christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

galatians 3 chiastic structures, part two

Read Galatians 3 at Bible Gateway.

Previous studies:
galatians 3 chiastic structures 2012 jul 15
galatians 3:1-9, what saves a man 2013 apr 12
galatians 3:10-14, the curse of the law 2013 apr 14
galatians 3:15-29, the purpose of the law 2013 apr 15
galatians 3, the curse of the law, part one 2009 nov 04
galatians 3, the curse of the law, part two 2009 nov 05

Every point in the argument Paul is building in these next chapters of Galatians form their own chiastic structures, one of the thumbprints of the Holy Spirit on the Word of God:

Gal 3:15-18
1a) Gal 3:15-16a, The covenant and the promise:
– 1a.1) Gal 3:15, Men do not annul or change a covenant that has been confirmed;
– 1a.2) Gal 3:16a, Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made;
central axis) Gal 3:16b, Christ is the Seed;
2a) Gal 3:17-18, The covenant and the promise:
– 2a.1) Gal 3:17, The Law cannot annul the covenant confirmed 430 years before by God to make the promise null;
– 2a.2) Gal 3:18, God gave the inheritance to Abraham by promise.

Gal 3:19-22
1a) Gal 3:19-20, The Law was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made;
1b) Gal 3:21a, Is the Law then against the promises of God?;
central axis) Gal 3:21b, Certainly the Law is not against the promises of God;
2b) Gal 3:21c, For if the Law could have given life, it would have;
2a) Gal 3:22, The Law has confined all under sin, that the promise in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Gal 3:23-4:2
1a) Gal 3:23-25, Before faith, we were kept under guard by the Law, being our tutor to bring us to Christ;
1b) Gal 3:26, For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus;
1c) Gal 3:27, For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ;
central axis) Gal 3:28a, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female;
2c) Gal 3:28b, For you are all one in Christ Jesus;
2b) Gal 3:29, And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise;
2a) Gal 4:1-2, As long as the heir is a child, he is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Is the Law then against the promises of God? Certainly not!

Galatians 3:21

The Galatians had embraced a gospel of works of obedience to the Law in order to receive salvation. Paul is explaining from the Scriptures and from the Law why justification does not come by obedience, why justification by obedience to commandments is not the true gospel. Justification is by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, that is the gospel. However, obedience to the Law has not passed away – it is just not the instrument of salvation. The Law, Paul says, is not against the promises of God! I am repeating myself so much because we have been brainwashed to believe something that the Scriptures don’t actually say, if we have been taught that obedience to God’s commandments has passed away.


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