1 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
As we start this new section of Galatians (Chapters 3 and 4), we will get into the Biblical doctrinal position and the Gospel of Grace.
These two chapters should set you and me free from any form of legalism or self-centeredness in our Christian life. May we all grow as we study these next 60 verses.
Today, we will see some questions Paul asked these Galatian believers.
He was having them evaluate the foolishness of their being influenced by the Judaizers, who falsely taught that salvation required not ONLY faith in Christ, but also circumcision and keeping of the law.
As we look at this verse-by-verse, I will try to accurately expound on these verses based on the Greek (New Testament originally written in Greek) and in the context of scripture.
1 O foolish (Gk. Anoetos - stupid) Galatians!
[Question One] Who has bewitched [fascinated by emotional appeal of Judiazers] you that you should not obey the truth [that is the pure Gospel], before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed (plackered, announced on a poster) among you as crucified? Answer: Judaizers (and their own stupidity).Check out brain before entering Church
(nothing preached is to be questioned – NOT!)
Verse One: In the Greek “foolish” is the word “Anoetos” – It is meaning that the Galatians were being foolish/stupid because they weren’t thinking this through scripturally!!! They were getting misguided by Judaizers. Letting themselves get sidetracked from the very clear message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified that they had received when Paul preached to them.
Application: Watch your “emotions” or “anything” that is getting you off the PURE Word of God. We need to be careful! Don't Check Your Brains OUT at the Door. We aren’t supposed to be “stupid” and swallow everything we hear hook, line and sinker when we go into a church or hear a sermon. We need to be like the “Berean” believers who, after hearing Paul preach, it says, “…searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (See Acts 17:11)
2[Question Two] This only I want to learn from you (we would say, answer this one question) Did you receive the Spirit by the works (legalistic observance) of the law [Answer: An obvious NO], or by the hearing of faith? [Answer: An absolute YES]
The Galatians had to agree that they received the Holy Spirit as a free gift of God from the sovereign God apart from any good works or human merit on their part. Faith was awakened in their heart through the preaching of the gospel (by the Bible). It is so important that we preach the Bible that faith may arise in the hearers heart (See Romans 10:17).
3[Question Three] Are you so foolish (stupid)? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect (complete, brought to spiritual maturity) by the flesh?
“…made perfect by the flesh…” In other words, by your own human effort!!!
Anytime you start in the Spirit and go back to the flesh, which is trusting in yourself, i.e., it is independent reliance on one’s own accomplishments rather than trust in the Holy Spirit. When that happens, you are going backward not forward!
4[Question Four] Have you suffered so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? They suffered ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in vain!!! All they had suffered/experienced in and for Christ was NOT IN VAIN and they knew it.
Their salvation was a work of Christ from beginning to end!
Don’t fall for legalism to grow spiritually, it won’t happen!!!
This brings us to our fifth and final question!
5[Question Five] Therefore He who (constantly) supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles (Gk. Dunamis – elsewhere translated “Power”) among you, does He do it by the works of the law [no], or by the hearing of faith?— [yes]
The Galatian believers had to remember how they came into their relationship with God (Christ) in the first place, which was by a work of the Holy Spirit. The evidence of the Holy Spirit changing them and doing miraculous things in their lives was clear! It didn’t happen by the law, and it won’t happen by the law. But it is and always will be by the hearing of faith (the Gospel).
What can we learn for our lives from this passage.
1. We can start right – Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and go backwards and try to get “closer” to God by works!!! I would venture to say when you and I got saved (by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ), we did so of a pure heart. THEN others (in the church, or so-called Christians) said you needed to DO MORE! Thus, was the beginning of a love relationship with God turning into a sad, miserable, and legalistic relationship with God. It is so sad to see the life of God sucked out of a new believer by legalism.
Note: This is absolutely NOT saying we can live a life of sin. A true Biblical salvation experience will ALWAYS lead to a changed life!!! (Ezekiel 36:26, 27 & II Cor. 5:17) Sin will lose its overwhelming power over you (you are no longer a slave to sin, but to righteousness - Romans ). I like to tell people when we get saved (and as we grow spiritually) God will change our “WANT TO’s.” We will find we no longer “want to” sin. We “want to” live in fellowship with God, not out of legalism, but out of a love relationship with God. ISN’T THAT AWESOME!!!
I also pray that if you have lived a legalistic, works kind of contact with God,
that the Lord will set you free to live a faith-filled, loving relationship with God through our living Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!!!
THIS CONCLUDES THIS WEEK’S TEACHING.
I hope to get questions, comments, and testimonies back from you all.