Galatians 3:1-9 Study Guide
1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”? 7 Know then that it is the sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” 9 So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
Main Idea: Believers are justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, and brought into a relationship with him like Abraham.
Overview: In this section, we see how the Galatians have been “fearing the circumcision party” and adding parts of the law to the gospel. Paul is dismantling these false requirements and reminding the Galatians that just as Abraham was approved by God because of faith, in the same way, the Gentile believers enter the promise of God through faith.
Observation and Interpretation
- Where do you see Paul talking about grace? Where do you see him talking about works? What’s the main idea he’s making between them?
- What is the significance of Paul’s quote of Genesis 15:6 in Galatians 3:6-8?
- Who is doing the actions in Galatians 3:5? How does that affect Abraham’s response in Galatians 3:6?
- According to Galatians 3:8-9, what is the extent of the gospel? (Compare the geographic extent in Acts 1:8)
- How does it bring you comfort to know that peace with God requires faith alone?
- What areas of your life do you see how, though you “began by the Spirit," you now are “being perfected by the flesh”? (Galatians 3:3)
- In Galatians 3:8-9, Paul zooms out to remind the gentile Galatians that God includes them in the family of faith. How does this reality affect our awe of God? Our relationships with brothers and sisters? Our urgency in evangelism?
Prayer Point: Spend some time in prayer thanking God that, like Abraham, we are justified by our faith. Take some time in confession and repentance for areas in your life where you try to continue “in the flesh” and surrender those to Christ’s lordship.