What Does Galatians 3:22 Mean?

But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:22(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The God of the universe and Creator of the world, made man in His Own image and likeness to have dominion over His creation and to rule the beautiful world that He spoke into being. But man sinned and the god of this age, that old serpent called the devil and Satan, took dominion of the earth from Adam, set up his own anti-God kingdom, and enslaved humanity in sin and death.

Following this terrible sin of Adam, who was the federal head of the human race, we discover that sin and death was passed onto all his progeny. We are all born in sin and the consequences of sin reign within our mortal frame. But God chose to expose the wickedness of Satan and in His mercy, love, and justice purposed to save mankind from the terrible consequences of sin, by taking the punishment that we justly deserve upon Himself – through the sacrifice of His dearly beloved Son.

God communicated His Own eternal plans and loving purposes to all humanity throughout the pages of Holy Scripture, at the centre of which is His amazing plan of salvation, whereby the sinless sacrificial Lamb of God would pay the full redemption price for all who would believe on His name. What an astonishing privilege we find within the pages of Scripture – for the Spirit of God determined our fallen and eternally condemned status in the world, but in His goodness and grace.. outlined all we need to receive His promised blessing of salvation, the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting.

Scripture is a supernatural document that has been delivered to us all through the pens of the apostles, the prophets, and the life of the Lord Jesus, which explains that we are all prisoners of sin, and under the authority of Satan.. with death, hell and eternal separation from our God as the bitter fruit of our fallen nature. But God has taken the wicked, evil plan of Satan and turned it into eternal blessings for all who depend, by faith, on the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

In his letter to the Galatians Paul explains that the Law of God was given to man to expose mans' transgressions. It was to show fallen humanity their need of a Saviour - the One God promised to send following Adam's terrible sin. The Lord promised that the Seed of the woman - the same promised Seed of Abraham, would come one day to crush the serpent's head and give freedom to all who would receive His salvation, by faith.

The foolish Galatians had misunderstood the purpose of the Law. They thought that keeping the Law would save them, but the Law was designed to expose their sin so that they would admit their need of a Saviour, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul. Paul explained that rather than saving them, the Law has imprisoned everyone under sin.

The Scriptures, which communicate God's plan of redemption, also contains His Law exposing man's sinfulness and acts like a prison. Every man is imprisoned by sin, with no means of escape. Paul needed to teach this terrible truth that we are all under sin and that the Scriptures themselves, have declared us to be sinners - so that he could link it with a tremendous truth - the Scriptures have shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe! The Scriptures tell us the bad news and then declare the good news of the gospel of grace.

The Scriptures were given to expose our need of a Saviour but those same Scriptures present the good news of the gospel - that God's promise of salvation - by faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. By faith in the promised Seed of Abraham, those imprisoned by sin (which is everyone born into the human race) can be freed from the curse of the Law. 

Should we not read, mark, learn, inwardly digest and apply all the treasures that are given to us through this open secret, which is His precious Word, for Scripture has shown that all mankind are the prisoners of sin – in order that God’s promised blessing, which depends on faith in Jesus Christ, may be given to all who believe in Him.

My Prayer

Thank You, Father, for the wonderful Scriptures and for revealing to sinful man the end from the beginning, and all that makes for our eternal salvation.  Help me to appreciate Your Word for what it truly is, a love letter from beyond time and space, from You to me. Thank You that all I had to do to receive Your blessing of salvation, the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting, was to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank You, and in His name I pray, AMEN.

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