Galatians 3:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

King James Bible
This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Darby Bible Translation
This only I wish to learn of you, Have ye received the Spirit on the principle of works of law, or of the report of faith?

World English Bible
I just want to learn this from you. Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?

Young's Literal Translation
this only do I wish to learn from you -- by works of law the Spirit did ye receive, or by the hearing of faith?

Galatians 3:2 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

This only would I learn of you - I would ask this of you; retaining still the language of severe reproof. The design here, and in the following verses, is, to prove to them that the views which they had at first embraced were correct, and that the views which they now cherished were false To show them this, he asks them the simple question, by what means they had obtained the exalted privileges which they enjoyed? Whether they had obtained them by the simple gospel, or whether by the observance of the Law? The word "only" here (μόνον monon) implies that this was enough to settle the question. The argument to which he was about to appeal was enough for his purpose. He did not need to go any further. They had been converted. They had received the Holy Spirit. They had had abundant evidence of their acceptance with God, and the simple matter of inquiry now was, whether this had occurred as the regular effect of the gospel, or whether it had been by obeying the Law of Moses?

Received ye the Spirit - The Holy Spirit. He refers here, doubtless, to all the manifestations of the Spirit which had been made to them, in renewing the heart, in sanctifying the soul, in comforting them in affliction, and in his miraculous agency among them. The Holy Spirit had been conferred on them at their conversion (compare Acts 10:44; Acts 11:17) and this was to them proof of the favor of God, and of their being accepted by him.

By the works of the law - By obeying the Law of Moses or of any law. It was in no way connected with their obeying the Law. This must have been so clear to them that no one could have any doubt or the subject. The inestimably rich and precious gift of the Holy Spirit had not been conferred on them in consequence of their obeying the Law.

Or by the hearing of faith - In connection with hearing the gospel requiring faith as a condition of salvation. The Holy Spirit was sent down only in connection with the preaching of the gospel. It was a matter of truth, and which could not be denied, that those influences had not been imparted under the Law, but had been connected with the gospel of the Redeemer; compare Acts 2. The doctrine taught in this verse is, that the benefits resulting to Christians from the gift of the Holy Spirit are enough to prove that the gospel is from God, and therefore true. This was the case with regard to the miraculous endowments communicated in the early ages of the church by the Holy Spirit; for the miracles which were performed, the knowledge of languages imparted, and the conversion of thousands from the error of their ways, proved that the system was from heaven; and it is true now. Every Christian has had ample proof, from the influences of the Spirit on his heart and around him, that the system which is attended with such benefits is from heaven.

His own renewed heart; his elevated and sanctified affections; his exalted hopes; his consolations in trial; his peace in the prospect of death, and the happy influences of the system around him in the conversion of others, and in the intelligence, order, and purity of the community, are ample proof that the religion is true. Such effects do not come from any attempt to keep the Law; they result from no other system. No system of infidelity produces them; no mere system of infidelity can produce them. It is only by that pure system which proclaims salvation by the grace of God; which announces salvation by the merits of the Lord Jesus, that such effects are produced. The Saviour promised the Holy Spirit to descend after his ascension to heaven to apply his work; and everywhere, under the faithful preaching of the simple gospel, that Spirit keeps up the evidence of the truth of the system by his influences on the hearts and lives of people.

Galatians 3:2 Parallel Commentaries

The Universal Prison
'But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.'--GAL. iii. 22. The Apostle uses here a striking and solemn figure, which is much veiled for the English reader by the ambiguity attaching to the word 'concluded.' It literally means 'shut up,' and is to be taken in its literal sense of confining, and not in its secondary sense of inferring. So, then, we are to conceive of a vast prison-house in which mankind is confined.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

A Call to the Unconverted
But my hearer, I am solemnly convinced that a large proportion of this assembly dare not say so; and thou to-night (for I am speaking personally to thee), remember that thou art one of those who dare not say this, for thou art a stranger to the grace of God. Thou durst not lie before God, and thine own conscience, therefore thou dost honestly say, "I know I was never regenerated; I am now what I always was, and that is the most I can say." Now, with you I have to deal, and I charge you by him who
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 4: 1858

The Ordinance of Covenanting
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Letter iv. You Reply to the Conclusion of My Letter: "What have we to do with Routiniers?...
My dear friend, You reply to the conclusion of my Letter: "What have we to do with routiniers? Quid mihi cum homunculis putata putide reputantibus? Let nothings count for nothing, and the dead bury the dead! Who but such ever understood the tenet in this sense?" In what sense then, I rejoin, do others understand it? If, with exception of the passages already excepted, namely, the recorded words of God--concerning which no Christian can have doubt or scruple,--the tenet in this sense be inapplicable
Samuel Taylor Coleridge—Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit etc

Cross References
Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:21
to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

Galatians 3:3
Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Galatians 3:14
in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Hebrews 4:2
For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

Hebrews 6:4
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,

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