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Summary: Some begin well in the faith but leave the truth for error and false teachings. Once you get on the track of faith in Christ, don’t get off.

FAITH OR OBSERVANCE OF THE LAW?

TEXT:

Galatians 3:1-14 (NIV)

1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified.

2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit BY OBSERVING THE LAW, or BY BELIEVING what you heard?

3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?

4 Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing?

5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

6 Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

7 Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.

8 The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”

9 So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, “The righteous will live by faith.”

12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

INTRODUCTION:

A. DESERTION OF THE TRUTH

1. Desertion is wrong because it shows disloyalty and betrayal.

2. Few things are worse than a Christian who deserts the gospel.

3. The Galatians deserted the gospel to follow a falsehood.

4. They left to follow a false form of Christianity.

5. It was supposedly an improvement of the gospel.

6. It was a worthless counterfeit.

B. THEY RAN WELL BUT THEY LEFT THE TRACK

1. Throughout history some have started well but not finished well.

2. They’ve allowed themselves to be pulled away from the truth.

3. They receive the gospel of grace through faith, then fall for some system of legalism, formalism, or ritualism.

4. These false systems promise more but produce less.

5. Since the time of Cain, man has tried to make himself righteous through his own good works.

6. There’s always someone, somewhere who thinks they have a better way to approach God or to please God than what is ordained.

I. THE RHETORICAL QUESTIONS

A. RHETORICAL QUESTIONS

1. Webster’s defines a rhetorical question as one that is – “asked merely for effect with no answer expected.”

2. A mother might ask, “Aren’t these your socks in the floor?”

3. No verbal answer is expected.

4. The correct answer is to pick them up.

B. WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU?

1. “bewitched” - Gk. “baskaino” – to charm as with an evil eye

2. The Galatians had been charmed by the false teacher’s arguments.


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