slogan -  its  the way of the whole world.

1)   The legalist's line is a magnet which pulls on our pride,

2)   "I can do it! I can please God! / Yea, that sounds good." The whole notion allures, beguiles, bewitches.


C) Paul's message on the other hand was freeing and liberating. It was not "just do it", but "its been done, and you can't add to it".

1)      The law requires works of Human achievement – the gospel requires faith in Christ achievement


D)The law makes demands & bids us to obey – the gospel brings promises and bids us to BELIEVE !!!

1)   So first Paul shakes them up


Next He takes them back: V2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

A)How were you first saved ? Keeping the Law or by receiving the gospel that they heard by Faith !!! – They knew it was by faith


B) Then Paul makes them ThinkV. 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

1) You begun in the spirit – you started with faith – Are you now going to made COMPLETE – BY YOUR FLESH ?   ANSWER IS NO !!!


C) The way that you started is also the way that you grow !!!!  BY GRACE THRU FAITH !!!



Now lets pick it up in vs.4,5  where Paul is continuing to make them

 think!!  V4 Have you suffered so many things in vain -- if indeed it was in vain?

A) Apparently, the Galatians had  suffered for the principle of faith -probably at the hands of legalistic Christians. 


B)We know that Paul  suffered persecution in this region.  Acts 14 makes it clear that Paul and his companions were persecuted vigorously

1)Paul even being stoned and left for dead) by the Jews when they were among the cities of Galatia. 


C)It seems that some of this persecution spilled over to the Christian Converts that  Paul left behind in Galatia.

1) Paul wants them to think – was all of that IN VAIN ?



Now not only were they persecuted after coming to Christ – but they had also witnessed God working in the Miraculous among them

A)Paul continues to make them think in v. 5 when he asks - Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?


B) The miracles that God did among them – they didn’t earn them by their works – they came thru the grace of God – His gift

1)   That is a great question to ask ourselves – consider the blessing that we have – Did we do anything to earn them ?  Salvation / Healing ? Gifts ?


C) Answer is no – they came to us – thru the grace of God – when we exercised faith in God – to pray - & ask for him to help / answer

1)   And In some instances – God thru His abundant – grace met our need even when We didn’t ask or Believe !!!


D) SO Paul’s point in all of this is to get these dear saints to see that Salvation of God / Miracles from God / Blessing of God –

1) Not earned thru works …. “keeping the law” – But come by Grace thru faith !!!!      


Now the Jewish legalist who were trying to put the Galatian Christians under the law – Looked to Abraham as their Spiritual father –

A)Paul being a former top Pharisee – knew that – Here in v. 6 Paul makes a Brilliant move – He takes them Back to Abe – Prove his point [RD v.6-9 ]

B) Paul quotes here from Genesis 15:6. It simply shows that righteousness was accounted to Abraham because he believed God

1) Long before the Law & 17 years before Abraham was circumcised - prior to all the rules &  rituals - God declared Abraham "right in His sight" -why?


C) Simply because Abe believed in God's promise of salvation! – Paul in Romans 4 makes this very clear using the life of Abe as his example

1)   First God made a promise to Abe. The Promise that God would make a great nation thru Abe 


D) Abe Believed God – Despite the inherent improbability of the Promise from a human point of view

1)You see Abe was an old man who had no Children . But Abe cast himself on the faithfulness of God


E) Result: Abe’s faith was reckoned as righteousness – That is Abe was accepted as righteous by his faith .

1)He was justified not because of anything he had done to earn it or because he was circumcised or because he kept the law –

2)the law wasn’t even given yet – over 400 yrs later


F) Abe was declared righteous simply because he believed God – Not in God only – But He believed God – {NOTE THE DIFFERENCE]



PT. We are Justified the same way – And  Since Abraham was made righteous by faith, and not by works, - Abraham is therefore the father of everyone who believes God and is accounted righteous.

A)Important truth that Paul is proclaiming – v.7 Paul is saying that the most important link to Abraham is not the link of genetics, not the link of works,


                             BUT THE LINK OF FAITH



B)Now This would have been a shocking change of thinking for these particular opponents of Paul. 

1)They deeply believed that they had a standing before God because they were genetically descended from Abraham.


C)At that time, some Jewish Rabbis taught that Abe stood at the gates of Hell, just to make sure that none of his descendants accidentally slipped by.  1)John the Baptist dealt with this same thinking when he said Matt. 3:9)

do not think to say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father.”  For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones (. 


D)Paul is knocking down their blind reliance on genetic relation to Abraham, and showing that what really matters is faith in Jesus.


APP -  It’s the same today when people believe God accepts them because they come from a Christian family. 

            LISTEN : God is a Father, not a grandfather; everyone must   

                              have  their own faith in God.


E) And those who exercise that simple faith – like Abe – share in the Salvation that God Promised Abe – Become a part of His family

1)   Not the family of the Jews – But the Family of Faith


F) So Paul is continuing to stretch their minds – getting them to think – How was Abe Justified ? By Faith – same as you & me

1)   Not by keeping the law !!!


Now in v.10 Paul reveals the problem with trying to live under the law

V.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them."


A)Listen - The Law was not a spiritual smorgasbord, a Bible buffet - where you could pick and choose which laws you wanted to follow

1) To Live by the Law and you had to keep the whole enchilada.

B) Think of it this way: I could be driving down the street in my car – exactly at the speed limit – Always using my blinker change lanes

1)   never going thru a red light or even a Yellow – But I make one Calif. Stop at a stop sign – Police man pulls me over – ticket


C) It doesn’t matter that I just drove 25 miles w/out breaking one Motor Vehicle Law – The Calif. Stop makes me guilty of breaking the law



D) So Paul’s pt here is this – Anyone who tries to live according to the law as their basis for being right with God is Cursed

1) Means DOOMED TO HELL – That is what’s at stake if you want to put yourself back under that system – because it is impossible to keep ALL!!

                                          So RD V. 11-14


Notice v.11 again that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." 


NLT 11Consequently, it is clear that no one can ever be right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”


NCV 11Now it is clear that no one can be made right with God by the law, because the Scriptures say, “Those who are right with God will live by trusting in him.”


Now Paul quotes here from Hab 2:4 The just shall live by faith

A)This is a passage that is quoted 3 times in the NT – But in each place the emphasis is on a Different word


B) In Romans 1:17 – The focus in on the Word Just – Made Just by faith

1)   Hebrews 10:38 the stress is on "faith" - we've got to continue in faith.


C) But here in Galatians the thrust is on "live". We're not just saved by faith, we're called to live by faith

1)   to rest in the Lord &  to trust/ not just before we walk, but as we walk.

It is having faith enough to walk in a love you really don't deserve!

A)Knowing that my Status with God doesn’t Change – when I am in Christ – He loves me Perfectly / Purely /


B)The blessings I receive from God are not hinged upon – whether I have my morning devotions or not –

1)   Whether I take advantage of every opportunity I have to share my faith


C) God doesn’t keep a Quota – Rob read – 10  Chapters today – really good – [ All green lights on his way to work]

1)   Rob led 5 pp to Christ – I am going to have his boss give him a raise


D) God doesn’t do that – He blesses us – because He wants to – By His grace – and we don’t deserve it


So I am saying you  don’t have to have morning devotions?’

A)No, you don’t.  ------‘You can sleep in?’

      Yeah, you can.


B)You don’t have to pray, or study the Word?’ Nope.

1)   it is not going to Change your status before God at all. He loves you the same !!!


C) But understand You don’t have to do any of those things. You get to. You get to check in with God morning by morning, moment by moment.

1)You get to spend time late at night or before the sun rises, seeking the face of the Lord.


D) Think about it: It is a major blessing that the living God wants to spend time with you and With me!!!




Although spending time with God doesn’t Change you status as His Child it does benefit your life greatly

A)You become spiritually stronger / wiser / more like Christ – the more time that you spend with the Lord & in the word


B)But It’s not GOT TO in order to maintain my STATUS with God  it is a GET TO — So that I can grow / mature / Change / Know Him more

1)   This book is God’s love letter to me : Not my obligation to read – but my Priviledge – learn of His heart – His truth / His plan for my life


C)And that makes all the difference in the world- for once you’re free from the ‘got to’s you invariably do more than you ever did before.



Think of it this way: When you fell in love with your husband or wife, you didn’t have to be told to call her;

A)You didn’t have to be reminded to hold his hand; you didn’t have to be urged to communicate.


B)When you’re in love, you long to be in touch — and that’s what the Father wants from you and me.                        ‘Love Me,’ He says.

1)And the more I realize that He loves me through His grace & mercy being poured out upon me, the more I have no choice but to love Him in return.


C) So I do more under love than I ever would do under the Law.


Think about that first letter your boyfriend  wrote you, girls. As you stuck it in your purse did you say, ‘Boy, one of these days I really need to read this letter. I’ll set my alarm fifteen minutes earlier tonight and read it first thing in the morning’? And then as you rolled out of bed half an hour after the alarm went off, did you say, ‘I really want to read this letter, but I don’t have time now. Maybe tonight.


No! It doesn’t work that way. When you got that letter, you ripped it open, read it, analyzed it, read between the lines — you couldn’t put it down!

The same thing happens when you understand grace and mercy.

A)You say, ‘You bless me, Lord, when I don’t pray. You love me when I’m not lovable. You take care of me when I fail to walk with You.


B)You’re faithful to me day after week after year. I want to find out more about You.’ That’s what it means for the just to live by faith.


C) It is living in the reality – living according to the truth – Jesus loves me & that is why He gave Himself for me !!!


D) The Life that I now live – by faith – I am living on the basis of that wonderful Truth – I have been accepted By God / I am loved by God

1)   I have a place in His Kingdom -  MY LIFE IS ONE BIG RESPONSE TO THAT TRUTH !!!


QUESTION: What is the Basis of your relationship with God? Are still trying to earn His favor thru religious works or rituals – Do you find yourself thinking – LOOK WHAT I AM DOING GOD – DID YOU SEE THAT


Or Are you Resting in the work of Christ – Letting the motivation for all that you are doing – be the response to the Love of Christ