Galatians 3 New English Translation (NET Bible)
Justification by Law or by Faith?
3 You[a] foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell[b] on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed[c] as crucified! 2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law[d] or by believing what you heard?[e] 3 Are you so foolish? Although you began[f] with[g] the Spirit, are you now trying to finish[h] by human effort?[i] 4 Have you suffered so many things for nothing?—if indeed it was for nothing. 5 Does God then give[j] you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law[k] or by your believing what you heard?[l]
6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,[m] 7 so then, understand[n] that those who believe are the sons of Abraham.[o] 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time,[p] saying, “All the nations[q] will be blessed in you.”[r] 9 So then those who believe[s] are blessed along with Abraham the believer. 10 For all who[t] rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.”[u] 11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith.[v] 12 But the law is not based on faith,[w] but the one who does the works of the law[x] will live by them.[y] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming[z] a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)[aa] 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles,[ab] so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.
Inheritance Comes from Promises and not Law
15 Brothers and sisters,[ac] I offer an example from everyday life:[ad] When a covenant[ae] has been ratified,[af] even though it is only a human contract, no one can set it aside or add anything to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant.[ag] Scripture[ah] does not say, “and to the descendants,”[ai] referring to many, but “and to your descendant,”[aj] referring to one, who is Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: The law that came 430 years later does not cancel a covenant previously ratified by God,[ak] so as to invalidate the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise, but God graciously gave[al] it to Abraham through the promise.
19 Why then was the law given?[am] It was added[an] because of transgressions,[ao] until the arrival of the descendant[ap] to whom the promise had been made. It was administered[aq] through angels by an intermediary.[ar] 20 Now an intermediary is not for one party alone, but God is one.[as] 21 Is the law therefore opposed to the promises of God?[at] Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.[au] 22 But the scripture imprisoned[av] everything under sin so that the promise could be given—because of the faithfulness[aw] of Jesus Christ—to those who believe.
Sons of God Are Heirs of Promise
23 Now before faith[ax] came we were held in custody under the law, being kept as prisoners[ay] until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 Thus the law had become our guardian[az] until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous[ba] by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.[bb] 26 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.[bc] 27 For all of you who[bd] were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[be] nor free, there is neither male nor female[bf]—for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants,[bg] heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3 New International Version (NIV)
Faith or Works of the Law
3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?[a] 4 Have you experienced[b] so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[c]
7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[d] 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”[e] 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”[f] 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”[g] 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”[h] 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
The Law and the Promise
15 Brothers and sisters, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. 16 The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,”[i] meaning one person, who is Christ. 17 What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. 18 For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on the promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
19 Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. 20 A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
Children of God
23 Before the coming of this faith,[j] we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.