1 You foolish people [of the churches] of Galatia [Note: This was a province in present-day Turkey], who tricked you? Was not Jesus Christ graphically portrayed before you as being put to death on a cross?
2 The only thing I would like to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Holy Spirit [into your lives] by [meeting the requirements of] the law of Moses or by hearing [and obeying the message] of faith [in Christ]?
3 Are you so foolish [as to believe that after] having begun [your Christian lives] through [the power of] the Holy Spirit, you can [now] become complete by [living according to your human strength]?
4 Did you suffer so many things [for the faith] all for nothing? [That is], if it really was for nothing?
5 Therefore, as God has provided you with the Holy Spirit and has produced miracles among you, [do you think He has done all this] as a result of your obeying the requirements of the law of Moses or as a result of hearing [and responding to the message of] the faith?
6 [An example of this is] Abraham, who believed God's [promise] and [because of such faith] he was considered right with God.
8 And, predicting that God would consider the Gentiles right with Him by [their] faith, the Scriptures previously recorded [this promise of] the Gospel to Abraham by saying [Gen. 12:3], "All nations will receive a blessing through your descendant [i.e., Jesus]."
9 So then, all those who have faith [in Jesus] receive a blessing along with Abraham, a man of faith.
10 For all who seek to be right with God by trying to meet all the requirements of the law of Moses are under a curse [from God], because it is written [Deut. 27:26], "Every person is cursed [i.e., cut off from God] who does not continue to obey all of the requirements written in the law of Moses."
11 Now it is evident that no person can be made right with God by [obeying all the requirements of] the law of Moses for [Hab. 2:4 says], "The righteous person will obtain life by [his] faith [in God]."
12 Now the law of Moses is not based on one's faith, for [Lev. 18:5 says], "The person who obeys the requirements of the law of Moses will obtain life by doing so."
13 Christ bought us back from the curse [caused by our not obeying all the requirements] of the law of Moses; He became a curse for us [by dying on the cross], for it is written [Deut. 21:23], "Every one who hangs on a tree [i.e., a cross] is cursed [i.e., cut off from God]."
14 [This happened] so that the blessing [promised] to Abraham might be received by the Gentiles through [the person and work of] Christ, so that we might receive the promised [gift of the] Holy Spirit through [our] faith [in Jesus].
15 Brothers, I will use an illustration from the way people deal with each other: Even though an agreement is made between people, once it is finally settled, no one can cancel it or include additional provisions to it.
16 Now [specific] promises were made to Abraham and to his seed [i.e., descendants]. [God] did not say "seeds" [plural] as though He were referring to many persons but "seed" [singular] showing that He meant one [descendant]; [Gen. 13:15 says] "And to your seed," referring to Christ.
17 Here is what I am saying: The Agreement originally made by God [with Abraham], with its attending promises, was not canceled when the law of Moses was given some four hundred and thirty years later.
18 For if the inheritance [of never ending life] can be obtained by [obeying the requirements of] the law of Moses, it would not come from the promise [of God]; but God provided [this inheritance] for Abraham according to [His] promise.
19 What then is [the benefit of] the law of Moses? It was introduced [as part of God's revelation] in order to define what sin was, until the seed [i.e., Jesus] would come, to whom the promise [of never ending life] was made. The law of Moses was ordained through [the medium of] angels and [delivered] through the hand of an intermediary [i.e., Moses].
20 Now an intermediary does not serve in a situation involving [only] one person. However, God is one [Being].
21 Is the law of Moses contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could provide [never ending] life, then a person could be considered right with God by [obeying the requirements of such] a law.
22 But the Scriptures indicate that everything [i.e., everyone] is under the control of sin, so that the promise [of never ending life] could be available [only] to those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
23 But before faith [in Christ] became available, we [Jews] were kept in bondage under [condemnation for not obeying perfectly] the law of Moses. [This condition existed] until the faith [i.e., the Gospel message] was made known [to people].
24 So, the law of Moses became like our "transportation to school," bringing us to [the school of] Christ where we [learn how to be] made right with God by faith [in Christ].
25 But now that faith [in Christ] has become available, we are no longer in need of this "transportation to school."
27 For all of you who were immersed into [a relationship with] Christ have been clothed with Him [i.e., His life].
28 [In this relationship] there is to be no [distinction between] Jews or Greeks [i.e., Gentiles], slaves or free persons, men or women; for all of you are united into one [body] because of your relationship with Christ Jesus.