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God's Blessing Comes Through Faith

3 1You people in Galatia were told very clearly about the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. But you were very foolish. You let someone trick you. 2Tell me this one thing: How did you receive the Spirit*? Did you receive the Spirit by following the law*? No! You received the Spirit because you heard [the Good News*] and believed it. 3You began [your life in Christ] with the Spirit. Now do you try to continue it by your own power? That is foolish. 4You have experienced many things. Were all those experiences wasted? I hope they were not wasted! 5Does God give you the Spirit because you follow the law? No! Does God work miracles* among you because you follow the law? No! God gives you his Spirit and works miracles among you because you heard [the Good News] and believed it. 6[The Scriptures* say] the same thing about Abraham.*"Abraham believed God. And God accepted Abraham's faith. That made Abraham right with God."* 7So you should know that the true children of Abraham are the people who have faith. 8The Scriptures told what would happen in the future. These writings said that God would make the non-Jewish people right through their faith. This Good News* was told to Abraham before, like the Scripture says: "God will use you, [Abraham], to bless all the people on earth."* 9Abraham believed this. Because Abraham believed, he was blessed. [It is the same today]. All people who believe are blessed the same as Abraham was blessed. 10But people who depend on following the law [to make them right] are under a curse. Why? Because the Scriptures say, "A person must do all the things that are written in the law.* If he does not always obey, then that person is under a curse!"* 11So it is clear that no person can be made right with God by the law. [The Scriptures say], "The person who is right with God by faith will live [forever]."* 12The law does not use faith; [it uses a different way]. The law says, "A person who wants to find life by following these things (the law) must do the things the law says."* 13The law put a curse on us. But Christ took away that curse. He changed places with us. Christ put himself under that curse. It is written in the Scriptures, "When a person's body is put (hung) on a tree,* that person is under a curse."* 14Christ did this so that God's blessing could be given to all people. God promised this blessing to Abraham. The blessing comes through Jesus Christ. [Jesus died] so that we could have the Spirit* that God promised. We receive this promise by believing.

The Law and the Promise

15Brothers [and sisters], let me give you an example: Think about an agreement that one person makes with another person. After that agreement is made official, no person can stop that agreement or add anything to it. And no person can ignore that agreement. 16God made promises to Abraham* and his Descendant.* God did not say, "and to your descendants." (That would mean many people. But God said, "and to your Descendant." That means only one person; that person is Christ.) 17This is what I mean: The agreement [that God gave to Abraham] was made official long before the law* came. The law came 430 years later. So the law could not take away the agreement and change God's promise [to Abraham]. 18Can following the law give us the things God promised? No! If we could receive those things by following the law, then it is not God's promise that brings us those things. But God freely gave [his blessings] to Abraham through the promise God made. 19So what was the law* for? The law was given to show the wrong things people do. The law continued until the special Descendant of Abraham came. God's promise was about this Descendant (Christ). The law was given through angels. The angels used [Moses for] a mediator* to give the law to people. 20But a mediator is not needed when there is only one side, and God is only one.

The Purpose of the Law of Moses

21Does this mean that the law* is against God's promises? No! If there was a law that could give life to people, then we could be made right by following law. 22But this is not true, because the Scriptures* showed that all people are bound by sin. Why did the Scriptures do this? So that the promise would be given to people through faith. The promise is given to people who believe in Jesus Christ. 23Before this faith came, we were all held prisoners by the law.* We had no freedom until God showed us the way of faith that was coming. 24So the law was our master until Christ came. After Christ came, we could be made right with God through faith. 25Now the way of faith has come. So we don't live under the law now. 26-27You were all baptized* into Christ. So you were all clothed with Christ. This shows that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 28Now, in Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek (non-Jew). There is no difference between slaves and free men. There is no difference between male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus. 29You belong to Christ. So you are Abraham's* descendants.* You get all of God's blessings because of the promise [that God made to Abraham].

Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world. law God's law. It is represented in the law of Moses. Good News The news that God has made a way for people to have their sins forgiven and live with him forever. miracle(s) Powerful works or great things done by God's power. Scriptures Holy Writings--the Old Testament. Abraham Most respected ancestor of the Jews. "Abraham believed ... God" Quote from Gen. 15:6. "God will use ... earth" Quote from Gen. 12:3. "A person ... curse" Quote from Deut. 27:26. "The person ... {forever}" Quote from Hab. 2:4. "A person ... law says" Quote from Lev. 18:5. put on a tree Deut. 21:22-23 says that when a person was killed for doing wrong, his body was hung on a tree to show shame. Paul means that the cross of Jesus was like that. "When ... curse" Quote from Deut. 21:23. Descendant Literally, "seed." mediator A person who helps one person talk to or give something to another person. baptized A Greek word meaning to be immersed, dipped, or buried briefly under water. descendant(s) The people born in a person's family after that person dies.

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