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Galatians 3:11 & meaning...


that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”

Galatians 3:11


The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Good News beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you all the nations will be blessed.”[a] So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham. 

Galatians 3 [10.] For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.”[b] Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”[c] The law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.”[d]

Galatians 3 [13.] Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”[e] that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


a. Galatians 3:8 Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18.

b. Galatians 3:10 Deuteronomy 27:26.

c. Galatians 3:11 Habakkuk 2:4.

d. Galatians 3:12 Leviticus 18:5.

e. Galatians 3:13 Deuteronomy 21:23.


The Argument in Galatians: Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: In Galatians, Paul addresses the issue of whether Gentile Christians must observe the Mosaic Law to be justified. Some Jewish Christians were insisting that Gentile converts must follow the Jewish law, including circumcision, to be part of the covenant community.

Justification by Faith: Paul argues passionately that justification (being declared righteous before God) comes through faith in Jesus Christ and not by observing the law. He insists that faith in Christ alone is sufficient for salvation.

Citing Habakkuk 2:4: Scriptural Basis: Paul supports his argument by quoting Habakkuk 2:4, “The righteous will live by faith.” This Old Testament verse underscores the principle that righteousness before God is based on faith, not on legalistic adherence to the law.

Theological Significance

  • Righteousness by Faith:

Justification Defined: Justification is the act of God declaring a sinner to be righteous on the basis of faith in Jesus Christ. It is not something earned by good works or adherence to the law but is a gift received through faith.

Role of the Law: The law reveals our sin and our inability to achieve righteousness on our own. It acts as a tutor that leads us to Christ, where we find true justification by faith.

  • Freedom in Christ:

Liberty from Legalism: Paul’s teaching liberates believers from the bondage of trying to earn God’s favor through legalistic practices. Faith in Christ brings freedom and assurance of salvation.

Living by Faith: Living by faith means trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross and relying on God’s grace daily. It is a dynamic relationship with God, marked by trust and dependence rather than fear and striving.

Applications for Our Lives

  • Embracing Faith:

Personal Faith Journey: Each of us is called to embrace faith in Jesus Christ as the foundation of our relationship with God. This faith is not just intellectual assent but a deep trust and reliance on Him for our salvation and daily living.

Rejecting Legalism: We are encouraged to reject any form of legalism that suggests we must earn God’s favor. Instead, we rest in the assurance that our righteousness is secured through faith in Christ.

  • Living Out Faith:

Daily Trust: Living by faith involves trusting God in all aspects of life—our decisions, challenges, and uncertainties. It means believing that God’s promises are true and that He is faithful to His word.

Faith Expressed in Love: Paul later emphasizes in Galatians that faith expresses itself through love (Galatians 5:6). Our faith should be evident in our actions, particularly in how we love and serve others.


Romans 1:17: "For in it is revealed God’s righteousness from faith to faith. As it is written, 'But the righteous shall live by faith.'" Paul also uses Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans to emphasize that the righteousness of God is revealed and received through faith, reinforcing the centrality of faith for justification.

Hebrews 10:38: "But the righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." This passage in Hebrews echoes the same Old Testament reference, highlighting the importance of persevering in faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast." Paul reiterates the theme of salvation by grace through faith, underscoring that it is a gift from God, not something we can earn through our efforts.

Conclusion: Galatians 3:11 is a powerful affirmation of the principle that righteousness before God is achieved through faith and not by the works of the law. This verse, drawing from Habakkuk, reinforces the central theme of justification by faith that runs throughout Paul’s letters. It liberates believers from the burden of legalism and invites us into a life of trust and dependence on God’s grace. As we live out this faith, we are called to express it through love and service to others, demonstrating the transformative power of the gospel in our lives.

Reflecting on this verse and its implications helps us deepen our understanding of what it means to be justified by faith and encourages us to live a life rooted in trust and reliance on God.

PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible


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