Galatians Reading (#9)

Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.

Read Galatians 3:19-22

[3:19] Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. [20] Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.
[21] Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. [22] But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.


  • What question does Paul ask in v.19?
    • For what reason was it added? Until what happened? 
    • How was the law put into place?
  • What does the idea of an intermediary imply (v. 20)? What does Paul say about God (v 20)?
  • What question does Paul ask in v. 21?
    • How does he answer it?
    • What explanation does he give? What can the law never do?
  • What did Scripture do (v 22)? For what purpose?
    • Who receives the promise?
    • How is the promise received?


  • Why does Paul ask about the purpose of the law? How do the arguments that have come before raise that question? 
  • What does it mean that the law was given through intermediaries (see Deuteronomy 33:2 and Leviticus 26:46)? 
    • How does that show that the law was not given directly by God himself?
    • How does that demonstrate the superiority of the gospel over the law (remember Galatians 1:1 and 1:12)? 
  • Why might someone ask if the law is contrary to the promise of God? 
    • Paul seems to be “anti-law”. Why would he be concerned to make sure that we understand that the law is not contrary to the promise of God?
    • How does Paul’s explanation in v 21 show that the law was never intended to accomplish the things that God’s promise was intended to bring about?
    • What is the connection between “life” and “righteousness” in v 21? 
  • In the context of the larger argument, what is Paul referring to when he says “the Scripture”?
    • What does it mean that everything is “imprisoned under the law”?
    • Did God originally hope that the Israelites would be able to obey the law and thus bring themselves life and righteousness?
    • What is “the promise” that is given through Jesus? How does the inability of the law to bring life and righteousness enable us to receive the promise through faith in Jesus?


  • Paul is very confident that the failure of the law was actually the triumph of God’s plan. How does that help you to have confidence in God’s unfailing plan for your life?
  • The New Testament is clear that the privileges that we have as New Covenant believers are far superior to those that Old Covenant believers experienced (for further information beyond this passage, see the book of Hebrews). Take time to think through some of the benefits that you have as one who is not imprisoned under the law but a recipient of life through faith in Christ.

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