1 O senseless Galatians! Who has bewitched you, before whose very eyes Jesus Christ was pictured as the crucified One? 2 I want to ask you only this one thing: Did you receive the Spirit by doing what the law commands, or by believing the message you heard? 3 Are you so senseless? Did you begin by the Spirit, but are now approaching perfection by fleshly means? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing? If it really is for nothing. 5 Now when He supplies you with the Spirit and performs His wonder-works among you, does He do it because you do what the law commands, or because you believe the message that you heard --
6 just as "Abraham put his faith in God, and it was credited to him as right standing with God"? 7 So you see, it is the men of faith who are the real descendants of Abraham. 8 Because the Scripture foresaw that God would bring the heathen into right standing with Himself on condition of faith, He beforehand proclaimed the good news to Abraham in the promise, "It is through you that all the heathen will be blessed." 9 So the men of faith are blessed as partners with trusting Abraham.
10 For those who depend on what the law commands are under a curse, for the Scripture says, "Cursed be everyone who does not continue in all the commands that are written in the book of the law, to do them." 11 Now it is evident that through the law no man is brought into right standing with God, for "The man in right standing with God will live by faith," 12 and the law has nothing to do with faith, but it says, "It is the man who does these things that will live by doing them." 13 Christ ransomed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us -- for the Scripture says, "Cursed be everyone who is hanged on a tree" -- 14 that the blessing promised to Abraham might through Jesus Christ come to the heathen, so that through faith we might receive the promised Spirit.
15 Brothers, I am going to use a human illustration: Even a human contract, once it has been ratified, no one can annul or change. 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and his descendant. It does not say, "and to your descendants," in the plural, but in the singular, "and to your descendant," that is, Christ. 17 I mean this: The law which was given four hundred and thirty years later could not annul the contract which had already been ratified by God, so as to cancel the promise. 18 For if our inheritance depends on the law, it can no longer depend on the promise. But it was by promise that God so graciously bestowed it upon Abraham.
19 Then what about the law? It was added later on to increase transgressions, until the descendant to whom the promise was made should come, enacted through the agency of angels in the person of an intermediary. 20 Though an intermediary implies more than one party, yet God is only one. 21 Is the law then contrary to God's promises? Of course not. For if a law had been given that was able to impart life, surely, then, right standing would have come through law. 22 But the Scripture pictures all mankind as prisoners of sin, so that the promised blessing through faith in Christ might be given to those who have faith. 23 But before this faith came, we were kept locked up under the law, in preparation for the faith which was to be unveiled. 24 So the law has been our attendant to lead us to Christ, so that we might through faith obtain right standing with God. 25 But now that this faith has come, we are no longer in the charge of the attendant. 26 For all of you are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For all of you who have been baptized into union with Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is no room for Jew or Greek, no room for slave or freeman, no room for male or female, for you are all one through union with Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are real descendants of Abraham, and heirs in accordance with the promise made to him.