Summary: A teaching series from the book of Galatians. A verse upon verse teaching will help all who will listen
Christ or Nothing Galatians 3:1-14
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?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”
13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Paul wrote Galatians to counter judaizing false teachers who were undermining the central NT doctrine of justification by faith. Paul would be accused of antinomianism (being against the law) for arguing that a man was justified apart from keeping the law. However Paul speaks of his defense later in Romans 6&7.
Salvation by grace through faith does not put down the law, but it underscores its true importance: 1. By providing a payment for the penalty of death which the law required for failing to keep it. 2. By fulfilling the law’s original purpose, which is to serve as a tutor to show mankind’s utter inability to obey God’s righteous demands and to drive people to Christ.
Paul writes in Romans 3:31NKJ Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
Galatians 3:1NLT Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.
Paul isn’t referring here to the people’s lack of intelligence, but to lack of obedience. He’s expressing his shock, surprise and outrage at the Galatians defection.
Remember, the Judaizers, the Jewish false teachers were plaguing the church.
Verse 1, Who has cast an evil spell on you? Bewitched. These Judaizers were appealing to the people’s emotions and charming them with flattery.
Verse 1 again, For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross.
The crucifixion of Jesus was a one time historical fact with continuing results into eternity.
Hebrew 7:25NLT Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.
Galatians 3:2NLT Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ.
The answer to Paul question was obvious. These Galatians had received the Spirit when they were saved.
Romans 8:9NLT But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
1 Corinthians 12:13NLT Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Galatians 3:3NLT How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?