Focal Passage: Galatians 3:1-14
Think about your morning commute. You make a left out of the neighborhood, a right at the stoplight, then another left, then another right. Sure, you might take a side street to avoid traffic every now and then. But whether you are heading to work, school or the gym, you are going the same general direction each time. What if instead of making that first left, you made a right? What if after making that right you kept going? You likely wouldn’t end up at work.
Paul was clearly concerned about the direction the Galatian churches were taking, calling them “foolish” (3:1). He asked the Galatian believers to recall what they experienced when they first believed. He reminds them that when they first heard the gospel, the message was very clear that Christ was crucified on their behalf. There had been no mention of adding works of the flesh to what Jesus had already done.
Paul explains Abraham was made righteous centuries before the law was even given. This was because of his faith.
How, then, could the Galatians be justified by a law that did not even justify their spiritual father? In the same way that Abraham was made righteous, they were made righteous. They would be made complete in the same way that they believed and received the Holy Spirit – by faith. By placing themselves under the law for salvation, they were placing themselves under a curse. They had already been saved by faith, nothing they could do would add to what Jesus did.
The same is true for us. We don’t have to finish something we never started. Just as salvation is received by grace through faith, so is our sanctification. We continue to grow by continuing to believe. We will finish the same way we began, by believing that Jesus delivered us from the curse of sin by becoming the curse himself. Faith in Christ is what saves us, and that same faith is what allows us to live free, obedient lives for God.