Saturday, April 09, 2011

Freedom Series: “Stop Your Foolishness!” Gal. 3:1-5

Galatians 3:1-5

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!!!


I hope to get questions, comments, and testimonies back from you all.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

My book review of RADICAL by David Platt

Periodically (once ever month or so) I will be reviewing a book for WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. This is my first review I hope you find it helpful.

We will be back to Galatians next week. Starting with chapter 3. I apologies for having to put off the Galatian study until next week.

As I started my read through “Radical,” the one thing that concerned me was the author pastors a mega-church and is talking about Third World countries where Christians have to secretly meet in small gatherings. I wondered how he could relate to their situation.

Chapter 1 - A great start to the book as David begins by dealing with the struggles to live as “Radical,” and also gives examples of true life stories about how different Christianity is in other parts of the world. Stories he shares throughout the book are touching!

Chapter 2 – An interesting thing I note in this chapter and throughout the book is how God is moving in other parts of the world in small “house churches.” He deals with a different God-honoring mindset in believers in Third World Christianity.

Chapter 3 – We are so prone (especially in America) to trust in our own power and not in the power of God, even though we mistakenly think we are trusting in God when we really are not!

Chapter 4 - I love the way he emphasizes “World Missions.” It is hard to read this book and still have the old excuse of “I’m not called to the mission field” or “my mission field is America.

Chapter 5 – In this chapter, David deals with, “How do we make God’s glory known in all nations?” He then shares on what discipleship looks like, and the theme continues throughout the book.

Chapter 6 - What a great chapter on American wealth and world poverty! It seems the author struggles himself with where to draw that line on the acceptable lifestyle we can live with regard to American prosperity. He also discusses how our convictions vary in how to use our wealth for God’s work.

Chapter 7 - There is NO plan B!!! This chapter could stand alone as a booklet on why ALL need to come to God through Jesus Christ. He sums this up in seven vital truths. Great chapter!!!

Chapter 8 – This chapter might cost you your life - See Matthew 10:39. In this chapter we learn that the Lord’s will is not always safe, often He calls us to do dangerous things for Him. This chapter will also open your eyes to many wonderful truths in Matthew 10 that have otherwise been skimmed over or avoided. That is until now! Matthew 10 will forever be a part of me now.

Chapter 9 – In this closing chapter, David suggests a one-year “experiment” for those who want to be a “radical Christian.” While the 5 areas (steps) are good (very good) that David lays out, I look at them as a good “suggestions” for what to do now that you have read the book. After reading this book, the Lord may lead you to do these 5 steps or He may lead you differently (maybe even more radical).

My closing words of the book, “Radical” is that even if only 1 percent of us who have read this book take it to heart and apply it to our lives, I believe we would have a different American church, and a better one at that! I still wonder if our overly large churches and our many expenses cut into our attempt to be “Radical” Christians.

My conclusion in reading and reviewing this book is not to concern myself with David Platt or his church, but to hear the message for the truths it speaks to ME personally.

I encourage all to read this book!

“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.”

Read entire chapter one here for free:

Available at .com ( at a great price!