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Paul begins Chapter 3 with a challenge to examine themselves and asks them to remember how they were saved. Not questioning their intelligence, but rather their thought process, he reminds them that to follow any other teaching than salvation by faith in Jesus is foolish and idiotic and though he knows full well who it is, he wants them to consider who bewitched them into believing a false gospel of salvation by works. Christ’s death provides all the payment for sin that will ever be needed and that it is utterly foolish to think that one must add works nor anything else.

Paul quickly turns and frequently returns to the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation and asks them, again, what role do works play in salvation? He asks them if their experiences were a waste of time. Quoting Genesis 15:6, at length he reminds them that Abraham was saved by faith and not by works. Paul continues by contrasting the law and faith. Quoting the Old Testament again, from Habakkuk 2:4, Paul reminds them that the just shall live by faith. Justification by faith and justification by the law are mutually exclusive. Christ took our place and redeemed us from the penalty of the law. Paul bookends this section with yet another reference to the Holy Spirit and Christ’s death that enables us to receive the Holy Spirit as God promised.

Anticipating the objections of the Judaizers that Abraham was not saved by faith, Paul disarms them by first showing the superiority of the Abrahamic covenant and the inferiority of the law. He reminds them that the Abrahamic covenant was given 430 years prior to the law. Paul reiterates that justification by faith and justification by the law are mutually exclusive. What was the purpose of the law? To reveal our sinful state showing us our need for salvation. The chapter closes by reminding us that in Christ, there are no racial nor socioeconomic lines and that we are all spiritual descendants of Abraham who was saved by faith, just as we are.


Devotional written by Dan Peña

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