This chapter focuses in on the importance of strength in faith. Faith is complete trust or confidence in something, or someone. Here we are to have faith in the teachings of Christianity, of God’s power, of his resurrection, and that he died on the cross so that we, being sinners, might be saved. As believers we must live by faith everyday. Not only are we to live by faith, but we are also to ‘do everything written in the Book of the Law.’ This is a reference to the law in the Old Testament, which contains many promises which God made to Israel through Abraham. Paul explains that just as ‘the law was our guardian, Christ came that we might be justified by faith.’ Before Jesus Christ’s arrival, we only had the Old Testament as guidance for our faith and, in a sense, we were ‘held up in custody under this law.’ It was much more difficult for God’s faith to be revealed to us without the demonstration of the Son of Man. These next few verses describe our situation after the coming of Jesus.
“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.” – 1 Galatians 3:26-29
Christ has provided the link between God and us. Through his baptism facilitated by John the Baptist, he has opened up a path for us to publicly declare our dedication towards our religion, and we have all ‘become one in Christ Jesus.’ Instead of Christianity being a religion that was strictly for Jews, as in the Old Testament times, Christianity became a faith open to all – to Jew and Gentile, Slave and Free, male and female – people of all different ethnicities and social groups. God has fulfilled his promise to Abraham – that all his heirs will belong to Christ. Now, there are Christians in every country on Earth, and missionaries travel to the ‘four corner’ to spread the gospel and good news – that Christ is the one and true God, and that he is available to all.
In Chapter 4, Paul addresses his concern for the Galatians and their wicked ways. He states that they have already known God, but are now turning back to evil forces. People will be ‘zealous’ to win us over, presenting material and useless things, trying to distract us from what we should remain true to.
Next, Paul refers to Hagar and Sarah, the two wives of Abraham. One is a free woman – Sarah is Abraham’s wife, and his son, Isaac, was born out of the divine covenant made between God and Abraham. On the other hand, Hagar’s many sons were born out of slavery, as she was Abraham’s slave. Paul defines us as the children of God, and like Isaac we are free people. We will always be persecuted by others, but as God’s children, we are free from sin under his name.