“Abraham believed in the LORD”
Galatians 1 and 2 was Paul’s personal experience with the message of Grace and the Spirit.
Galatians 3:1-5 was the Galatian’s personal experience with Grace and the Spirit.
Galatians 3:6-9 is Abraham’s personal experience with the same thing.
To except what God has done for us reveals that we realize that we can do nothing to please him.
If we reject what God has offered and continue in our on efforts it is a result of:
1) pride, or
2) self righteousness See: James 4:6
3:6-9 Faith (“Abraham”) compared with 3:10-14 Law (the “curse”)
3:15-18 Faith (“covenant”) compared with 3:19-22 Law (“transgressions”)
3:23-29 Faith (“heirs’) compared with 4:1-7 Law (“bondage”)
Also note: The last three ( “transgressions,” “heirs,” and “bondage”) digress into their own comparisons within the argument.
“Transgressions” compared with “promises”
“Heirs” compared with “a slave teaching the underage son”
“Freedom” compared with “bondage”
the doctrinal teaching begins - - -
The Judiazers had failed to distinguish between:
1) The purely Jewish and national covenant God made with Abraham’s descendents that included an assignment (ministry) and the provisions (material blessings) to fulfill it. These chosen people were to be a channel to bring salvation to the earth and that salvation also came through a descendent of Abraham, the Messiah.
2) The covenant of salvation, which had nothing to do with the Jewish covenant above.
3:6 “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
From Genesis 15:6
“Believed” here is episteusen and is in the:
· aorist tense (He did it all at one point in time. A single experience. Simple time past.
It is not the imperfect which means he did it over a period of time or progressive.
It is not the perfect which means he did it once in the past with results that continue into the present.)
· indicative mood (Which is the mood of reality. It really did happen. It occurred.
It is not in the Subjunctive which is the mood of potential.)
· active voice (Which means the subject, Abram, produced the action.
It is not the middle voice where the subject produces the action to benefit the subject.
It is not in the passive voice where the subject receives the action.
Abraham had believed in God long before. He was a believer in the covenant of salvation and so, as a believer he was worth of being given a second covenant or an assignment.
Gen. 15:6 in different translations:
Revised English Bible: “Abram put his faith in the LORD, who reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
New American Standard: “Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”
King James: “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
NIV: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.”
Quoted twice by Paul in Romans 4:3 and Galatians 3:6
Quoted once by James in James 2:23
(Romans 4:3 and James 2:23 have the same word “believed” with the same tense, mood and voice as Galatians 3:6)
Romans 4 presents faith not as a crowning merit but as readiness to accept what god promises.
James 2:23 speaks of righteousness by faith to confirm that justification has always been by faith but also that faith must show itself genuine in James 2:18.
Abraham’s faith for salvation had already occurred as in “faith in the Lord” which already existed before Chapter 15 of Genesis.
But, Abraham’s faith responded to the word of God, or the promise, or the plan, or the assignment God gave in response to a man that stood justified before him.
3:19 “Sin” always has existed since Adam. A “transgression” can not occur until a law is broken. So, though “sin” existed, there was no “transgression” until the law was given and then broken. The “Law” turns “sin” into “transgression.”