Summary: Message 5 in our exposition of Galatians addressing Paul's admonition to Galatians wrong thinking about faith.
Chico Alliance Church
“Bewitched or Blessed”
Paul wrote this brief letter to believers in the area of Southern Galatia who he himself had introduced to the Good News of freedom in Christ. Shortly after some false teachers called Judaizers began their destructive and disruptive teaching. They cast doubt upon Paul’s authority as an apostle as well as his teaching concerning salvation. Paul wrote this little letter to assert his authority to speak for Christ, clarify the basis of their salvation and the application of their salvation in every day life. Paul emphasizes in this short letter the truth that true freedom comes by grace through faith in Christ The essential points to remember so far in our study of this letter are not too complicated.
I. Paul held the correct credentials
Paul preached only what He received directly from Christ.
II. Paul proclaimed the Correct Concept of the Gospel of Grace 2:15-4:31
Right standing before God comes only through faith in Christ apart from works.
A. The Gospel of Grace Introduced 2:15-21
1. The gospel Stated emphatically 15-16
2. The gospel Argued Strongly 17-20
Paul affirms that this new freedom from law is based on a radical life change. It is not just a cold, lifeless creed. This truth of justification by faith in Christ is a way of life. The law could only condemn and destroy. Christ died so that not only might I live without condemnation as a lawbreaker, but that He Christ Himself comes to live IN me. Being a Christian is more than embracing a particular creed or teaching. It is the indwelling Christ that makes us Christian. Christ resolutely affirmed this truth over and over.
Jesus therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. John 6:55-56 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
John also asserted…
He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 1 John 5:12
Paul taught clearly in his letter to the Romans…
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. Romans 8:9-10
I have been crucified (perfect) with Christ. Nevertheless I really am alive “I live” Yet I now live by a new principle. Christ in me the hope of Glory Not the law of sin and death.
The law of life by the indwelling Spirit of Christ. Real life comes not by law keeping but by continued faith in the indwelling Christ. The Christ who continually lives in me loved me perfectly and even gave his life for me.
3. The Gospel Held strenuously 21
Since no flesh achieves right standing before God through the works of the law because no one can fully keep the law, only faith in the perfect work of the sinless Son of God will restore right standing with God. That is the core of the Gospel message. Right standing before God comes only on the basis of grace received by faith in Christ apart from efforts to keep the law.
B. The Gospel of Grace Argued and Illustrated 3:1-4:31
Having clarified the core concept of the gospel of grace, Paul attempts to enlighten the Galatians as to the personal impact of this truth to their lives. Just as faith brings new life and a right standing with God apart from any of my effort, so faith in Christ must continue to be the way of life.
1. Argued by clarifying interrogation 3:1-6
2. Illustrated in Abraham 3:7-29
a. Abraham and blessing 3:7-14
b. Abraham and Law 3:15-29
3. Illustrated through Sonship 4:1-20
4. Illustrated in Abraham’s sons 4:21-31
Today we want to look at these five basic questions in hopes that any foggy thinking regarding the gospel of grace might virtually vanish from the mind. Paul continually worked at building up those he considered his responsibility under Christ. His passion in this letter is so great that he graphically grabs their attention by focusing on the absolute foolishness of their thinking.