Summary: None of us ever became Christians through our human effort. God reached down. Salvation comes by faith in Christ. Believe in Jesus Christ, He died on the cross for you.
Dance with the one who brung ya. In a sense that was Paul’s message to the Galatians. You
became a Christian by faith in Christ and experienced a new birth. In Galatians 3:1-5 Paul asks
them why switch to human effort to live the Christian life? Faith in Christ brung ya to the dance
why switch to striving in the flesh?
You 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?
This passage of scripture contains a series of six questions.
There are only two statements.
1. You are foolish.
2. Christ was portrayed before you as crucified.
So why ask all these questions? It was to make them think. They were not thinking reasonably.
Paul asks them questions so they will really consider what they have done.
How did you become a Christian? It is salvation by works verses salvation by faith. In verse 2
Paul gets to the central question. Tell me this one thing. How did you become a Christian? When
did you receive the Holy Spirit?
When you accepted Jesus Christ in your life the Holy Spirit took up resident in your life. In
Romans 8:9 we read; that if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to
So Paul was asking; how did you become a Christian? It is a multiple choice of two possible
1. By obeying the law
2. By believing what you heard (what they heard Paul says in verse one is a clear presentation of
Paul forces the foolish Galatians to think. Do you remember the time you became a Christian?
Think back in your experience. It was not by observing the law. Christ did not come into your
heart because you did enough good deeds. You do not earn your way to God’s favor.
None of us ever became Christians through our human effort. God reached down. It may be true
that some people are better than others. But it is only a matter of one person’s total depravity
being better than another’s total depravity. You were not saved by your good works.
It would be like trying to swim across the ocean. Some people with arthritis might not make it
100 yards. A good athlete might make it several miles. All would fall thousands of miles short
and end up at the same place at the bottom of the ocean.
It is futile to attempt to reach God on our own efforts. It is foolish to credit yourself with adding
to Christ’s work.
Paul portrayed Christ as crucified. God reached down, took on human nature, born of a virgin,
lived a sinless life and died on a cross. Salvation is a fee gift of God’s grace which we accept
though faith. Think back, how did you become a Christian?
I remember for myself in December of 1981, acknowledging my sin before God, knowing there
was nothing I could do, asking God to let Christ’s death on the cross count for me. Jesus Christ
came into my heart and God forgave me.
Did you need human effort, good works to become a Christian? Did you merit your salvation by
baptism or church membership? No! Paul asks questions with an obvious answer. They were
meant to make the Galatians realize how foolish they were. It is not the law or good works that
save it is faith in Jesus Christ.
How do you continue the Christian live?
There is a contrast of living by the flesh verses living by the Spirit. In verse 3 Paul really gets to
the point. Are you so foolish?
In the Message version of Galatians 3:3 the verse reads:
Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete
by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to
begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it?
We live by faith and must continue on to walk by faith. We don’t live out the Christian live in
the flesh. We don’t accomplish God’s will by human effort. You were brought to where you are
by spiritual birth. Why revert to human power?
Think for a moment about a World Series Baseball Game. The team is the Galatian Giants. It is