Summary: In chapter 3, Paul lays out the doctrine that the Galatians need in order to protect them from false teachers.
Dance Lessons: Bewitched!
Pastor Jefferson M. Williams
Chenoa Baptist Church
Imagine that we went on a mission trip together. We went to a remote jungle village and spent several months there. We learned that they were taught at a very early age that they had to stand on their head to appease their platypus god. They spent many hours on their heads and many passed out as the blood rushed to their brains. Some could stand on their heads for hours and they became the leaders of the tribe.
When we begin to teach these people about Jesus we tell them that there is a God and He’s not a platypus. He’s the God that made everything. He is the God of all gods. And He is holy and He expects perfection. And we can never hop higher enough for God’s holiness. The punishment for our sin is death. We are hopeless to save ourselves. We need a Savior.
We get the honor of telling them that Jesus loved them and gave Himself up for them by dying in our place, on the cross, to pay the penalty for our sins. They hear that all they have to do is place their faith in the Jesus’ finished work on the cross and they can be saved and be in right relationship with God.
And mass revival breaks out. Many people get saved that day and a church is planted. We leave a week later, overjoyed over the miracle God did in that tribe.
When we arrive back in Chenoa and several months later we open our emails and discover a message from one of tribesman with a video attached.
We open the video and are absolutely dumbfounded by what we see. It’s a video of the church service and every single member is standing on their head!
What?!! You shoot off an email and ask why are they on their heads?
Almost immediately the man responds that the head platypus headstanders had taught the people that what we had taught them was fine but it wasn’t enough. In order to be really saved, they had to stand on their heads for Jesus.
As you sit back and watch this video clip again and again, your stomach churns and your blood pressure goes up.
What would you say to these brothers and sisters that so recently come to faith in Christ through your ministry?
That’s what was happening in their churches in Galatia. After Paul and Barnabas planted churches throughout the region of Galatia, they returned to Antioch. Soon after, they heard that false teachers, called Judaizers, had come behind them and were teaching the churches that Paul wasn’t a real apostle and that the Gospel he taught them was watered-down.
Yes Jesus died on the cross but that wasn’t enough. In order to become a “true” Christian, one had to be a Jew first - circumcision, follow dietary rules, and the Mosaic Law.
Paul sits down and writes his first epistle (letter) to these churches and in the first chapter, he gives his spiritual autobiography and assert the fact he was an apostle and that his gospel didn’t come from other people from God.
In chapter two, he gives us an overview of his meeting with the apostles in Jerusalem and then the blow by blow of his confrontation with Peter over his hypocrisy in the church at Antioch.
If you missed one of these sermons, you can watch them on our FB page.
Chapters 3 and 4, Paul lays out the doctrine that the Galatians need in order to protect them from false teachers.
They are learning to dance to a new rhythm of grace and remember those that dance are thought crazy by those who cannot hear the music.
Turn with me to Galatians 3.
Argument from Experience
In these verses, we are going to see Paul make three arguments:
an argument from experience (v. 1-5)
an argument from Abraham (6-8)
an argument from the curse (9-11)
Each one of these sections could be a sermon of it’s own but we are going to try to get through them today.
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.” (Gal 3:1)
Remember that Paul begin this letter not with thanksgiving but astonishment. He expressed his astonishment that they were so quickly deserting the Gospel of grace for what he calls “another gospel, which is no gospel at all,” the idea that works can make you acceptable before God.
Notice he doesn’t say “brother and sisters” but Galatians - foolish Galatians! It could even be translated “idiots!” He’s not calling them dumb. He’s saying that they are not using their brains. They are acting mindlessly.
Paul actually asks who has bewitched them. This is fascinating word is only used once in the entire Bible. It speaks of charming someone, putting a spell on them. Literally it means to give “the evil eye.”