The purpose of the rules that God gave to Israel’s people

(Rules can keep us in prison)

Bible verses: Galatians 3:21-25

A word list at the end of each Bible study explains words that have a *star by them. These are more difficult words.


Paul writes more about rules. Before Jesus came, the rules helped to keep us safe. They locked us in a safe place.

But we cannot do what is right all the time. We do not always obey the rules. So the rules show us our *sin. We are like *people who are locked in prison. Also the rules show us that we need Christ. They do not get us out of the prison that *sin causes. But Christ can make us free *people. Through Christ, we can receive what God promises to us.

*People *circumcise other *people to obey an old *Jewish rule. The wrong teachers want to do this. But the old *Jewish rules do not have power now.


V21 ~ What wrong idea might some *people have about the rules? How can we know that this is wrong?

V22 ~ What does *sin do to everyone?

V22 ~ How can we make this right?

V23 ~ What is the action of the rules on us before we believe in Christ?

V24 ~ How do we become right with God? Why do you think Paul writes this several times in his letter?

V25 ~ What does Paul say about the *Jewish rules?

Something to do

Talk about rules that keep us safe today. Sometimes people break these rules. Talk about what happens.

Paul writes that we are free from old rules. Think about this. Can we do as we like? (Paul writes more about this later.)

Read what Jesus says about the old rules in Matthew 5:17. Look at an example of what Jesus means in Matthew 5:21-26. Talk about this.

Words to explain

Abraham ~ The first leader of the Jews.

circumcise ~ to cut off the skin from the end of a boy’s or a man’s sex part. It was a mark to show that *Israel’s *people had agreed to obey God.

Gentile ~ a person who does not belong to *Israel’s *people.

Israel ~ the country where the *Jews lived.

Jew ~ a person who is born from *Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children (*Israel’s *people).

Jewish ~ what belongs to a Jew.

people ~ men and women.

power  ~ what someone is able to do. All that we can think or do by ourselves, without God’s help.

sin  ~ what makes us do wrong actions. Sin has *power over every person who is born into this world. When we come to Christ, he stops sin’s *power over us.

See the other studies in this series: Explore Paul’s letter to the Galatians.