Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!
We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Galatians 3:23-29 English Standard Version (ESV)
23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
1) What is the greater context of this passage?
2) What does Paul mean when he says, “the law was our guardian”?
3) How do you “put on” Christ?
4) What do Christ and Abraham have to do with one another?
The Findings for Intention
1) In the beginning of this chapter, Paul starts by asking the Galatians a question about who is taking them away from their faith. He worries that they are distracted by a false gospel so he uses Galatians, especially chapter three, to remind his audience of the truth of what they know. Paul reminds them of what true faith is and the purpose of the law in conjunction with faith. He reminds them of their true identity in Christ.
2) The word “guardian” in the original language specifically refers to a tutor or guide that was a trustworthy family slave. This guide was entrusted with the life and morality of the boys in their care. The boys were not even allowed to leave the house without their “guardian” until they had entered manhood. In the context of the law, the law was our guardian that led us to faith in Christ. It showed us our complete inability to be perfect and pointed us straight to salvation in the righteousness of Christ alone by faith alone.
3) With the idea of “putting on Christ”, Paul is referring to when a person becomes a believer and how we take on a new identity. Just like with a new dress, we “put-on” our new identity that is rooted in the fruit of the Spirit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). We put on Christ in the way we live our lives and the choices that we make, choices that point back to Him. We become imitators of Christ (Philippians 2:1-11).
4) There is an entire history of animosity between Jews and Gentiles that Paul is arguing against. The main point Paul is making is that, as believers in Christ, we are all heirs to the promises God made to Abraham in Genesis 15-17. We have access through faith, not nationality. With Christ’s death on the cross, Gentiles were included in the blood bought promises of God (Romans 11).
The Everyday Application
1) We have a new identity in Christ! We know the truth of God and His salvation lest we forgot who we are and whose we are! Be reminded today that our faith in Christ is life-giving, transforming, and free from condemnation. The law showed us how sinful and fallen we were because apart from Christ, we can do nothing!
2) The law provides us with a moral compass that we cannot possibly keep, in and of ourselves, BUT faith provides us grace that closes the gap between God and man. We have been freed from the law of sin and death and “there is now, therefore, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). We are free by the blood of Christ that we may live for the One true God!
3) Every day we can choose to relinquish ourselves to the Holy Spirit working in us to stay the course, fight the good fight, and stay true to the Gospel we know. When we put on Christ, we represent Him to the world. We become His ambassadors, His advocates, and His spokespeople! We love like He loves, we extend grace and give the benefit of the doubt, and we make choice that honor Him! We walk as children of the Light…we live as daughters of the King!
4) Most of us are not Jewish, which means a lot of the Old Testament makes little sense to us, but we cannot understand the New Testament apart from the Old Testament. From the very beginning, God began pointing towards Christ. The Bible, His love story, unfolded in such a way that He would beckon all to know Him that all would experience the grace and mercy that comes from knowing, believing, and understanding who He is. Faith, the law, and the promises of God cannot be understood a part from His Word. It’s so crucial to dig deeply into Scripture to experience His fullness in our everyday lives!
I Can Do That!
1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!
We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources. Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.
Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!
Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))
Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.
In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!
Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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