Paul speaks harsh to the Galatians he addresses when chapter 3 begins, calling them foolish. They had received the Spirit and now they were questioning the gospel. Did they think they had received it by works of the law? Paul is still working on the doubts and fears that these false prophets had instilled in them that they were under the law. And if they were Gentiles, their only hope in that case would be to become Jews first.
Paul makes his best case in this chapter when he cites Genesis 12:7, where God made the promises to Abraham and his offspring. He did not say “offsprings,” as to mean many. Paul says that God was talking about Jesus as his offspring. He also tells them that God had told Abraham that in him, all nations would be blessed. It is this promise that means through Jesus Christ, we are all Abraham’s offspring. The law, he said, had come after the promises to Abraham, and could not nullify them:
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
And in chapter four, as he continues to confirm this, he addresses in verse 17 those false teachers who have endeared themselves to them. He tells them their true motives: “they make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.” They were not teaching them these things to bring them into the kingdom. They wanted to shut them out!
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.