CLEARLY PORTRAYED: "Prographo" = written up on a
placard; set forth for all the world to see! Christ lifted up on a cross (Joh
CRUCIFIED: A ref to Isa 53! In Gal 3:2, "believing what
you heard" = "believed our message" (Isa 53:1).
See Act 14:2,5,22; Rom 5:3,4; Heb 12:6.
Man is justified by faith (vv 6,8), but cursed by law (v
ALL NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED THROUGH YOU: "[This] was
God's promise to Abraham before he left his native Ur to go to the land of
promise (Gen 12:3). This purpose was repeated as the ground of God's
communication concerning the overthrow of Sodom. 'Shall I hide from Abraham that
thing which I do; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty
nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?' (Gen
18:17,18). What is the blessing here promised? We perhaps think firstly of the
material blessings of Christ's reign, the era of peace, the establishment of
justice, the abundance of food; houses for all; security based on law; the
removal of tyranny, bloodshed, oppression and torture of all forms; the bringing
of enlightenment, and love of the things that are best to all. It is true that
these things are included, as the glowing pictures of the prophets of the coming
age abundantly show: but they are not the first or the most important blessing.
Paul quotes the words... as proof that God would justify the Gentiles through
faith. 'All the nations' included Gentiles as well as Jews -- clearly,
therefore, the blessing of Abraham is for Gentiles. The proof that God would
justify them lies in the word 'blessed' -- in other words, when God said the
nations would be blessed the promise concerned the justification of the nations"
THE RIGHTEOUS WILL LIVE BY FAITH: The central
affirmation of Habakkuk is the last part of Hab 2:4: 'the righteous will live by
his faith.' There are three key words in this affirmation: righteous, live, and
faith. It is interesting that in the three places where this verse is quoted in
the NT, in each case a different word receives the emphasis: (1) In Rom 1:17,
the emphasis is on 'righteous.' Paul's concern in Romans was with the
righteousness of God and how people can obtain it. (2) In Gal 3:11, the emphasis
is on 'faith.' Paul contrasted salvation by works and salvation by faith in
Galatians. (3) And in Heb 10:38, the emphasis is on 'live.' The writer to the
Hebrews stressed the importance of living by faith as a way of life rather than
turning back to Judaism and living by the Law.
Thus we can see that this statement is packed with meaning. In
fact, many people believe that this verse expresses the central theme of the
This verse may be amplified thusly: "The righteous (ie, those
who are justified and declared righteous by God -- being absolved of their sins)
shall live (ie, NOW, in their daily lives of faith, and in the FUTURE, in the
day of resurrection and glory) by their faith (ie, by acknowledging their utter
dependence upon the LORD)."
REDEEMED: The Greek "exagorazo", which literally means
'to buy out of the agora, or marketplace'. This is one of the most powerful
pictures, or parables, in the New Testament: that of the sinner as a "slave to
Sin", where "Sin" is personified as the powerful but ruthless Master to whom
allegiance is owed -- who brutalizes his "property" and gives it at last only
"death". "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin" (Rom 7:14). In this metaphor
Paul is recalling the words of Jesus: "Everyone who sins is a slave to sin" (Joh
"But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to
sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Rom
6:17,18). Christ has come into the "agora", or marketplace, and purchased the
sinner out of his bondage; now he has a new Master (Christ himself), and a new
CHRIST REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW: In
addition to being redeemed from sin and wickedness and the world and men (Tit
2:14; Heb 9:15; Rev 14:3,4), man was also redeemed from the Law of Moses (Gal
4:5), and from the "curse" of that Law (Gal 3:13).
But the Law itself was not evil (it was holy and just and
good: Rom 7:12-14). However, the Law brought into focus and highlighted man's
sin -- in effect, making him a "sinner". Thus it came to stand -- by metonymy
(putting the cause for the effect) -- for his sin.
By coming under the curse of the Law -- more or less
artificially, and in the manner of his death only -- whilst living a perfectly
righteous life... Christ effectively removed that curse, and made it
meaningless. And thus he did the same for those who are "in Christ"
BLESSING: Forgiveness of sins: Rom 4:1-3.
Promises to Abraham in NT: Christ confirms promises (Rom
15:8); great and precious promises (2Pe 1:4); God's covenant promises re Israel
(Rom 9:4); no covenant = no hope (Eph 2:12).
THE LAW, INTRODUCED 430 YEARS LATER, DOES NOT SET ASIDE THE
COVENANT PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED BY GOD: The promise to Abraham, which might
also be called the covenant with Abraham, was pronounced 430 years before the
other covenant made with Moses and Israel, described in Exodus 24. Yet --
strangely -- the covenant made with Moses is treated as the older covenant,
whereas that made with Abraham -- though spoken much, much earlier -- is treated
as the newer covenant. And the reason would seem to be this: that the Mosaic
covenant was confirmed IMMEDIATELY, in the sprinkled blood of the sacrifices,
and in the fellowship meal, whereas the Abrahamic covenant was not confirmed
when first given.
To illustrate, think of two contracts, one drawn up in, say,
1950, BUT NOT SIGNED AND SEALED; and the other drawn up in, say, 1960, and
signed and sealed immediately. The 1950 contract -- though all ready to be
legalized, remains unsigned and unwitnessed until, let us say, 1980 -- and so,
in that sense, when it is finalized, it becomes the newer and later contract,
although written first.
So the Mosaic covenant was confirmed immediately. But the
covenant made by God with Abraham (like the 1950 contract in the illustration)
was not so confirmed at the beginning; rather, it had to be taken on faith by
Abraham and his descendants -- in fact, Paul and other New Testament writers
make much of this fact: that Abraham was justified by his FAITH in what God had
promised (see, for example, Rom 4), although he never received what was
promised, but only saw it afar off (Heb 11:13).
The covenant with Abraham could only be confirmed -- "signed
and sealed and delivered", so to speak -- by the shed blood of the
covenant-victim, which was the Lord Jesus Christ (so Paul argues in Gal
3:1,13,16,19,20). Thus may be understood the words of Jesus: "This is the new
covenant in MY blood!" And since nothing can replace or supplant it, once it has
been confirmed and established, this Abrahamic covenant becomes also the
"eternal covenant", in contrast to the Mosaic covenant, which was temporary, and
destined to "disappear" (Heb 8:13).
430 years: For a reconciliation with 400 years, see CGal
THROUGH ANGELS: See Exo 3:2; 23:20; Isa 63:9; cp Heb
BY A MEDIATOR: Moses: Heb 9:19,20. See Lesson,
Mediatorship of Christ.
DOES NOT REPRESENT JUST ONE PARTY: Moses and the Law
could not mediate the blessing by faith of the "one" seed (Gal 3:16).
GOD IS ONE: But since God is one, He must have one way
of salvation, which, as just proved, was not the (exclusively Jewish)
Since God is one (v 20), there can be no real antagonism
between Law and faith.
LOCKED UP: As the leper in Lev 13:5.
PUT IN CHARGE: "Paidogogus" = the "tutor-slave", to
discipline and educate young boys in the better households (CGal 90). But, with
the passage of time, the pedagogue's service necessarily comes to an end.
" 'A child-custodian' or 'child-attendant.' The pedagogue was
a slave employed by wealthy Greeks or Romans to have responsibility for one of
the children of the family. He had charge of the child from about the years six
to sixteen and was responsible for watching over his behavior wherever he went
and for conducting him to and from school. The pedagogue did not teach.
Therefore the translation 'schoolmaster' [KJV] is wrong; if Paul had meant this,
he would have used 'didaskalos' rather than 'paidagogos'. Paul's point is that
this responsibility ceased when the child entered into the fullness of his
position as a son, becoming an acknowledged adult by the formal rite of adoption
by his father (see Gal 4:1-7). 'To Christ' is not to be taken in a geographic
sense as though the pedagogue was conducting the child to a teacher, as some
have implied. The reference, as in the preceding verse, is temporal; it means
'until we come of age at the time of the revelation of our full sonship through
Christ's coming' " (EBC).
TO LEAD US TO CHRIST: "The Law served its usefulness as
a schoolmaster [AV] to bring men to Christ, but as a law code it is no longer
binding upon believers. This is not, however, to be confused with the many
Messianic prophecies referring to the reign of Christ on the earth which still
await fulfilment. The Christadelphian must establish the legitimacy of his
frequent OT refs before the full import of their force registers. The inspired
application of more than 630 OT refs cited and used by Christ and the Apostles
in the NT is an authoritative guide to Biblical interpretation" (WS
YOU ARE ALL SONS OF GOD: No higher relationship with
God is possible than that of sonship: Joh 1:12; 1Pe 1:14; Rom 8:14,15.
In ct to traditional synagogue prayer: "Lord, I thank thee
that thou didst make me not a Gentile, but a Jew; not a slave but free; not a
woman but a man" (WEnj 158; CGal 92).
ALL ONE IN CHRIST: Joh 10:16; 17:11,20-23.