Summary: Its only through grace that we are saved
Are you so foolish?
Galatians 3:1 - 5 (NIV) 1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
Trouble in the text:
We see Paul here having a little problem. Paul was dealing with a few people in the church who although they once accepted the free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ but they are now also trying to follow the law. The people who were causing this problem were called the Judaizers. What they were trying to do was to mix Grace and works, which in its self is an oxymoron. The two cannot and do not go together. Paul explains this by saying in verse
15“We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
The beginning of creation: You see let me explain; Ever since the beginning of creation and the fall of man in the garden of Eden God has been working on trying to get us back into right standing with Him. But in order to do that, He needed to devise some sort of a way for us to realize that we needed Him. Remember back when Adam and Eve was about to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, what did Satan say? Gen 3:4
4“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
One of the things that attracted Eve to eat from this tree was the idea that she would be able to make moral choices for her self. That’s the knowledge of good and evil. But that’s the ability that God has and we don’t. SO she wanted to be like God. She wanted to make these choices herself. But that’s impossible. Our choices will always fall sort of the right choices. And that’s how Satan trapped her. He made her think she can do something that she could never do. God had said if you eat of this tree you will die. Let me make these choices of good and evil for you by your own free will. But she wanted to make them herself and exercised her free will to choose for herself. And what happened? She died. Not only one day physically but also spiritually. Adam and Eve both died spiritually that day and were cast out of the garden. They were cast out of that deep intimate relationship that had with God ever day.
The first step God did to fix this was to show us that we can’t make these choices on our own. He did this by giving us the Law. Or the rules if you will. He said ok, here is right from wrong do it. What we all have learned is that we can’t do it. Somehow some way we always fall short of following the letter of the law. That’s the purpose of the law, to point out that we can’t do it and that we need God, it makes us conscious of our sin.
Roman 3:20 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
But God loves us so much He had every intention from the beginning to fix this issue. So now that we know we are sinners and that we need help and are unable to pull this off on our own he sends His son and an atoning sacrifice to fulfill the law for us. He paid the price we couldn’t pay. He did what we couldn’t do. And now God is saying, if you want to be redeemed, justified and sanctified, have faith in my son. He is the way.
But here Paul was having a problem with some saying that not only do you have to accept Jesus and His sacrifice but you also have to follow those rules again, that you couldn’t follow in the first place, to be justified. Basically saying that you have to justify yourself all over again. And Paul is completely perplexed. Paul was so frustrated he addresses the Galatians church as foolish. He says “you foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” He was so astonished at the absurdity of there actions that he said they must be bewitched because no one in there right mind could possibly think that a debt has to be paid twice. Who in their right mind thinks we have to be justified twice, “Declared not guilty” twice. Either we were declared not guilty or not.