Week 3 day 1 Galatians 3:1-5
Paul addresses his readers directly with a series of piercing questions. These questions are asked in a tone of rebuke.
Paul confronts them head on with their folly and the inconsistency of their behavior. They have begun to be sucked in by the Judaizers, and Paul shows them that their action contradicts the work of Christ on the cross and contradicts the work of the Spirit in their lives.
By using the term "bewitched," Paul gives the idea that the Galatians are under some type of spell. He doesn't mean this literally, but their thinking is so clouded and so unbiblical that it seems that some kind of spell has been cast over them.
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?Paul is asking them, "Did you receive the Spirit by faith or law keeping?" Are we saved by what we do or by what Christ has done for us? This forces the Galatians to choose between two options, not a third which is what the Judaizers were proposing. They were not denying that Christ died on the cross for their sins, but they were adding the law as a requirement to their salvation. It's faith versus works; Grace versus the Law of Moses. The believers in Galatia had been saved under Paul's teaching that one gets right with God by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, but now they were being told by the false teachers that good works and law-keeping must play a much larger role in their theology.
Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?Notice that verse 2 was in the past tense. That is how we began. Now verse 5 is in the present tense, talking about experiencing the life of the Spirit. The word translated provide was used in marriage contracts to express the husband's commitment to provide faithful and generous support for his wife. God is the faithful husband caring for his bride. The experience of God's continuous and generous supply of His Spirit to the Galatian believers is linked with his work of miracles in their midst.
Paul recounts such overwhelming evidence of God's gracious work in order to draw his readers away from their present fixation on the stringent requirements of the teachers of the law.
He appealed to the fact that miracles accompanied his preaching to the Galatians whereas presumably they did not accompany the preaching of the Judaizers. He did this to remind them of the Holy Spirit’s miraculous confirmation of his gospel. These miracles may have been those the Holy Spirit continued to work among the believers even after Paul left. Note the present tense of the word translated “works” (Gr. energon). He continues to do miracles in and through believers even today not the least of which is the miracle of regeneration.
We know that the Gift of God is bestowed upon us at the point of our belief in the gospel we hear. salvation is by grace through faith and not by any works of any law.
Reminder that we must live by the Spirit and not the Flesh.
To live by the flesh is depending upon the resources and abilities of the physical body. To live by the Spirit is depending upon the resources and abilities of the Spirit, whom God gives by grace through faith.
In both cases, the fundamental issue is "depending." The critical difference is the object of the dependence. In "living by the flesh," the person who is living is depending upon what he is and has as the result of his physical heritage (genetic composition, intelligence, education, etc.).
In "living by the spirit," the person who is living is depending upon what the Spirit of God is and has - and what God has promised to do through Him.
The Bible speaks of sanctification as the possession of every believer, and as something which we are to grow in. The Bible teaches us that we are already holy, because Christ's holiness is imputed to us. we have been made perfect forever. This is Positional sanctification
The Bible also teaches us that we are being made holy day by day through the work of God in our life. This is Practical sanctification. Both aspects of sanctification, are gifts of God's grace. We began in the Spirit, and we are perfected in the Spirit. We do not deserve our holy standing before God, and we do no not deserve God's power working in our lives to make us holy. Both come to us by His grace because of the merit of Jesus Christ.
This is a hard one for me to remember and stand on, esp those days when you 'mess up'. Gods Grace.
The Galatians were slipping into legalism, which we see happening to many Christians in our own day. How do we protect ourselves from falling into the trap of legalism?
We must start with a right view of God. God is gracious, really gracious. He's not just a God of grace when it comes to salvation, He is always a God of grace. The only way He deals with His spiritual children is through grace. He accepts you when you perform and He accepts you when you don't. All of God's dealings with us, from choosing us in the first place, to helping us grow in our faith, right through to our entrance into His presence in eternity are saturated with grace - unmerited favor. You cannot earn God's favor by what you do, you already have God's favor because of Christ.
Please feel free to Share anything God is showing you in the study in the comment section or privately. I would love to hear from you.
With Love in Christ, Blessings to you,